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9 tips for living healthy with diabetes

woman checking glucose If you have diabetes, it’s important to work with your health care team to follow a plan for healthy living. Use these tips to manage your health and make changes to help you live well.

1. Use a meal plan. Your diabetes care team will provide meal-planning tools to help you make healthy choices, including fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, beans, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

2. Get active. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days. Exercise can help you lower your blood sugar, better use insulin and control your weight. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

3. Take your medicine. Your doctor may prescribe oral medications or insulin to help you reach your target blood glucose levels. He or she may also recommend taking low-dose aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack.

4. Stop smoking. Your doctor can offer ways to help you quit.

5. Check your numbers. Regularly monitor your blood glucose and blood pressure to make sure they remain in the recommended ranges.

6. Mind your mouth. Brush and floss your teeth every day. Get regular dental checkups.

7. Monitor your health. Inspect your feet every day and have your provider check any sores or calluses. Report any changes in your eyesight to your doctor. Keep all scheduled appointments and get recommended immunizations.

8. Keep a lid on stress. When you’re stressed, it’s difficult to take good care of yourself, and stress hormones can cause your blood glucose to rise. While it may be a challenge to manage stress, you can learn new ways to cope.

9. Seek support. Talk to your doctor about joining a support group or take classes to learn more about managing diabetes.

For more help and support, visit our Diabetes Care Network.