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Having diabetes requires that you pay close attention to your health, but don’t get overwhelmed. Many diabetics live long, healthy lives with a straightforward formula — monitoring their blood sugar and blood pressure, taking their medications, getting physical activity and eating a balanced diet. Once you and your physician have developed a plan to manage your diabetes, these tools and products can help you stay happy and well:
Keeping track of your blood sugar is essential for staying healthy and avoiding diabetes complications. Glucose monitors, also known as glucose meters, are small devices that are used to monitor your blood sugar, and are typically used with lancets and test strips.
Glucose test strips work with your glucose monitor to read blood sugar levels. Depending on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the number of strips you use daily can vary. Since glucose test strips are often the most expensive part of monitoring your blood sugar, keep their cost in mind when choosing a blood glucose monitor.
Important pieces of a diabetes blood sugar monitoring system, lancets are disposable pins used to draw blood samples for placement on the glucose test strips. You’ll need a good supply of lancets to make sure your glucose monitor works as effectively and painlessly as possible.
You’ll need at least one sharps container in your home for diabetes-related medical waste such as lancets and needles. Determine the size you need based on how many times a day you check your blood sugar and take insulin.
Every diabetic experiences blood sugar “lows” that need to be treated immediately. Flavored glucose tablets can quickly raise your blood sugar levels and boost your energy. Keep some on-hand in your purse, bag, car and desk so they’re easily accessible when you need them.
A number of prescription drugs are used to help manage diabetes and related complications. Take the pain out of keeping your prescriptions filled by using services like auto refills and free home delivery.
Certain nutrients are essential for your health as a diabetic, such as vitamin B and fiber. There are also supplements shown to be helpful in managing glucose levels and complications of diabetes. Learn more about proactive approaches to managing diabetes and your overall health in the Vitamin Guide. (Always remember to talk with your doctor before taking supplements, as different people have different nutritional needs.)
Keeping track of your blood pressure is important when managing diabetes. Blood pressure monitors allow you an easy way to read and track your blood pressure on a regular basis. Talk to your doctor about which monitors may be right for you.
Controlling your weight is a key component to controlling your diabetes. Owning an accurate, easy-to-read scale will help you keep an eye on your weight and serve as a reminder of the goals you’re trying to achieve.
One of the healthiest things you can do for your diabetes is to get regular aerobic exercise, like walking. It provides easy and flexible health benefits for diabetes. Having the right shoes will help get you up and walking farther and more often. Clip a pedometer to your waistband to keep track of your progress and set tangible goals.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications or other treatments.