HOW TO LOWER YOUR RISK- DIABETES
Good habits go a long way toward preventing the other health problems that diabetes can cause. Make these tips part of your regular health routine:
Keep tight control of your blood sugar. It’s the best way to avoid diabetes complications. Your levels should stay in these healthy ranges as much as possible:
• Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
• Less than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you start a meal
• Glycated hemoglobin or A1C level around 7%
Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol. If they’re too high, you’re more likely to get other health problems, like heart disease. Try to keep your BP below 140/90, and your total cholesterol at or below 200 mg/dL.
Get regular check-ups. Your doctor can check your blood, urine, and do other tests to spot any problems. These visits are especially important since many diabetes complications don’t have clear warning signs.
Don’t smoke. Lighting up harms your blood flow and raises blood pressure. If you need help to quit, your doctor can recommend treatments that might work for you.
Protect your eyes. Get a yearly eye exam. Your doctor can look for damage or diseases.
Check your feet every day. Look for any cuts, sores, scrapes, blisters, ingrown toenails, redness, or swelling. Wash and dry your feet carefully each day. Use lotion to avoid dry skin or cracked heels. Wear shoes on hot pavement or on the beach, and socks and shoes in cold weather. Test bath water before you get into avoid burns on your feet. Keep your toenails trimmed and filed straight across.
Take care of your skin. Keep it clean and dry. Use talcum powder in places where skin may rub together, like your armpits. Don’t take very hot showers or baths, or use drying soaps or bath gels. Moisturize your skin with body and hand lotion. Stay warm in cold winter months. Use a humidifier in your bedroom if it feels too dry.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD