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Staying Healthy with Diabetes

In the final segment of our Diabetes Awareness Month series, we are discussing ways that you and your loved ones can stay healthy and reduce your risk of complications from Type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


According to Diabetes Canada, important first steps in your wellness journey in diabetes care are to eat according to a healthy meal plan, increase your physical activity, and learn as much about diabetes as you can. These action steps are key to keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar on target and helping you avoid any complications from diabetes.




In an effort to reduce risks, consider the suggestions in the chart below and ensure that you speak with your doctor and healthcare team regularly to monitor and update medications and lifestyle changes.

Complication

Suggestions

Goals & Targets

Blood Sugar

Doctor may prescribe pills and/or insulin in addition to eating healthy and being physically active.

Individual targets may differ. A blood glucose monitor will help you track your blood sugar levels.

Blood Pressure

Changing your diet and exercise habits and/or taking medication will assist in keeping your blood pressure low.

Below 130/80 mm Hg

Cholesterol

Healthy eating and daily exercise routines in addition to medication may help keep your cholesterol levels under control.

LDL: below 2.0 mmol/L

Healthy Eating

Following a diabetes-friendly diet, such as the Mediterranean diet or low-glycemic index foods.

Eat according to a healthy plan, such as the Mediterranean diet, Canada's Food Guide, etc.

Physical Activity

Following an aerobic and resistance exercise routine can lead to weight management, improved mood, and reduce risks.

Aerobic Activity: at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous intensity.

Resistance Training: 2 - 3 days a week (speak to your doctor first!)

Weight

Losing weight by adopting a healthy eating habit and increasing your physical activity will help to control blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood fat levels.

Individual targets may vary. Speak to your doctor for your health range.

Eye Disease

Visit your eye care specialist regularly to check for any changes or signs of eye disease.

Yearly exam or more if needed (changes and signs are noticed)

Foot Care

Reduce your risk of infection by checking for ingrown toenails, cuts, and sores.

Yearly exam or more if required or signs are noticed.

Depression & Anxiety

Speak to your doctor or health care team for options. This may include lifestyle changes, therapy, increasing hobbies, etc.

Set personalized goals. Speak with your health care team for options.

Smoking

Speak to your healthcare professional regarding quitting options.

Stop smoking

Kidney Disease

Catching signs of kidney disease early can significantly reduce your risk of further complications. Have your urine tested regularly by your doctor to check for early signs of kidney disease.

Yearly blood/urine tests or more if required.

Nerve Damage

Tell your doctor or healthcare team if your hands or feet ever feel numb or feel the sensation of having “pins and needles”.

Regular visits to doctor.

Problems with Erection

Do not be shy about talking to your doctor or healthcare team about difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.

Speak with your healthcare team.


 

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