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Have you been told that you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol usually refers to high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The main goal is to lower LDL-cholesterol. Most adults need medications (such as statin) to accomplish this. Weight management, healthy eating, and regular physical activity will also help you reach this goal.

Diabetes management requires good blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control.

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Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of your blood against the blood vessel walls. The recommended target for people with diabetes is less than 130/80 mmHg. The top number is the pressure when your heart contracts and pushes blood out (systolic). The bottom number is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats (diastolic). There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure. This means that you may have high blood pressure and not know it.

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As a general rule, there is no need to avoid alcohol because you have diabetes. This article is about alcohol + diabetes.

You should not drink alcohol if you:

-          Are pregnant or trying to get pregnant

-          Are breastfeeding

-          Have a personal or family history of drinking problems

-          Are planning to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill

-          Are taking certain medications. Ask your pharmacist about your medications.

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What is blood glucose?

Blood glucose (sugar) is the amount of glucose in your blood at a given time.

Why should you check your blood glucose levels? Checking your blood glucose levels will:

-          Provide a quick measurement of your blood glucose level at a given time;

-          Determine if you have a high or low blood glucose level at a given time;

-          Show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood glucose levels; and

-          Help you and your diabetes healthcare team to make lifestyle and medication changes that will improve your blood glucose levels.

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Why is it so hard to quit?

Simply put, nicotine is among the most addictive drugs. Smoking is not a habit or a lifestyle choice. It’s an addiction that over time, changes brain chemistry. Nicotine has its effect by attaching to certain receptors in the brain, and when you become a smoker these receptors increase in number. If not regularly stimulated with nicotine, the increased receptors begin to make a person feel very unpleasant, a phenomenon known as withdrawal. Both withdrawal and the craving it causes are tied to changes in brain chemistry.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things individuals living with diabetes can do to help prevent or delay the onset of complications.

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