How to Manage Your Diabetes To Keep Sugar Levels in Control
Learn How to Manage Your Diabetes To Keep Sugar Levels in Control and Avoid Complications
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That being said, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has a wonderful website with many educational tools. I used their website extensively in researching for this video. I highly recommend you visit their site.
Probably the first way to control your diabetes is to know what it is, how it affects your body and which type you have. This is knowledge. In just about any aspect of life, knowledge is the key. If you want to know what something is, you need to research it, read about, watch YouTube videos with handsome guys explaining it to you! LOL Seriously, the best tool you can have in your diabetes management tool box is knowledge.
This can be accomplished by your healthcare team. This team can consist of a doctor and his/her nurses. It may also contain a diabetes educator. Some people (especially those with Type 1) see a specialist called an endocrinologist.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask your healthcare provider what their expectations are as far as your treatment plan. Make sure you know what a medicine does and why you are taking it. Find out why you should have a diet plan that includes or limits certain foods. You can be the most important member of your healthcare team, but you have to be willing to participate.
While you can lead a normal life with diabetes, you do need to take it seriously. You don’t have a “little” diabetes. It’s not just that your “blood sugar is a little high.” Diabetes needs to be seen as what it is, a disease that needs to be treated and managed.
There are a few terms you need to understand when it comes to diabetes. Many of you know these, but I am going to assume you don’t.
Blood glucose level – This is the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood stream. The chart on your screen shows you what these numbers mean. This is a test you will perform daily on your own. It does not require a doctor or nurse. You will prick your finger with a tool called a lancet, place a drop of blood on a test strip that you have inserted into a glucometer which will measure your blood sugar. It takes some getting used to, but after a while you just do it.
A1C – The A1C is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. It is different from the blood sugar checks you do each day. This test is performed by at your health care providers office. You need to know your blood sugar levels over time. You don’t want those numbers to get too high. High levels of blood sugar can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7. It may be different for you. Ask what your goal should be.
Another test you need to know more about is blood pressure. This measures the pressure of blood against the walls of your blood vessels. This is a test we need to keep in check as one with diabetes. We have a tendency to have higher blood pressure which can lead to heart problems for us in the future. Many healthcare providers feel a good blood pressure for one with diabetes to be about 140/90.
Honestly a great way to help manage your diabetes is learning to cope with the fact that you have it. Yes, it is a serious disease, but you can live a normal life with it. Worrying about it can cause stress.
Also talk with your health care team about getting started on a diabetes meal plan immediately. Get started with the right meal plan for you. You will have a lot of adjustments to make, you will learn all about carbs, glycemic index, glycemic load and many other factors that may seem overwhelming. But you can do it.
Be active in maintaining your diabetes. By this I mean not only be active as a part of your health care team, but also be active physically. Get exercise. It is very important that you stay mobile. Find something you like and do it. Walking, yoga, dance, whatever gets you out and moving, do it.
This is not something you wanted to have to do. But now that you have diabetes, these are the things you need to do to maintain it. I couldn’t possibly tell you everything in 6 minutes. But this is a general overview. We have put together (and continue to put together) videos that may well answer your questions. I hope they do.
Get into a routine of checking blood sugar and taking your meds. Most will agree that you need to be sure to check your sugar every day at the same time. It is also important to take your meds every day at the same time.