About 8 percent of the population in Worcester County has diabetes according to state data. Taking charge of the disease is important in preventing or delaying the onset of complications. One way to do this is to monitor your blood sugar. The A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose (blood sugar) control for the past two to three months. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
The American Diabetes Association uses this analogy – In some ways, the A1C test is like a baseball player’s season batting average, it tells you about a person’s overall success. Neither a single day’s blood test results nor a single game’s batting record gives the same big picture.
While the process of achieving lower blood sugar is different for everyone, here are some common tips you can follow to get your numbers closer to where you want them to be.
Consistent eating habits
Try not to skip meals since skipping meals can increase your risk of experiencing a low blood sugar if you take certain medicines like insulin. Also, skipping meals tends to make people eat more at the next meal, which can raise blood sugar levels. If you don’t have time to eat a sit down meal, plan to have healthy foods on hand to have a ”meal on the go,” such as meal replacement shakes or bars. When your meal times and food amounts vary drastically, blood sugar levels are harder to control.
Enjoy a cup of green tea
Cut calories and carbohydrates by replacing sodas and fruit drinks with green tea. Green tea also may boost your body’s ability to fight disease with powerful antioxidants. Some studies have even suggested green tea may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to experience the benefits of an increased activity level. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a quick walk at lunch or purposefully park in the back of the parking lot. Take a 10 minute brisk walk three times a day can help prevent diabetes and lower blood sugar if you already have diabetes. Your increased activity will eventually lead to burning more energy and better sleep.
Develop a medication plan
Be consistent with taking your prescribed medications. Have an honest and open discussion with your health care team about any concerns or questions you may have regarding your medications. Ideally, you should have a clear understanding of how each of your diabetes medications works, and the potential side effects to watch out for.
For more information on checking blood sugar, visit the American Diabetes Association.
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