Improve Your Diabetes Management with Regular Testing and a Healthy Lifestyle

Diabetes may affect many areas of your body, including your heart, kidneys, eyes, and feet. When blood sugar is too high, it begins to damage the blood vessels and nerves in your body. This is why it is important to see your health care provider for testing as a reglar part of your diabetes management! These tests include:

Test How often? Goal
Blood pressure Every visit with your health care provider Below 140/90
A1c

 

At least two times a year Below 7
LDL-Cholesterol 1 time a year Below 100
Kidney Function—urine test that checks for protein 1 time a year Urine Microalbumin Test: Below 30

and/or

Urine Protein Test: Negative or 0

Dilated Eye Exam At least every other year No diabetic retinopathy
Foot Exam 1 time a year Skin without any wounds or sores

*Depending on your health and other medical conditions, your goals may be different from those listed in this table. Talk with your health care provider about which goals are right for your diabetes management..

Here are some important summer tips to help you stay safe while managing your diabetes:

Protect Your Feet:Diabetic neuropathy ) can cause numbness in your feet, so you may not feel an injury, such as sun burn, walking on a hot surface, or stepping on something sharp. Make sure to wear shoes while outdoors. Get in the habit of carefully checking your feet every time you shower.

Stay Hydrated: Drink water frequently throughout the day to help control your blood sugar and avoid dehydration in the heat. If you are sweating from heat or exercise, be sure to drink extra water and avoid sugary sodas or sports drinks. If you will not have access to water, or if you are looking for a little more flavor, brew homemade drinks and carry them in a thermos. Unsweetened iced tea and lemonade made from water, fresh squeezed lemons and mint are full of flavor and will keep you hydrated without the added sugar. Fresh fruits also contain water, but check portion sizes.

Get Moving: Become a daily exerciser and, when possible, do the same amount of exercise every day. This does not mean you have to do the same activity every day or never take a rest day, but don’t be a weekend warrior! This can cause some unpleasant blood sugar swings. Walking or other outdoor activities mid-day or later afternoon may cause heat stroke. Choose indoor activities, such as walking around the mall, or exercise outside at the coolest times of the day, like early morning. Consider water exercise, it’s easy on the joints and you’ll get your vitamin D if you are outside! Don’t forget about resistance training. These exercises help maintain or build muscle, which allows your body to use insulin more efficiently to control blood sugar. Check out The American Diabetes Association for more information.

Protect Your Testing Supplies and Insulin: Keep meters, test strips and insulin out of direct sunlight. If supplies and medications are outside at a picnic or in a locked car, be sure to pack supplies in a dark protective carrying case with a gel ice pack to prevent damage from extreme temperatures. Keep the carrying case and testing supplies dry. Humidity can affect your testing supplies and the accuracy of your blood sugar.

Any other questions? We have much more information about diabetes management on our website!

 

 

Heather Burchall, MS, RD

RMHP Contributing Blogger

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