The American Diabetes Association, or ADA, is an organization that helps people with diabetes, and is actively trying to find a cure for the disease. Every year, they publish a new edition of their Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. This paper outlines new diabetes research that was published that year, and makes suggestions for how to diagnose, treat, and manage diabetes (type 1, type 2 and gestational, or pregnancy, diabetes). The paper can be helpful for both people with diabetes and their healthcare providers.
This year, the ADA’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes had some big changes. You might notice most of these changes when you see your healthcare providers, but a few of the suggestions are for things you can do yourself. Here are a few smart ways to take care of diabetes, according to the best research we read this year:
- Don’t sit for more than 90 minutes at a time. Try to break up inactive time with stretching, walking in place, gardening, or any other physical activity.
- Do strength training at least twice a week, unless you can’t for health reasons. Try weight lifting, push-ups, sit-ups, yoga, or Pilates. Even lifting groceries or cleaning the house counts as strength training.
- See your healthcare providers regularly. Ask them to check your A1C, fasting blood glucose, fasting blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and blood pressure levels. If any of these levels are out of the healthy range, work closely with your providers to get them there.
- Avoid smoking. This includes e-cigarettes, which the ADA does not see as a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes, or a good way to quit.
- Check your feet regularly for cuts, scrapes, sores or ulcers. See your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you notice any. This may help you prevent a serious infection.