November is American Diabetes Month – so take note of your risks and take control of your diabetes if you have been diagnosed. This is a critical time for our country as the rate of diabetes is growing at an astonishing rate. One in ten American adults currently have diabetes, and 1.9 million new cases of adult diabetes were diagnosed in 2010 alone. If you already have this diagnosis, the best thing you can do for your health is to carefully manage your condition and reduce your risk for common diabetes complications.
Here are some basics to help you control (and manage) your diabetes.
- Learn about your diabetes. You can’t make excuses for not controlling your diabetes because you’re just not sure how. Information is always at your fingertips, whether you get it from your doctor, a book, magazine, or online. There are multiple sources of credible and reliable information available. Check out the National Diabetes Education program for a starter.
- Understand your ABCs. Your A1C (blood glucose levels), blood pressure and cholesterol are important numbers to understand and check regularly. Your goal should be to shoot for a A1C under a 7, blood pressure no greater than 130/80, and cholesterol of less than 100(ldl) and over 40(hdl). Knowing your numbers is an important step in the right direction. To take more steps, find out what you can do to reach these important goals.
- Manage and Control. Most important, are you keeping your body as healthy as possible? Choosing healthy options for meals and snacks, exercising regularly, and coping with stress are just a few key areas to focus on as your work toward controlling your diabetes. If you smoke, it would help to quit. Managing stress can also help toward your goal of managing your diabetes.
- Keep your appointments. Visiting your doctor for regular, preventive care is even more important with diabetes. At every visit, you should have a blood pressure check, foot exam, and weight check. Throughout the year you should have cholesterol screens, A1C tests, dental exams, eye tests, and flu shots. This will help you stay on top of your ABC’s as well as see progress in controlling your diabetes.
For more information on what you can do in your community for American Diabetes Month, visit the American Diabetes Association website for details. Check out Brandon Regional’s Schedule of Classes and Events to find out about our next diabetes class. Have a health question? Need a physician referral to discuss diabetes management? Call our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-888-327-2636.