A diagnosis of Diabetes is life changing. Diet must be carefully planned, exercise incorporated into daily life, and personal hygiene habits must now include careful care of the feet. Caring for someone with Diabetes includes knowing these details and helping the person to follow these new guidelines for health.
It is estimated that currently one in four Americans over the age of 60 is living with diabetes, the highest incidence of the disease of any age group. The senior’s age can complicate any diagnosis, so it’s best to stay up to date on the following health information:
Blood glucose is now the most important health indicator.
People with diabetes need to know the target range for blood glucose levels and check them daily. The levels will indicate whether diet, exercise and medication is keeping the diabetes under control. Checking blood glucose levels daily is the best way to fine tune diet and avoid the adverse, sometimes severe, health effects of uncontrolled Diabetes.
Diet is a powerful tool in controlling Diabetes.
Eating to control Diabetes requires eating well balanced meals full of good foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and reasonable portion sizes are the basics to a balanced diet. It doesn’t require special foods, a good-for-diabetes-diet requires healthy foods. A good rule of thumb to follow is “Eat the colors found in nature, and eat foods close to their source.” In other words, avoid processed and pre-packaged foods.
Keep blood pressure under control.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level keeps the heart and organs healthy and is the most important factor in avoiding heart attack and stroke. It requires a heart healthy diet that is low in sodium and bad fats. Check with the doctor to find out the target blood pressure range. It’s different for everyone, so this isn’t something that can be researched on the internet!
Maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
It may seem that the list is getting long now, but the diet and exercise designed to control diabetes will also control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating a healthy diet, losing weight if necessary and exercising will go a long way to keeping cholesterol at healthy levels.
If you have tried and failed, try again. Then try again and keep trying until you succeed. Smoking damages blood vessels and that is something you do not want if you suffer from diabetes.
Find Something You Love to Do
“Exercise” seems tiresome. Think of it as physical activity; finding something you like to do. Walk, swim, dance, play in the yard with grandchildren. Moving keeps your joints lubricated, your heart healthy, your muscle strength and balance well-tuned.
Diabetes can seem like a lot of work, but eating what nature produces and breathing fresh air daily are the two pillars of keeping it under control.