Today's Tip: Is it true that hypertension can affect my sexual health?

Yes, but controlling blood pressure may reduce the severity or prevent the progression of erectile dysfunction and other sexual disorders.

Yesterday's Tip: Are there any steps I should take when increasing the fiber content of my diet?

Yes — fiber works together with fluid in the digestive system, so make sure to increase your nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated fluid intake along with your fiber intake unless you already drink plenty of fluids.

Learn more about fiber.

February 2, 2023: When should I check my blood or urine for ketones?

You should test your blood or urine for ketones whenever:

  • There is an unexplained rise in your blood sugar, or you have a blood sugar level of more than 250 mg/dl (13.9 mmol/l) for two tests in a row;
  • You have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, confusion, or severe fatigue;
  • You have any symptoms of ketoacidosis such as increased thirst and urination, stomachache, or dry mouth;
  • If you have a flu, infection, or injury;
  • When you’re planning to exercise, but your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl.
  • If you are pregnant, check for ketones each morning before breakfast or whenever your glucose goes over 250 mg/dl.

Learn more about ketones.

February 1, 2023: What are some symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis?

Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and fruity-smelling breath (ketones have a fruity smell). Later, more dangerous symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, weakness and fatigue, and shortness of breath.

January 31, 2023: Is there anything I should carry with me when heading out to exercise?

Even if you’re just going for a walk or a bike ride, pop a small bottle of water, a snack, your phone, some money, and your basic diabetes supplies into a small bag.

January 30, 2023: How much exercise should I aim to do each day?

Once you get the OK to exercise from your doctor, try 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all, days of the week — even if you are not overweight.

January 29, 2023: My triglycerides are too high. What should I do?

To lower triglyceride levels, reduce your intake of refined or processed carbohydrates, such as candy, table sugar, white flour, and baked goods made with white flour.

Learn more about triglycerides.

January 28, 2023: I have cardiovascular disease. Should I be taking cholesterol-lowering medicine?

According to guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, a cholesterol-lowering statin medication is recommended in people with diabetes ages 40 to 75 years who are at elevated cardiovascular disease risk, with the aim of decreasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by at least 50% to a target of less than 70 mg/dl.

Learn more about lowering cholesterol levels.

January 27, 2023: How can you lower your chances of developing heart disease?

To reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, reduce your intake of saturated and trans fat. Saturated fat should be less than 7% of your total calories per day and trans fat should be avoided.

Learn more about coronary heart disease.

January 26, 2023: I’d like to start a weight-loss program. How should I begin?

Start with any goal you are ready to tackle. For example, if you see some areas in your meal plan that you are ready to “tune up,” focus on them first.

Learn more about weight management.

January 25, 2023: How can I lower my risk of developing osteoporosis (decreased bone mass)?

Engage in regular, weight-bearing physical activity and consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

Learn more about maintaining healthy bones.

January 24, 2023: What nutrients should I eat for healthy bones?

Adequate levels of many nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K, are necessary to build healthy bones. The most important of these are calcium and vitamin D.

Learn more about bone health.

January 23, 2023: I have a foot ulcer. What should I do?

See your doctor immediately. Treatment may include oral or intravenous antibiotics to control the infection, as well as dressings and salves with lubricating, protective, antibiotic, or cleansing properties.

Learn more about avoiding foot ulcers.

January 22, 2023: What kind of exercise will help you lose the most weight?

If you’re trying to lose weight, an exercise program that includes aerobic activity as well as some type of calisthenics or weight lifting will probably help you the most.

Learn more about weight loss.

January 21, 2023: What is one of the most important steps you can take for your eyes?

If you have diabetes, quitting smoking is arguably the single best thing you can do for your eyes (as well as your heart, lungs, kidneys, dental health, etc.).

January 20, 2023: What is one way to decrease my risk of diabetes-related vision loss?

Keeping your blood pressure at or below 115/75 mm Hg will greatly reduce the risk of losing vision to diabetes.

Learn more about managing blood pressure.

January 19, 2023: What should I be sure to do before I go home from the hospital?

Before you leave the hospital, make sure you have in writing what your medicines and doses should be when you arrive home. If some of the medicines you were taking before hospitalization are not on the list of medicines to take after, ask why. Also, ask your usual pharmacist to check your new combination of medicines for potential drug interactions or anything that you may be allergic to.

January 18, 2023: How often should I have an A1C test?

People meeting their diabetes treatment goals should have an A1C (HbA1c) test at least twice a year, and those whose therapy has changed or who are not meeting their goals should be tested four times a year.

Learn more about A1C.

January 17, 2023: What should you do if you think you’ve developed low blood glucose?

If you think your blood glucose level is low, address the problem promptly. Stop what you’re doing, check your blood glucose level with your meter, and have a snack if necessary, even if you have to stop your car or interrupt a conversation to do it. If you don’t have your meter with you or can’t use it for any reason, go ahead and treat your symptoms of hypoglycemia without checking your blood glucose level first.

Learn more about hypoglycemia.

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