Healthy living

Diabetes and good health

Ten steps to good health – what can you do?

There are 10 positive steps you can take towards managing your diabetes and staying in good health. Some apply to your lifestyle while others are important check-ups which need to be done on a regular basis.

Step 1 – Be well

Stay as physically active in as many ways and as often as you can. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. Activity can be cumulative, that is 10 minutes plus 10 minutes plus 10 minutes.

Why not join a group or a structured program such as water aerobics?

Step 2 – Eat well

Choose a variety of foods low in saturated fat and salt. High fibre foods are also recommended for example wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables.

Eat less food (energy) than you use (burn) to reduce body weight if you are overweight.

Improve your eating habits:

Step 3 – Test your blood glucose levels regularly

Blood glucose levels kept within recommended ranges will lower your risk of many diabetes complications.

Between 4–10mmol/L for type 1 diabetes and 6–10mmol/L for type 2 diabetes are the ideal target ranges. However individual goals will vary depending on your age, other individual circumstances and what your doctor or credentialed diabetes educator recommends is right for you.

Step 4 – Quit smoking

If you smoke, stop. Get help if needed. Talk to your doctor, call Quitline on 137 848 or visit Quit Now (external site)

Step 5 – Cut down on alcohol

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Step 6 – Keep track of your weight (and waist)

If you are overweight, even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference to your general health and diabetes management. Ask your doctor or diabetes health team if this applies to you.

Step 7 – Have regular check-ups

Have your doctor arrange for the recommended management and diabetes complication checks:

  • blood pressure every visit
  • blood glucose average (HbA1c) 3 to 6 monthly
  • cholesterol (lipid profile) and kidneys (microalbumin) every year.

Ask your doctor if you have had your cycle of care.

Step 8 – Look after your feet

Take care of your feet and look at them daily. Cut nails carefully (your registered podiatrist will show you how) and wear well-fitting supportive shoes. Have your feet checked by a health professional every 6 months and see a registered podiatrist every 12 months (unless otherwise recommended), for a thorough examination.

Step 9 – Get your eyes checked

Have your eyes (retina) checked by an eye specialist or trained optometrist every 1 to 2 years (unless otherwise recommended) to check the blood vessels in the back of your eyes.

Step 10…

Live well and be well.

Where to get help

This information provided by

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Diabetes WA

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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