Updated diabetes guidelines: Highlights and tips
Diabetes and pre-diabetes affect over 100 million Americans, and unfortunately the numbers are growing. The good news is that there is much that can be done with lifestyle changes to keep these numbers in check, and to keep those with diabetes as healthy as can be.
The American Diabetes Association recently released their updated Standard of Care guidelines.
There are many risk factors for diabetes including having a family history of diabetes and being overweight.
These are risk factors:
- Having macular degeneration
- Having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Darkening of skin on the neck, armpits and buttocks
Having diabetes does put a person at risk for other health issues such as retinopathy or eye problems, and heart and kidney diseases.
There are other health risks from diabetes, especially if diabetes is not well-managed:
- Osteoporosis and other bone diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
- Hearing problems
The American Diabetes Association established other new guidelines and recommendations to be well when you have diabetes:
- Aim for pre-meal glucose readings to be between 70-130 mg/dl.
- Your diastolic (lower) blood pressure reading should be 90 mm Hg or less.
- If you are sitting for more than 90 minutes at a time, get up and move around for at least five minutes to help with blood circulation.
- If you have concerns with your vision or mental health worries or have a desire to start a family, your doctor may refer you to a specialist.
- Foot care is very important. Be sure that your feet are examined at every visit with your doc, especially if you have lack of feeling in your feet or a history of foot ulcers. And of course, do your own feet self-checks in between doctor visits.
Although diabetes can take a toll on a person’s long term health, you can stay in tip-top health by taking a few steps:
- Keep your scheduled medical appointments
- Take prescribed medications make consistently
- Good food choices
- Enjoy a daily walk or activity
- Work with your healthcare provider to set reasonable healthcare goals
Recipes to try:
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.