Diabetes can seem to be an overwhelming disease because it impacts so many areas of your daily life. It’s important to have support from family, friends and from other people with diabetes.You don’t have to face diabetes alone.
Join a support group like this website to connect with people who truly understand, motivate, and encourage you.Learn from others who have had success with managing their diabetes.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge. You are a key player on your health care team when it comes to managing your diabetes. Whether you have just been told that you have diabetes or you’ve had the disease for years, you can develop self-management skills.
Tools For Managing Your Diabetes
Food, physical activity, stress management, medicine and monitoring blood glucose are tools that can help manage your diabetes.
Your body needs food to make glucose that is used for energy. Eating the right foods during the day will help to keep your blood glucose in control.
Remember that food makes blood glucose go up, so controlling how much, what kind and when you eat can make a difference. Here are some tips:
Eat three well-balanced meals a day.
If meals are more than 4 to 5 hours apart, eat a small healthy snack.
Eat a bedtime snack so that your body has enough energy while you sleep.
Do not skip meals or snacks. Your body will make up for the lack of glucose by asking the liver to produce extra glucose. This can make controlling your blood glucose even harder.
Ask for help if you have questions or need advice about your food choices.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.
Our Saint Weiler Hachi loves to go for a spin in the car and a walk on the Greenway in Waterford!
Both myself and my husband Brendan enjoy taking Hachi for a walk as the fresh air and exercise is good for the heart and there is plenty to see and do on the Greenway!
On the Greenway people are allowed to cycle, walk and run and you can bring your dog, as long as he/she is on a lead.
On the route there is some beautiful scenery for everyone to enjoy!
Is there any nice walkways near you?
Exercise is important for everyone. When you have diabetes, it helps to use up blood glucose. Physical activity also makes your insulin work better.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Start slowly to avoid injury.
Choose activities that you will enjoy.
Get physical activity every day.
Stress increases blood glucose and can cause problems with your blood glucose control.
Think about what causes stress for you.
Find healthy ways that help you cope with stress. Try them.
Seek help if you need it.
There are many medicines that help control blood glucose. Your health care provider will choose the best medicines for you if you need them. It is not unusual for your medicine needs to change.
Monitoring Blood Glucose
Regular testing will tell you how your food, physical activity and medicines are working. You can use a diabetes management plan for following your blood glucose testing schedule as well as for recording your medicine, food and exercise recommendations.
Positive Self-Care Behaviors That Can Help Control Your Diabetes
1. Healthy Eating
This means having foods that provide all three nutrients: protein, carbohydrate and fat in reasonable quantities to help you maintain a healthy weight.
It means eating regular meals that are low in saturated fat and excess sodium and controlling the amount and type of carbohydrate you eat at one time. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to give up all of your favorite foods or that certain foods are taboo.
In order to do this you need to know the nutrient (especially carbohydrate) content of foods, how to read labels, how to cook foods to maintain nutrient content and avoid adding extra saturated fat and sodium and learn how to choose appropriately in restaurants.
2. Being Active
This means engaging in aerobic activity, strength building and flexibility training most days of the week. Being active can help control blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss or control for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
You need to know what activities are appropriate for you to do, how often and how forcefully you need to do them and how to handle the possible side effects of exercise (hypo and hyperglycemia.)
Checking your blood glucose allows you and your health care provider to see how your blood sugars are responding to the medications and lifestyle regimen you are following and whether changes are needed.
How to monitor, how often to monitor and how to interpret the results of blood glucose checks are all things you need to know in your search for good control.
4. Taking Medication
If you have type 1 diabetes you will be taking insulin for the rest of your life (or until a cure is found!)
If you have type 2 you may initially be able to control your blood glucose levels with lifestyle or with oral medications.
The longer you have diabetes the greater the chance that your beta cells (the cells that make insulin in the pancreas) will fail and you will need to take insulin. This is part of the natural progression of the disease and is not in your direct control.
It is important to understand how the medication you are taking works, how to properly take the medication and what side effects it may have. Knowing these things will make it easier for you to determine if your medication is working properly.
5. Problem Solving
The nature of the disease- it is chronic and progressive, it is affected by everyday activities such as eating and exercise, illness and stress- mean that people with diabetes are continually solving problems.
You need to know how to respond to high and low blood sugars with appropriate changes in activity, food and medicine.
How will you handle a buffet engagement dinner or what do you do if your pump malfunctions in the middle of giving a corporate board presentation?
6. Risk Reduction
In order to take care of yourself fully it is necessary to know what preventive care is required.
Blood pressure checks, regular eye, foot, dental exams, lab tests for microalbumin, cholesterol and lipid labs –knowing what these tests measure, what the therapeutic goals are, how frequently you should get them checked will help you plan your care more effectively.
7. Healthy Coping
Because diabetes is a chronic disease that is progressive and requires so much patient involvement it affects your psychological state as well as your physical being.
Often the whole family is affected. Having the skills to maneuver awkward social situations in a positive way, to remain motivated to engage in behaviors (such as healthy eating, or physical activity) to avoid letting the disease dictate your entire life requires the development of coping skills.
The Role of the Diabetes Educator
Each of these self care behaviors are difficult to follow, but all of them all of the time can be downright overwhelming. Diabetes educators are there to help. They assist diabetics in gaining knowledge about care behaviors.
And they do so much more. They work with people to identify the diabetics goals and the obstacles to meeting these goals. Together, an educator and a diabetic find ways to improve self-management and quality of life.
I would love to hear from you on the ways that you manage your diabetes and any difficulties you may experience.Any information, feedback or questions would be most welcome it would be a good way of learning from other diabetics who have had success with managing their diabetes.
You can leave your comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.