If you ever wanted to know the secret of good living with diabetes, follow these five tips to help you manage your diabetes, avoid complications, and live a long, active life.
TIP 1: Get Access to Diabetes Management Services
Diabetes needs self-management to a certain extent, so ask your doctor to refer you to an app or portal where you can educate yourself or get easy access to diabetes management services.
Getting access to diabetes self-management services would include a health care team or a certified diabetes educator dedicated to you, who can teach you how to stay healthy and how to make what you learn a regular part of your life.
Your diabetes educator/coach can help you track your progress, and suggest small changes that can help you and put you in control of your condition.
These services can help you make better decisions about your diabetes, get the necessary support, and learn the skills to take care of yourself.
TIP 2: Monitor Regularly using a smart device
Ask your doctor or diabetes educator to suggest a self-monitoring smart device that can track your parameters and provide personalized nudges and insights so that you can monitor regularly. With BeatO, you just need a glucometer, sugar test strips and BeatO App.
Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important step to managing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Once you are able to see what makes your levels go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active, you can work with your health care team to make better decisions about your best diabetes care plan.
These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.
Smartphone-connected blood sugar meters allow you to save your results on an app that helps you track your levels and even informs your diabetes educator if your blood sugar level is out of range.
TIP 3: Know your diabetes ABC
Diabetes A B C
Speak to your health care team or diabetes educator about how to manage your ABC namely A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
A IS FOR THE A1C BLOOD TEST
A1C blood tests are different from the blood sugar checks you might do each day. This test is a measure of your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months.
The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7. Speak to your health care team or diabetes educator to find out your goal.
B IS FOR BLOOD PRESSURE
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels. If your blood pressure gets too high, it makes your heart work too hard. Your blood pressure goal should be below 140/90 unless your doctor helps you set a different goal.
C IS FOR CHOLESTEROL
There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol, can build up and clog your blood vessels. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels.
Speak to your health care team or diabetes educator to find out what your cholesterol numbers should be or what you should do to bring them into range.
TIP 4: Bust your stress
Diabetes can be overwhelming at times. It is essential to learn coping skills that can help you keep a positive outlook even when things seem intense. There are things you can do to cope with diabetes and manage stress. Engage in a hobby that keeps you active or spend time with your friends. Find your stress buster, which could even be as simple as listening to your favorite music.
But always ask for help if you feel down. Talk about your feelings with a mental health counselor, a support group, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns and might help you feel better.
TIP 5 Make a choice to be healthy everyday
Work with your health care team or diabetes educator/coach to make a meal plan that fits your life. Only a certified dietitian knows about diabetes and can help you create a personalized meal plan to meet your specific needs.
Keep a food record or journal to keep track of how you are doing with your meal plan and plan ahead to ensure you make the right choices even when you are traveling or eating out.
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
Set a goal to be physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week. Start slowly by taking a 10-minute walk 3 times a day.
Work to increase your muscle strength twice a week. Use stretch bands, do yoga, or do heavy gardening like digging and planting with tools.
Always keep track of your goals and progress.