Diabetes

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your body has too much sugar in the blood stream. Diabetes can be a serious disease and cause other health problems for people who don’t manage it well.

How can I manage my diabetes?
Managing diabetes means keeping your blood sugar levels as normal as possible. Having a good plan can help eliminate complications and help protect your kidneys, liver, and eyes as well as help prevent poor circulation.

What can you do?
Talk with your doctor about a diabetes care plan. Some things your care plan should include are:

  • Seeing an eye doctor.
  • Having your feet looked at.
  • Sick days.
  • Getting your cholesterol checked.

Other things you can do to help manage your diabetes are:

  • Follow your provider’s instructions for taking any pills.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Maintain a health weight.
  • Follow a physical activity plan.
  • Don’t smoke. Quit if you do.

You and your doctor should discuss your diabetes care plan.

Your plan needs to take into account your schedule, how active you are, your cultural background, and other medical problems you may have. You need to be involved in creating your diabetes care plan. Otherwise it’s unlikely that the plan will fit into your life or that you will understand what you need to do. For more information and resources go to http://www.diabetes.org/.

Heart health

What is Blood Pressure?
Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body, pushing blood through your vessels by squeezing and relaxing. This process creates a force calls blood pressure.

How is Blood Pressure measured?
Two numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The first (systolic) number is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number is the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats.

What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure normally rises and falls through the day. When your bloos pressure is high, yoru heart has to work harder. When your heart works hard over a long period of time, it can lead to a number of health and heart conditions.

Risk factors for High Blood Pressure

  • Age – Risk increases as you get older.
  • Gender – Men are at greater risk than women.
  • Lack of exercise – Limits the strength of the heart muscle.
  • Sodium – Foods high in salt can restrict blood vessels, creating higher pressure.
  • Weight – Being overweight causes the heart to work harder and increases blood pressure.

What can you do to manage your blood pressure?

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking any pills
  • Manage stress
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Follow a physical activity plan.
  • Don’t smoke. Quit if you do.

 

Page Last Updated March 11, 2014