5 Long-Term Goals for Diabetes Management

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes need to follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain healthy goals to manage their blood sugar levels. In the long-run, diabetes can impact various aspects of your health, which is why it is necessary that you put in place certain long-term goals for managing your diabetes. Here are some examples of long-term goals for diabetes management.

5 Long-Term Goals for Diabetes Management

Quit Smoking

Smoking should be on the list of long-term goals for everyone, not just people with diabetes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.(1,2) Smoking also makes it much harder to control the diabetes. You are also much more likely to experience diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, poor blood flow, and problems with your vision.(3,4,5)

Prevent Any Foot Problems

It is essential to look after your feet when you have diabetes. Foot problems are one of the most common problems that arise in people with diabetes.(6,7) Foot problems, if left untreated, may go on to cause some severe complications such as:

  • Sores or ulcers that don’t heal
  • Calluses
  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Loss of sensation
  • Nerve damage
  • Poor blood flow

Amputation

To avoid developing foot problems, you should make it a habit to check your feet daily for ulcers, wounds, and skin problems. You should also walk regularly to improve circulation to the feet and legs. Make a long-term goal to take care of your feet properly. It is also a good idea to get your doctor to examine your feet during each visit and to undergo a full foot examination at least once every year.(8)

Manage Your Cholesterol Levels

Your liver produces cholesterol naturally, which is needed to carry out various functions in the body. People who have diabetes tend to naturally have higher levels of bad or LDL cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol or HDL. At the same time, they also have higher triglyceride levels.

Eating a diet that is high in saturated and trans fats can help increase the body’s production of bad cholesterol. Furthermore, increased consumption of simple sugars and mismanaged blood sugar can also increase your triglyceride levels. Frequent high alcohol intake and smoking can also cause the same conditions.

If you have never had a cholesterol test done, you must ask your doctor to prescribe a lipid profile blood test. If your cholesterol levels come back as high, talk to your doctor about what types of steps you can take to lower your cholesterol levels, including taking a cholesterol-lowering medicine known as statins.

Set a long-term diabetes goal to lower your cholesterol levels by following a healthy and well-balanced diet along with regular exercise. Even if your cholesterol levels come back within a normal range, you should make it a point to have them tested at least once or twice a year.(9,10)

Take Care Of Your Eyes

Diabetes increases the risk of developing a variety of eye problems such as glaucoma, retinopathy, and cataracts. If these problems are left untreated, they may even cause vision loss. This risk goes up substantially the longer you have diabetes. According to the National Eye Institute, many types of eye-related conditions do not produce any symptoms until the vision starts getting impaired.(11)

To help decrease the risk of developing eye problems, it is necessary to have eye examinations with an ophthalmologist at least once a year.

Watch Your Weight

It is necessary to have a long-term weight management goal when you have diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight with diabetes can be more challenging than you think. This is because there are many other factors apart from diet and exercise that have an effect on your weight when you have diabetes, including your hormone levels, sleeping habits, and overall stress. Setting long-term goals to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you are overweight or obese will help you remain in good overall health and also make it easier to manage your diabetes.

Conclusion

Setting long-term diabetes goals will help you manage your condition better. However, when you are setting these goals, it is important that the goals are achievable and realistic. Otherwise, the chances of failure are high. It is also a good idea to share the goals you have set with a friend or your medical team. Communicating with your family will help you remain motivated, and you will be accountable for completing these goals.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Smoking And Diabetes. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/diabetes.html> [Accessed 23 October 2020].
  2. Haire-Joshu, D., Glasgow, R.E. and Tibbs, T.L., 1999. Smoking and diabetes. Diabetes care, 22(11), pp.1887-1898.
  3. Eliasson, B., 2003. Cigarette smoking and diabetes. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 45(5), pp.405-413.
  4. Will, J.C., Galuska, D.A., Ford, E.S., Mokdad, A. and Calle, E.E., 2001. Cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus: evidence of a positive association from a large prospective cohort study. International journal of epidemiology, 30(3), pp.540-546.
  5. Will, J.C., Galuska, D.A., Ford, E.S., Mokdad, A. and Calle, E.E., 2001. Cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus: evidence of a positive association from a large prospective cohort study. International journal of epidemiology, 30(3), pp.540-546.
  6. Stoekenbroek, R.M., Lokin, J.L., Nielen, M.M., Stroes, E.S. and Koelemay, M.J., 2017. How common are foot problems among individuals with diabetes? Diabetic foot ulcers in the Dutch population. Diabetologia, 60(7), pp.1271-1275.
  7. Ulbrecht, J.S., Cavanagh, P.R. and Caputo, G.M., 2004. Foot problems in diabetes: an overview. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 39(Supplement_2), pp.S73-S82.
  8. Shahbazian, H., Yazdanpanah, L. and Latifi, S.M., 2013. Risk assessment of patients with diabetes for foot ulcers according to risk classification consensus of International Working Group on Diabetic Foot (IWGDF). Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 29(3), p.730.
  9. Peifer, J.J. and Holman, R.T., 1955. Essential fatty acids, diabetes, and cholesterol. Archives of Biochemistry, 57, pp.520-521.
  10. Simonen, P.P., Gylling, H.K. and Miettinen, T.A., 2002. Diabetes contributes to cholesterol metabolism regardless of obesity. Diabetes care, 25(9), pp.1511-1515.
  11. Seifart, U. and Strempel, I., 1994. The dry eye and diabetes mellitus. Der Ophthalmologe: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft, 91(2), p.235.

Also Read:

Was this article helpful?

Yes No
×

Suggestions to Improve the Article

This article contains incorrect information.

This article does not have the information I am looking for.


I Have a Medical Question.

Ask A Doctor Now

If you are facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest ER or urgent care facility
×

Suggestions to Improve the Article

×

How Did This Article Help?

This Article Did Change My Life!


I Have a Medical Question.

Ask A Doctor Now

If you are facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest ER or urgent care facility
×

Thank you for your feedback.