November is National Diabetes Month, a perfect time to remember that if you have diabetes, what you do every day has a big impact on your health and quality of life. Good blood sugar control can help prevent or delay complications, and early detection and treatment of complications can keep them from getting worse.

To help take charge of your diabetes, take these actions every day:

•  Follow a healthy eating plan by eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt.
•  Get physically active – 10 to 20 minutes a day is better than an hour once a week.
•  Take diabetes medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
•  Check your blood sugar regularly to understand and track how food, activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.

And make sure you know your diabetes ABCs. By managing your ABCs, you can help lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications:

A – the AIC test, which measures average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months

B blood pressure, the force of blood flow inside blood vessels

C cholesterol, a group of blood fats that affect the risk of heart attack or stroke

S– stop smoking or don’t start

Living with diabetes is challenging, but taking good care of yourself makes a big difference in feeling your best and being your healthiest now and in the future.

For more information:

•  Take Charge of Your Diabetes (PDF)

•  Caring for Yourself with Diabetes

•  Healthy Eating and Great Recipes

•  Prevent Complications