Feb 6, 2013

Successfully coping with diabetes

There is no question that managing diabetes takes more than just taking your medicines on time. To help you get a clear picture of your situation, get a pocket book that you can slip in your bag and is easy to carry around. Make daily notes, jot down appointments and doctor visits, and take inventory of your health. This will identify early warning signs, how you respond to treatment and further lifestyle changes you should make. Here are a number of items you need and things you should do to make living with diabetes easier.

Lifestyle changes
·         If you have not done so yet, make an appointment to see a dietician. A G.P. or Clinic Nurse can help you with a healthy, balanced, glucose-controlled diet plan.

·         Have small, regular meals. Use little or no salt. Have sugar-free snacks in the house and in the car. Never miss a meal. Check ingredients on packaged foods for hidden fats, salts and sugar. Take your glasses with you to the supermarket. Check for Low GI foods suitable for diabetics.

·         Don’t forget to measure your blood pressure when you are calm – not during periods of physical stress. 

·         Monitor your progress daily. Measure glucose levels as indicated. Weigh in the mornings after urinating.

·         Blood glucose levels can vary throughout the day so test first thing in the morning, before meals, and one or two hours after you have eaten.

·         Try to drink a bottle of water with every meal or snack. 

·         Do light exercise for at least half an hour a day. If you cannot do much go for a walk to the park or pull the weeds in the garden and potter around. Get a little sun, but not too much. Try to be active. Be on the move; not on the bed or the couch.

·         If you are currently smoking, cut it out. The best way to stop smoking is not to make a party about it, but just stop.

·         If you want to know more about your condition – and you should know more – go online and search for information on how to manage diabetes. Make a list of your questions.  Look at your pocket book notes from time to time. Keep up to date on health news and check for new information all the time.