Now Playing: Diabetes Lifestyle
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Most people who have diabetes need to change some of their habits so they can stay healthy. So, if you have diabetes, there are a few simple things you can do to help manage your condition.
These lifestyle changes include:
* Taking your medicine
* Eating a healthy diet
* Stopping the use of tobacco products
* Exercising regularly
* And losing weight.
First, be sure to take your medication and check your blood sugar levels regularly. Checking your sugar levels helps you know how much medicine to take and whether or not it's working.
Second, make a balanced food plan and follow it every day. A nurse or dietitian in the doctor's office can help you with this. You don't have to cut out sweets and fatty foods completely, but you won't be able to eat as many of them as before. You should try to have some meat, some vegetables or fruit, and some bread at each meal. With the dietitian's help, you can work together to find a plan that's best for you.
Stopping the use of tobacco products can also help improve your health. The nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, and pipe tobacco can make blood vessels narrow and lead to high blood pressure. Tobacco can make negative effects of diabetes even worse and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
Your doctor may also recommend that you exercise regularly. The more you exercise, the better it is for your diabetes, your heart, and your body. Exercise can help insulin work better and keeps you from gaining extra fat.
A moderate exercise program can make you stronger and also helps to keep your blood pressure down, which is very helpful for those with diabetes. Many people think this means you have to do strenuous exercise every day. But that's not true. Simply walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, three times a week, can lead to positive results.
Try to lose weight, if you are overweight. Carrying extra weight strains the heart. Also, as people gain weight, their blood pressure tends to rise. Studies have found that when people with diabetes lose weight, they also improve the control of their blood sugar, lower their high blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol.
All of these suggestions can be beneficial. By making the lifestyle changes your doctor recommends, you may be able to reduce your symptoms of diabetes and prevent future complications.
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