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Managing Diabetes – 4 Important Steps
Managing diabetes isn’t easy, but doing what it takes to stay healthy helps reduce the potential of developing additional health problems caused by diabetes, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve disease, and blindness.
To stay on track and manage your diabetes successfully, remember these important steps:
1. Eat healthy
Staying at a healthy weight is an important part of managing diabetes. Remember to:
- Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
- Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
- Drink water instead of juice and soda.
- When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables; one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin; and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
2. Be active
Maintaining an active lifestyle that includes physical activity for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week can make a big difference:
- Start slow by taking 10-minute walks, 3 times a day.
- Twice a week, try to increase your muscle strength by using resistance bands (you can use your OTC benefit towards resistance bands), doing yoga (use your Extra Discounts to save on yoga instruction with Ompractice), gardening, or push-ups.
3. Take care of yourself
In addition to taking your diabetes medication, make sure to:
- Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your doctor if any sores do not go away.
- Brush your teeth and floss every day.
- Keep track of your blood sugar.
4. See your doctor regularly
At each visit, make sure to have a blood pressure check, foot check, and weight check. In addition, your doctor can determine how well your sugar is controlled by doing an A1C blood test at least twice a year. Someone without diabetes will generally have an A1C under 6. Your doctor will give you a goal that indicates good control of sugars, usually less than 8 or 8.5, but this may be higher for some individuals.
A CarePartners of Connecticut Care Manager can support you in managing diabetes. For more information about working with a Care Manager, call Customer Service at 1-888-341-1507 (TTY: 711).
CarePartners of Connecticut HMO and PPO members can earn a $75 prepaid Visa® reward card by completing certain routine diabetes screenings!
Plus, use your OTC benefit towards diabetes supplies such as diabetes socks, glucose tablets, and sharps containers.