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Healthy Living Tips for Managing Diabetes

Having a healthy lifestyle can be a priority for a variety of reasons. However, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not just smart to put your health first, it’s vital to keeping your condition in check. Need some help getting on track? Here are some tips.

Drink responsibly and don’t smoke

Be smart if you choose to drink. Alcohol can have an unpredictable effect on your blood sugar; it can cause it to go up or down. Plus, drinking alcohol to impairment can compromise your ability to control your blood sugar.

While smoking isn’t healthy for anyone, diabetics do need to be aware of the added risk that can come from smoking. Since having diabetes already puts you at risk for other health conditions, such as heart disease, smoking can increase your overall risk.

Follow a healthy diet and get moving

As you probably know, your diet has a direct impact on your blood sugar. Your body converts carbohydrates into sugar, so limit your intake of them. Instead, choose vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Keep your meals about the same size and avoid overeating.

Also, aim to get regular exercise throughout the week, since doing so has many benefits, including lowering blood sugar, helping with weight management and lowering your risk of heart disease.

Practice good oral hygiene

Be sure to brush and floss daily to keep your gums healthy and avoid complications.

See the doctor

Get regular physicals. Your doctor will likely check your cholesterol, blood pressure and A1C, a blood test that shows the average level of blood sugar.

If you have diabetes, you also have an increased risk for depression, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you’ve noticed mood-related changes.

Make sure you get regular exams for your eyes and feet, as diabetes can impact both. Alert the appropriate doctor regarding any changes since your last visit.

Stay the treatment course

If your doctor has given you a treatment plan, make sure you’re following it. If you have questions or concerns, discuss them with your doctor before making any changes.

Stress less

Avoid stress when you can. Not only can stress cause your blood sugar to climb, it also may limit how much attention you can give to managing your condition.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WebMD®

This information has been created and supplied to you courtesy of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The information is general in nature and is intended to provide you with an overview of the wellness topic to help you and your family get and stay healthy. It is not intended as a substitute for the professional advice and care of your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or the health of any of your family members, consult your doctor.