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Diabetes Education Center

Tips for Better Diabetes Management

Here are things to do to help keep your blood sugar within a normal range.

One very important tip to help you manage your diabetes is to know your HbA1c.  Have your HbA1c checked every 3 months.

Diabetes and healthy eating    

Try not to skip meals. When planning your daily diet eat the right foods in the right amounts to keep a healthy weight. In general you want to eat foods from all food groups, especially food with fiber.

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (eat the skins). Include fruits and vegetables in as many meals and snacks as possible.
  • Whole grains breads and crackers, barley, oats, brown rice,
  • Beans, lentils, legumes, peas
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products, eggs or egg substitutes
  • Seafood, lean meats and poultry
Replace your white, refined grain products with 100% whole-grain breads, whole-grain crackers, cereals (like oatmeal), whole-grain pastas and brown rice.

Diabetes and exercise

To stay healthy, increase your daily activity by exercising. You will feel better. A good time to exercise is after a meal or snack. Choose an exercise you like and exercise in a convenient place. If you have to travel too far to exercise you probable will not do it. REMEMBER: Before starting on any exercise program, first check with your doctor.

Exercise can:

  • Improve your health
  •  Help you lose weight or stay at a good weight
  •  Help lower your chances of getting heart disease
  •  Help lower your blood pressure.
  •  Help insulin to work better in your body. This will help lower your blood sugar.

Some good exercises are: walking, biking (stationary or road), or swimming.

Exercise 4 to 5 days a week for about 30 minutes each day.

Start slow and work up to: 5 minutes of warm-up: stretching or marching in place.

Diabetes and foot care

Healthy feet are an important part of good diabetes care. Check your feet daily to look for any visible changes such as cuts, blisters, redness or swelling.  Also make sure to wear shoes that fit your feet to avoid any pressure on your feet. 

Footwear should have cushioned uppers and soles that are made of soft materials, such as leather. Do not wear shoes that are made of plastics, such as jelly shoes or beach tongs. Never walk or run barefoot. 
 
Only file your toenails, do not cut them. 

Schedule regular appointments with a foot doctor, known as a podiatrist.

Diabetes and eye care

Get your eyes checked regularly by a qualified eye doctor. Diabetes can cause blindness and other vision problems such as diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes and your teeth 

  • Brush and floss your teeth and gums every day
  • Change your toothbrush every three months
  • Have your teeth examined and cleaned every six months
  • See your dentist if you have unusual pain, swelling or bleeding

Read labels carefully

Labels that read stone-ground, bran or whole wheat may not even contain any of these grains.     

When you are sick 

  • Pay close attention to your blood sugars. Your blood  sugars may go up when you are not feeling well
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You need to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration (loss of water)

Remember to always check the expiration date on your medicines.