Part 9 in the series of 9 essential things to know if you have diabetes
This is the final part to what to know if you have diabetes.
A lot of the information has already been covered in some of the other blog posts. So what I will do is put a link to that information in case you haven't read those or listened to the video. http://www.nutritionandhealthworks.com/single-post/2017/06/08/Action-steps-to-manage-diabetes
What are some things that you can do to prevent problems from having diabetes.
And the good news is that most complications or health issues can be be prevented.
Let's talk about the steps to take.
1. You are the most important member of the team. Not your doctor, or other providers. It is all about you.
You becoming informed about how to be in charge of how you are managing your diabetes.
You asking questions about your targets - glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, A1C.
You asking for a copy of your lab results when these are done and comparing your numbers to the targets.
You becoming your best advocate and friend to take care of yourself.
You getting a support person - at least one of those - to talk with about your feelings and what is going on in your life.
You asking for help from your doctor, if you feel overwhelmed or confused with anything.
2. Things that you already know:
80 - 130 before meals
less than 180 two hours after meals
90 - 150 before bedtime
Ask your doctor what your specific targets are
Know what exams and lab tests need to be done, and how often, and what your results are and what are the targets for these tests and exams.
A1C checked every 3 to 6 months. Target is less than 7%. Ask your provider if this is your target.
Cholesterol checked 1 time each year
Total cholesterol - less 200
HDL - Men - higher than 40, Women - higher than 50
LDL - Less than 100, or if you have heart risk - less than 70
Triglycerides - less than 150
Blood pressure at every visit
Blood pressure target - < 140/90
Ask your doctor if your target for your BP should be different
If you have hypertension, consider monitoring your blood pressure at home
3. Other ways to manage your health
For Eye Health
Schedule an eye appointment.
Get a dilated eye exam once a year
Your eyes can be affected by diabetes
A couple of things can affect your eyes
High glucose levels and High blood pressure
Know what your blood pressure is and if it is not in target - talk with your doctor
Monitor your glucose
Know what your A1C is - aiming to have it < 7% or at your target
Both high glucose and high blood pressure can also cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina
Diabetic retinopathy can cause these blood vessels to leak fluid or to bleed
If untreated, can cause lead to eye damage and vision loss
Other eye issues to be aware of are cataracts and glaucoma - both of which are more common when a person has diabetes
Retinopathy and macular edema can be identified with a dilated eye exam and this is the best way to prevent problems
Other ways to help with your eye health
Choose carbohydrate foods that cause a slow rise in blood glucose levels
Brown rice, whole grain breads and crackers, whole grain pasta
Fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned versions or juices
Eat more beans and peas, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
Limit refined breads, cereals, pasta, and rice
Stay away from trans fats
Trans fat is a man-made fat
It can cause HDL's to be lower and LDL's to be higher which increases heart risk
It is found in cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, baked goods, and in fast foods
It also may increase the risk for macular degeneration, possibly increase plaque development in the small arteries in the eye
Get your omega 3 fatty acids
Eat 2 fish - rich in omega 3 fatty acids - per week
Consider fish oil supplements or chia seeds (ground is better than whole) for alternate ways to get omega 3 fatty acids
Eat leafy greens
These contain antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin
Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are spinach, kale, turnip greens, collards, broccoli, pumpkin, and corn
Some studies suggest that eating 1 egg a day can help to increase lutein and zeaxanthin which may help to decrease the risk for macular degeneration
Journal of Nutrition in 2006
Eat foods high in vitamins C, E, beta carotene and zinc
This means a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and heart healthy fats
If you smoke, consider quitting
Smoking can increase the risk for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma
What steps do you need to take to protect your eyes?
I wish you Best Health.