November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time to talk about managing diabetes and connecting the 30 million Americans living with it.

Maintaining your health

This year, the National Institute of Diabetes partnered with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to focus on the link between cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The unfortunate reality is, adults with diabetes are almost twice as likely to suffer a fatal stroke or heart disease than those without diabetes. Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and nerves, creating serious heart issues. That’s why it’s imperative to take care of your heart health, along with your diabetes.

Here’s how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle:

1. Watch your ABC’s

In order to change your lifestyle for the better, you have to look at what you practice. The closer you follow a routine, the more it will become like second nature. Implementing good habits, like managing your ABC’s, can help majorly improve your health.

A: A1C 

A1C is a test that measures the average amount of sugar in your blood. Based on how well your blood sugar levels are controlled, an A1C test is recommended every 3-6 months.

B: Blood pressure

The American Diabetes Association recommends a blood pressure goal of less than 140/90 mmHg for adults with type two diabetes. Click here to learn how to check your blood pressure at home so you can monitor your levels frequently.

C: Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol found in blood; LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and HDL, or “good” cholesterol. LDL is bad because it clogs blood vessels, while HDL is good because it flushes LDL out of your arteries. Cutting out saturates fats and trans fats and adding omega 3-fatty acids to your diet can help keep your cholesterol levels in check.

2. Stop smoking or using tobacco products

Smoking can make your body more resistant to insulin, which leads to higher blood sugar levels. This can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening problems for your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. Avoiding tobacco in all forms is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

3. Get moving

One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to live your life through movement. The more physically active you are, the more sensitive your body is to insulin, which helps manage your diabetes. Exercise also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of nerve damage and heart disease.

For help making physical activity a routine, click here to download NHLBI’s Move More Fact Sheet.

Helping Diabetics

Sometimes, people can have what’s called a “diabetes attack” if their blood sugar is too high or too low. Someone experiencing a diabetes attack might become anxious, incoherent, or extremely fatigued. It’s important to determine which is the case—high or low blood sugar—so they can be properly treated.

Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar:

  • Hunger
  • Sweating
  • Paleness
  • Confusion, disorientation, or weakness
  • Aggression
  • Irritability

Signs and symptoms of high blood sugar levels include:

  • Hot and/or dry skin
  • Thirst
  • Frequent need to urinate 

You can help someone experiencing a diabetes attack by giving them water, seeking medical help, and helping them locate their insulin. However, you should never administer insulin for them.

If you are a loved one are experiencing symptoms of a diabetes attack, or complications due to diabetes, Oklahoma ER & Hospital is here to help. Our highly trained staff ready to assist you in the most effective and efficient way possible, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Oklahoma ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Oklahoma ER & Hospital, or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.