have diabetes. When these conditions team up, they can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions.

Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Sometimes medication is needed, too.

7. Take a daily aspirin.

Aspirin interferes with your blood’s ability to clot. Taking a daily aspirin can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke — major concerns when you have diabetes. In fact, daily aspirin therapy is recommended for most people who have diabetes. Ask your doctor about daily aspirin therapy, including which strength of aspirin would be best.

8. Don’t smoke.

If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Talk to your doctor about ways to stop smoking or to stop using other types of tobacco.

9. If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly.

Alcohol can cause either high or low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and if you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation and always with a meal. Remember to include the calories from any alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count.

10. Take stress seriously.

If you’re stressed, it’s easy to abandon your usual diabetes care routine. The hormones your body may produce in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which only makes matters worse. To take control, set limits. Prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques. Get plenty of sleep.

Above all, stay positive. Diabetes care is within your control. If you’re willing to do your part, diabetes won’t stand in the way of an active, healthy life.


Category: Manage Diabetes

About the Author

Theresa was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes Fall 2009.

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