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7 ways to live well with type 2 diabetes

diabetes blood test Whether you’ve had type 2 diabetes for years or you’re newly diagnosed, it’s important to make sure you’re following the basics of self-care.

Keeping on top of diabetes will help you feel better and prevent complications, such as heart and cardiovascular disease, cataracts or blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease. Following these tips can help:

  1. Test frequently. Checking your blood sugar often helps you identify highs and lows and what’s causing them.
  2. Get active. Engaging in physical activity helps you control blood sugar, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and promotes weight loss.
  3. Make and keep appointments. Meeting regularly with your health care team can help you stay healthy and avoid complications.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Make healthy food choices, including whole grains, beans, fish, poultry, eggs and non- or low-fat dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, and monounsaturated fats like olive or canola oil. Timing snacks and meals can keep blood sugar levels steady.
  5. Take medications as prescribed. Remembering to take your medicine is key since it helps blood sugar levels stay in a healthy range.
  6. Brush and floss daily. Maintaining good dental health is especially important because diabetes can make you more prone to gum disease.
  7. Get help. Asking for help is OK. Your health care provider can refer you to a diabetes education program, or check out the program offered by the American Diabetes Association.