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6 Easy Ways to Make Your Life Better

Chances are you and your doctor have a system in place for managing your diabetes. But are you doing everything you can to live your healthiest life? Decide today to raise your care to the next level. Here are six ways you can start right now . . .

1. Map out a strategy
When you write down goals, you are more likely to achieve them. Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to develop short- and long-term goals, then put the list up in your house. Be sure to address major care areas, such as planning visits to your doctors, being mindful of your diet and exercise and learning more about your disease.

2. Consult with a team of experts
Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Aside from regular visits to your primary care doctor and/or endocrinologist, plan each year to see a foot doctor and an eye doctor.

A certified diabetes educator can answer questions and guide you toward support groups and other educational activities. Be sure to visit a dentist yearly and check in with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist as part of your plan.

3. Attack diabetes on several fronts
Commit to multiple types of treatment. Here are the three key areas to start with:

  • Diet. Meet with a nutritionist who can review your diet and challenge you to create better eating habits. Then plan to make one change at a time, such as using a standard grocery list of healthy foods each week.
  • Exercise. Increase your physical activity. With approval from your doctor, aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day five days a week. This includes walking. Start out walking five to 10 minutes. Add 10 minutes a day until you reach your goal.
  • Medicine. Most likely, your medication needs will change over time. As you get older, your pancreas may not produce enough insulin and you may need to start insulin therapy. If you are on oral medication, ask your doctor if you should add insulin to your regimen. If you already self-inject long-acting (basal) insulin once a day, is it time to bring your diabetes under better control by adding rapid-acting (bolus) insulin at mealtimes? Review your options with your doctor.

4. Faithfully monitor your blood glucose levels
Recording your glucose numbers on a chart like this one will allow you to see how food, exercise, stress and medications affect your blood sugar. This tool helps you track your blood glucose levels (before and after meals) and your medicines (note type and amount). 

5. Bring on the volunteers
Don’t be shy. Your family, friends and work buddies may be happy to help you reach your health goals. Also, make sure those close to you know the basics, such as the type and dose of medication(s) you take, and how they can help if you are experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, confusion and blurred vision.

6. Stay motivated
Avoid diabetes burnout by remembering that you don’t have to be perfect. Aim for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Staying educated about the disease process and how you can change the course of your life will help you reach your goals.


Type 1
Type 1 Basics
Causes & Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Healthcare Team

 

Type 2
Type 2 Basics
Causes & Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Healthcare Team

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What's Your Type?

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Life Better

Questions for Your Doctor
How to Ask Your Family for Support
Insulin Syringe Safety for Diabetics

 

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