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4 Basic Lifestyle Changes to Prevent or Manage Diabetes

Diabetes can affect anyone. But certain health habits can increase your risk, or make your diabetes harder to control.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This condition means the body cannot use insulin correctly, causing too much glucose in the blood. Too much blood sugar can damage the body and lead to other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.

Your risk for diabetes is higher if:

  •  you have family members with diabetes
  • you are overweight
  • you don’t exercise, or
  • you are over the age of 45

Certain lifestyle changes can help you better manage your diabetes, or prevent it altogether. With your doctor’s guidance, here are some changes you can make:

Eat Healthy

Maintain a healthy weight by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Avoid saturated fats found in foods such as red meat and dairy products.

Exercise

Make exercise part of your daily life. Most people should exercise 30 minutes a day. Combining cardio exercise (such as walking) and strength training (such as lifting weights) works best to control blood sugar.

Manage Your Stress

Stress affects how hormones such as insulin work. When you are under stress, your blood sugar levels can rise. This, in turn, can create more stress. Learn healthy ways to cope with stressful situations in your life, and be sure to get enough sleep.

Limit Alcohol Intake

It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you.

While these healthy habits can help you prevent or control diabetes, some people may also need medication that keeps blood glucose levels under control. This is why seeing a doctor regularly is so important.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Having health coverage will help you prevent or manage the disease by giving you regular access to the doctors, preventive care, medications, or health screenings you may need.

The Annual Election Period for Medicare ends on December 7. If you need help choosing a Medicare plan, Fidelis Care's Licensed Sales Representatives are available to meet with you in the comfort of your own home or at any of our Community Office locations. For more information, call 1-800-860-8707 or visit fideliscare.org/medicare.