Optimal management of diabetes goes beyond just your glucose levels. Optimizing your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and lifestyle goes a long way in minimising your risk of future complications.
Blood glucose level readings can be done at home with a blood glucose meter. However, due to individual differences, do check your target blood glucose level with your doctor before you start.
How to measure blood glucose?
You can also do a glycosylated haemoglobin (HBA1c) test in every 3 to 6 months to measure your average blood sugar level over that period of time. An HbA1c of <7% without significant hypoglycemia is considered optimal for most non-pregnant adults.
However, a different personalised HbA1c target may be recommended by your doctor after considering your medical history.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). People with existing CVD or high risk of developing CVD benefit from a greater lowering to their cholesterol levels.
Your doctor will assess your risk of CVD and suggest the targets for your cholesterol levels.
Blood pressure (BP) lowering medications should be considered when BP is persistently elevated ≥130/80 mmHg, for adults with diabetes. However, your doctor may recommend an individualised target after taking into account your medical history.
Losing excess body weight and maintaining optimal weight can be challenging. Support from your family, friends, dietitian and doctor can help you in your weight loss journey. Here are some suggestions.
Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance and causes diseases of the heart and circulation, greatly increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke and foot gangrene.
It is important to have a balanced diet to keep your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels optimal.
You are encouraged to develop a food plan. Talk to a dietician or doctor.
Diabetes: Healthy Eating Guide
Regular exercise improves physical fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes and hypertension. It improves the efficiency of blood circulation and helps to take off and keep off extra weight. For people with diabetes, exercise provides additional benefits. In the short term, it can lower blood glucose levels, and in the long term, it may reduce medication requirements. Regular exercise makes the body cells more responsive to insulin, therefore avoiding swings in blood glucose.