Senior Citizen's Guide to Washington County Fall/Winter Edition - page 8

6 Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Washington County
6. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do
for your health. Smoking hurts your blood vessels and
raises your blood pressure. It also causes lung disease
and many other long-term health problems. Drinking
alcohol narrows your blood vessels, which causes your
heart to pump harder. Also, alcohol works against many
drugs prescribed for high blood sugar, so it’s best to
stop drinking. Talk with your healthcare provider about
ways to quit smoking.
7. Stay in touch with family and friends.
Ask your family members to help you make a plan for
managing your diabetes. Then talk about how you can
help them to take steps to eat healthier and be more
active. This way, you are both supporting each other in
having healthy lifestyle plans. For example, you may
talk about how to have healthier choices on the menu
when you all get together for a meal. If you live close to
one another, you may decide to walk or do other kinds
of exercise together. Knowing that you are all working
toward a common goal can bring your family closer.
Supporting each other helps everyone succeed.
8. Check your signs and know when to call
your doctor.
It can be frustrating when you have high blood sugar
levels. Stress can make this worse. Write down when
your symptoms worsen. Talk to your caregiver if you
have questions. This information can help alert you as
to when you should call your doctor and make changes
to your treatment plan if needed.
Feel free to ask your healthcare provider any
questions that you might have about your treatment
plan. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist known
as an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists are doctors who
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