Learning about the disease and actively participating in the treatment is important, since complications are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels. The goal of treatment is an HbA1C level of 6.5%, but should not be lower than that, and may be set higher. Attention is also paid to other health problems that may accelerate the negative effects of diabetes. These include smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood pressure, and lack of regular exercise. Specialized footwear is widely used to reduce the risk of ulceration, or re-ulceration, in at-risk diabetic feet. Evidence for the efficacy of this remains equivocal, however.
The Caerphilly Heart Disease Study followed 2,375 male subjects over 20 years and suggested the daily intake of a pint (~568 ml) of milk or equivalent dairy products more than halved the risk of metabolic syndrome. Some subsequent studies support the authors' findings, while others dispute them. A systematic review of four randomized controlled trials found that a paleolithic nutritional pattern improved three of five measurable components of the metabolic syndrome in participants with at least one of the components.
Emerging data suggest an important correlation between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke.  Each of the components of metabolic syndrome has been associated with elevated stroke risk, and evidence demonstrates a relationship between the collective metabolic syndrome and risk of ischemic stroke.  Metabolic syndrome may also be linked to neuropathy beyond hyperglycemic mechanisms through inflammatory mediators.