Diabetes may be common but that doesn’t make living with it easy. While there is no cure for diabetes, people who have it must learn to manage it in order to stay healthy. UR Medicine endocrinologist Dr. Laticia Valle offers these five tips for managing diabetes.
- Know your stuff. Educate yourself about diabetes. Find out if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, then take part in a diabetes education program. The more you know and understand about diabetes the better equipped you’ll be to take good care of yourself.
- Take as directed. If your doctor orders medication, take it exactly as it’s prescribed. This is essential to stabilizing your disease. If you’ve slipped up and not taken it properly, or you don’t understand the directions for taking it, talk honestly with your doctor about it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Make your move. Being active effects the way your body uses insulin so work some exercise into your daily routine. A simple 10-minute walk after each meal can improve your blood sugar and is also great for your heart and blood pressure.
- Lighten up. Losing even a modest about of weight—just 10 pounds—can have a positive impact on your blood sugar. Making small changes like a few short walks each day or choosing water over sugary soft drinks can lead to big changes over time.
- Take your tests. Make a commitment to regular A1c testing as recommended by your doctor. This simple blood test provides an accurate picture of your blood sugar levels over a three-month period. It’s one of the best ways to track your blood sugar and know if it's working properly.
Laticia A. Valle, M.D., specializes in the management and diagnosis of general endocrinology at UR Medicine Highland Hospital. She cares for people with diabetes, thyroid, adrenal, bone and pituitary disorders.