How to Manage Diabetes
Simply being Aware is the Starting Point
Learning how to manage diabetes may seem a daunting task at first. Most of the burden of managing diabetes lies on the shoulders of the diabetic. There are no magic pills, shots or treatments that will control diabetes without some additional actions on the diabetic’s part. Managing diabetes takes a combination of many things including, but not limited to, taking any medications as prescribed, adherence to a diabetic diet, exercise, monitoring blood sugar level, etc… All these things and more are the responsibility of the diabetic. Creating a team of professionals to monitor and turn to for known diabetes complications is also the responsibility of the diabetic. No doubt, if you want to know how to manage diabetes properly, it requires some patient education; a little group support doesn’t hurt either—particularly if you have just been recently diagnosed…
Learn to Control Your Diabetes
Patient education cannot be stressed enough. It is essential to understand that while diabetes cannot be cured, it can be controlled. Much of the management is the sole responsibility of the diabetic and in order to learn how to manage diabetes correctly you will have to learn some things such as the basics about diabetes, how to monitor your blood sugar level, warning signs to look out for, the proper steps to take to maintain or regain the proper sugar level, etc…
The learning curve may seem overwhelming to anyone who has just been diagnosed as new terms and subjects such as changes in their lifestyle are discussed, but the education is necessary. Let’s face it: people aren’t born knowing how to do things like create a diabetic diet or use a glucose meter; nor are people born with the knowledge of what signs are indicative of diabetic complications. These subjects and more are all things that a diabetic needs to learn in order to be able to manage their diabetes.
There are many sources for learning about diabetes these days, but undoubtedly your doctor will be providing you with the initial education you need to manage your diabetes. Take whatever patient handouts they offer and read them carefully. Read any handouts that come with prescriptions or the instruction booklets that come with a meter kit. Often a testing kit will have additional information enclosed in the package that may have some tips for you to learn. Your doctor may also suggest other resources in your area such as support groups or classes taught by dieticians or other professionals.
Setup and Keep up Medical Care with a Professional Team
No matter which type of diabetes you have, you will more than likely need to seek the advice of specialists besides your family doctor at some point. Since many complications can arise with diabetes it’s important to keep up all areas of your health. Make sure you inform all your medical care providers that you have diabetes and keep them informed of any changes to diabetic medications.
Additionally, since there are common risks among diabetics, it’s important to start with certain types of specialists as early as possible. Even if that specialist gives you a good bill of health in their area of expertise, you will have established a relationship with them, they will have seen how things are for you normally, and they have become of part of your team to count on if you need their help in the future.
Take Your Medications
Not all diabetics are required to take insulin or specific diabetic drugs to manage diabetes. However, it is not uncommon for diabetics to have other medical conditions that do require prescription treatment. Maintaining a medication schedule, sticking with prescribed dosages and other instructions such as “taking with food” or “do not use alcohol when on this medication” are all a part of how to manage diabetes. Be sure to keep each of your medical providers informed of any changes in medications.
Stick to Your Diet
Following a diabetic diet is paramount to managing diabetes. It is part of the treatment plan and in fact is the main way that people with Type 2 diabetes are able to maintain the proper sugar levels. However, a diabetic diet is equally as important to people with Type 1 or Gestational diabetes. Remember, maintaining the proper diet is not just eating the proper kinds and amounts of foods—it is a scheduled meal plan that keeps the metabolism balanced throughout the day.
As part of your diet, keep the proper types of snacks with you at all times in case your glucose level falls below normal. You can purchase sugar tablets that come in compact sized containers for easy travel. They will fit right inside a pocket or a purse.
Exercise is the fastest way to lower blood sugar if it is rising too high. Exercise has many benefits for your overall heath. Exercise helps your body use insulin better, lowers your body weight, lowers the amount of fat levels in your blood, and even reduces stress. It is an important part of managing diabetes. Be sure to consult a professional on the correct types and amount of exercise for your diabetes you need.
Monitor Your Glucose Level like it is a Prized Possession
There are several styles of testing kits and meters that allow a person to measure their exact blood glucose level. Every diabetic benefits from daily testing and keeping a record of the results. The record can help your health care providers and you determine if your current treatment plan is working or not.
The body sends out recognizable warning signs if one’s blood glucose level is too high or too low. Since a person is not always in a position to use a diabetes testing kit, knowing the indicators of sugar levels being off kilter are very important. Every diabetic should have an understanding of the signs of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. It is also important to know the exact steps to take to counteract either condition. Furthermore, it is important to have anything you may need to help in a handy spot. For instance, if you become hyperglycemic you may need to check your urine for ketones and this requires the use of a special testing kit or if you become hypoglycemic you may need to grab a quick snack or sugar tablet.
If you want to know how to manage diabetes you will have to learn some of the basics about this disease, how to monitor your blood sugar level, warning signs to look out for and the proper steps to take to maintain or regain the proper blood glucose level. In order to manage diabetes, you need to understand the methods that will help keep it under control. For many people, this requires making some changes to their lifestyle—particularly eating habits. However, when you learn how to manage diabetes effectively it will greatly improve your quality of life. The burden of responsibility for managing diabetes in on the diabetic; the more effort put into the treatment plan, the better the results will be.