Tips to Get Your Type 2 Diabetes Under Control
Keep It In Check continued...
"It used to spell blindness for people, but we now have laser surgery and other ways to prevent it," Campbell says.
Get your shots. "You’re more likely to be hospitalized for the flu than people who aren't diabetic," Campbell says. The flu can also cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket, which may trigger severe complications and slow healing. Ask your doctor if you should also get a pneumonia vaccine.
Don’t light up. Smoking makes it harder for insulin to do its job. It also narrows blood vessels, so less blood gets to your legs and feet. Your doctor can help you quit.
Brush up. Take good care of your teeth and gums. People with diabetes are more likely to have serious gum disease. That can cause your blood sugar to rise, which makes your diabetes harder to manage.
Get regular checkups. If you wear dentures, remove and clean them daily.
Watch Your Numbers
Along with your routine blood-sugar-level checks, there are other ways to tell how well your treatment plan is working.
A1c or hemoglobin A1c. This test will give your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. Your doctor will set an A1c range that you'll aim for. (For many people with diabetes, it's under 7%). Try to have this test at least twice a year.
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Ask your doctors what your target numbers for these are and how often you should them tested. It's important to know, since type 2 diabetes raises your risk of getting heart disease.
Blood pressure. High BP (a reading of 140/90 or higher) makes your heart work too hard. It can raise your risk of heart disease and complications from diabetes.
Have your blood pressure checked each time you visit the doctor. You might want to keep track of it at home and bring the numbers to your next doctor’s visit, too.
Microalbumin. This test checks for small amounts of protein in the urine, which is important for gauging kidney health. If your doctor spots kidney disease early, she can help you control it by keeping your A1c, blood sugar, and blood pressure in their target ranges.
You know best when you're feeling on track or off. So stay in touch with your doctor, and let them know if you need help with your sugar levels. It’s so important for you to keep you diabetes in check.