At Best Healthcare of Arizona, our compassionate team of healthcare professionals understands that living with diabetes can be an ordeal. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping our diabetic patients manage their condition in a healthy manner. From learning how to test blood glucose levels to encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise routines, our team provides patient-centered, one-on-one care to each of our patients throughout Phoenix, Arizona.
Tips to Manage Diabetes
One of the first things to realize about diabetes is that you don’t have to let it own you. Thanks to modern medicine and our skilled Phoenix, AZ, staff, you’ll be well on your way to managing your diabetes the second you make the decision to walk through our doors. One of the most common ways to manage diabetes is to closely monitor blood glucose levels. This can be easily achieved daily by checking levels with a blood glucose meter. Additionally, an A1C test can show a patient’s average blood sugar levels over a three-month span.
Keeping tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol is also important. For most patients, we recommend a blood pressure goal below 140/90 mm Hg. However, it’s always important to check with one of our trained medical professionals to find out what your specific blood pressure target should be. The same goes for cholesterol. Check with our team to find out if your cholesterol levels are within a healthy range. This is important because too much bad cholesterol, known as LDL, can build up over time, clogging blood vessels and resulting in a stroke or heart attack.
Another way to manage diabetes is to quit smoking. This is especially important for patients with diabetes because the combination of diabetes and smoking narrows blood vessels. Not only will kicking the habit prevent this, it will also decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, amputation, and more. Additionally, blood circulation may improve, as will blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Stick to a Diabetes Meal Plan
Following a specific meal plan is essential for diabetic patients because it will make it easier to manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. Typical diabetic diet staples include things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, skinless turkey or chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy items, such as cheese and milk. Individuals should also strive to drink plenty of water and should limit sugary beverages. A good rule of thumb is to avoid high-calorie foods loaded with saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugar.
Daily Exercise Is Key
Daily exercise is good for anyone, but especially for individuals with diabetes. For those new to working out, it’s important to set realistic goals. However, the goal should be to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it’s power walking, swimming, strength training, yoga, running, or any other physical activity that appeals to you. Fortunately, our team has experience helping patients kickstart a realistic, achievable workout routine. Anyone with questions or concerns about how to get started should feel comfortable scheduling an appointment to speak to one of our Phoenix healthcare professionals.
Don’t Forget Your Medicine
While exercise and diet are important components to managing diabetes, so too is medication. No matter how you’re feeling on a particular day, it’s important to always take any medication one of our doctors prescribes you. Medication, such as insulin, helps manage blood glucose levels and cholesterol, although it’s important to always let us know if one of your medications is causing you to experience any side effects.
What Glucose Levels Are Safe, and What Aren’t?
When checking glucose levels, there are important things to look out for. Depending on whether your levels become high or low, you may have certain medical issues to tend to. For example, if glucose levels drop below 70 mg/dL, you could be at risk of developing hypoglycemia, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If glucose levels get too high, you risk developing hyperglycemia. Symptoms of this include headaches, blurred vision, frequent urination, and lethargy, among other things.
If you or someone you know is struggling to manage their diabetes, give Best Healthcare of Arizona a call. Our experienced medical professionals are standing by to help you develop a comprehensive plan to keep your condition in check.