Did you know...there are 5 keys to living a healthy life with diabetes?

Diabetes poses big problems for Harlem. We provide the five most important steps YOU can take to improve your health

1. Work with your doctor...

  • A doctor can give you information, medication, and advice that will help you stay healthy.
  • If you don't know something or don't understand what your doctor or nurse is saying to you...ask! It's their job to help you understand this disease and learn how to stay healthy.

2. Keep track of your blood sugar...

  • It's important that you don't let your blood sugar get too high or too low. Taking insulin will keep your blood sugar from getting too high. But it can sometimes make your blood sugar get too low.
  • Use a glucometer to test your blood sugar levels and keep records of these levels in order to understand your body's patterns and needs.
  • Although using a glucometer is the very best way to learn about your blood sugar levels, there are other ways to tell if they are getting too low by just looking for certain signs from your body. Some of these signs are:
                   -  Feeling really tired
                   -  Yawning all the time
                   -  Sweating
                   -  Feeling like you're going to pass out
                   -  For more information on monitoring your blood sugar levels, click here.

3. Eat healthy foods...

  • Lots of people think that having diabetes means you can't eat anything tasty. That's not true! But it is important for you to keep track of what you eat and drink.
  • Foods that are high in carbohydrates are high in sugar, and that means you might need to take more insulin to eat them.
  • Also, keeping your weight at a healthy level is important when you have diabetes. Eating healthy foods can help you lose weight and keep it off. For more information on healthy eating, click here.

4. Exercise...

  • Exercising is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar and your weight at healthy levels.
  • Your doctor can give you advice about what amount or type of exercise is best for you.
  • Experts recommend that we all exercise for about 1 hour every day. This can seem like a lot to those of us who don't exercise much, so it's okay to start slowly and add more exercise as you go.
  • Start by making small changes: try walking a few extra blocks to the subway every day instead of jumping on the bus. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you keep making small, gradual changes, you'll see a big difference in your health!
  • For more information on exercise and healthy living, click here.

5. Keep up with your medication and insulin...

  • Since your body doesn't make enough insulin on its own, you have to take it in the form of medicine.
  • Most of the time, insulin is injected into your body through a needle or a pump. A doctor or nurse will show you how to use these things and will tell you when you need to do it throughout the day.
  • If you feel nervous or confused about anything they say, ask for help - that's what they are there for!
Did you know? is a series of health articles written by HHPC and approved by our Health Advisory Board.
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