According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 40 million Americans are living with diabetes. That number includes an alarming number of Black Americans as well. If you’re one of those diagnosed with the condition, there are 5 essential areas you need to have covered every day to ensure you’re healthy.
1. Follow Your Meal Plan
A key part of managing diabetes is making sure to eat the right amount of the right foods at the right time. That might sound complicated but the right meal plan is high in fiber, whole grains, nonstarchy vegetables, and fruits.
It’s best to avoid refined carbohydrates, added sugars, unhealthy fats, high levels of salt, and processed foods. It’s also important that you eat at around the same time of the day and never skip any meals. If you use insulin, make sure to take your shot before eating.
2. Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
As someone with diabetes, it will be integral to check our blood sugar levels multiple times throughout the day. It’s a surefire way to know what’s going on in your body since your levels will change when you eat, take your medicine, or exercise.
It’s best to work with your doctor to determine the ideal times for checking your blood sugar levels, what your readings should be, and how to use your blood sugar meter effectively.
Doctors recommend writing down your readings so you can show your doctor how your levels change over time. It can also be helpful to use a diabetes app that automatically sends these readings to your doctor.
3. Take Your Medication
Depending on the type of diabetes you have and your overall health, you may need to take different medications every day. These are necessary to maintain the right blood sugar levels.
You should never skip your medication or change the dosage without your doctor’s permission. If you suspect that the medication is not as effective as it was before, talk to your doctor immediately.
When administering an insulin shot, it’s best to avoid areas that have scars or stretch marks. The outside of your upper arms or thighs as well as your waist are great places to use instead.
4. Check Your Feet
Unfortunately, diabetes can damage your nerves and make it hard for you to feel pain. This loss of sensation may affect