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Top 5 tips for managing your diabetes

1.     Stick to the routine

Once you’ve learned how to eat healthier, monitor your blood sugar levels, take medication and be active, set yourself up with routines you’re more likely to follow. Store your testing strips and meds near your glasses or contact lenses or on a bathroom shelf — wherever is easiest to remember first thing in the morning. Plan your meals and snacks ahead so you can keep blood sugar levels evened out. Schedule your daily walks, bike rides, strength training sessions or other physical activities — then join a group or pair up with exercise buddies to increase the odds you’ll commit to doing them.

2.     Stay on top of other conditions

Three-quarters of all diabetics have at least one other chronic condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, nerve problems, eye conditions, circulatory problems or kidney disease. Any of these can progress to serious levels if not kept in check, and poorly treated diabetes makes them worse. Be sure to see your primary care doctor and specialists regularly, and always share with each one any concerns you’ve been having since many of them are interrelated. And be smart about your medications: understand what each prescription is for, learn when and how to take them, and know what side effects to watch out for.

3.     Depend on friends

More and more people are living with diabetes, and they tend to do better managing the condition when they have support. Turn to friends and family members for reinforcement of the lifestyle changes you’re making, and who knows — you may end up helping them as well! You can also find support groups through organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and Defeatdiabetes.org.

4.     Use your resources

Today, patients with chronic conditions are increasingly using email or secure websites to communicate with their health care providers. Many say they find it more comfortable and convenient, and many have found it improves their overall health. You can also rely on online communities, social media and your health insurance company’s wellness resources for education and creative ideas. Check out #DSMA on Twitter, DiabetesDaily.com or Diatribe.org, to name a few. Just be sure you look at credible sources and don’t substitute online advice for your own doctor’s.

5.     Find the right apps

Today’s wide variety of apps lets you do so much more to help you manage your diabetes. You can monitor your blood sugar, track your weight, log what you eat, set exercise goals and analyze your sleep patterns. Take a look at some of Healthline’s top-rated apps, including Diabetes in Check, Glucose Buddy and Weight Loss Coach. Download and use the ones that best fit your lifestyle to keep you on track.

The information included in this communication is provided for information purposes only and it is not intended to constitute professional advice or replace consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.

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