Each issue, WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. November is Diabetes Awareness month. Follow these tips to stay at your peak!
1. Say "Om"
Learn to meditate to help reduce stress and improve your blood sugar levels.
2. Step Out
Exercise helps keep your weight and blood sugar under control, and just about everyone can do a brisk daily walk.
3. Eat Right
Heart disease and blood vessel disease are common problems for many people who don’t have their diabetes under control. You're twice as likely to have heart problems and strokes as people who don’t have the condition.
Blood vessel damage or nerve damage may also cause foot problems that, in rare cases, can lead to amputations. More than half the legs and feet removed are not lost because of an injury, but as a result of this disease.
Symptoms: You might not notice warning signs until you have a heart attack or stroke. Problems with large blood vessels in your legs can cause leg cramps, changes in skin color, and less sensation.
The good news: Many studies show that controlling your diabetes can help you avoid these problems, or stop them from getting worse if you have them.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss in the U.S. in adults 20 to 74 years old. It can lead to eye problems, some of which can cause blindness if not treated:
Symptoms: Vision problems, sight loss, or pain in your eye if you have diabetes-related eye disease.
The good news: Studies show that regular eye exams and timely treatment of these kinds of problems could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in adults in the U.S., accounting for almost half of new cases.
Symptoms: You might not notice any problems with early diabetes-related kidney disease. In later stages it can make your legs and feet swell.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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