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6 Strategies to Control Diabetes

If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still keep up with the things you love while you take care of yourself. Manage your health the right way and you'll live a rewarding, active life.

1. Get Informed

Your first step is to ask questions and learn as much as you can about:

  • Changes you can make to take care of yourself
  • Medical treatments you need

Start with your doctor. He can put you in touch with diabetes educators, dietitians, or other specialists who will get answers to the questions that concern you most.

Talk to your friends and family members who have diabetes. You could also join a support group and connect online with other people who are going through the same things you are. Knowing more helps you make choices.

2. Get the Right Care

You and your doctor will work out a treatment plan that's tailored to your needs. It could include things like:

Medicines. Whether you need medication to help treat your diabetes depends on your symptoms, complications, blood sugar levels, and other issues.

Lifestyle changes. You'll see improvements in your condition if you change your diet, lose extra weight, and get more active.

Monitor your blood sugar. Your doctor can teach you how to keep track of it and show you what to do to avoid highs and lows.

3. Track Your 'ABCs'

The disease makes you more likely to get conditions that may affect your eyes, nerves, heart, teeth, and more. This is why you want to watch your diabetes ABCs.

"A" stands for A1c. This test measures your average blood sugar over the past 2 or 3 months. Your goal is to keep your score around 7% or less without risking low blood sugar.

"B" stands for blood pressure. If you have diabetes, you're more likely to get high blood pressure, which can lead to other serious conditions. Get your numbers checked two to four times a year.

"C" stands for cholesterol. Diabetes can also put you at risk for high cholesterol, which makes heart disease and strokes more likely. Get it tested at least once every year.

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