Those who live with diabetes know that with good management of the condition, day-to-day life becomes much easier. In this post, we’ll explore the best ways to self-manage diabetes and where to get help should you want additional support or need to consult with a medical professional.
Tips for Diabetes Self-Management
There are many ways you can manage your diabetes with lifestyle modifications and additional resources. Here are the main components to successful diabetes self-management.
One of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy with diabetes is to fill your body with good, nutritious meals. When you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar at normal levels is vital so you’ll want to work with a dietitian or diabetes educator to develop a plan that addresses both the types of foods you should eat and a schedule for when to consume them. An experienced professional will be able to advise you on reading labels at the grocery store, making the best choices when eating out, counting carbohydrates and what portion sizes to aim for to maintain a healthy weight.
Physical activity is paramount to good health, especially when managing weight as a way to control diabetes. It’s recommended that you build at least 30 minutes of physical activity into each day, whether it be walking, swimming, dancing or another cardio exercise. Talk with your doctor about the right types of activities for you and build a plan together that’s both enjoyable and feasible for your schedule.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
In addition to eating well, it’s often necessary to check your blood glucose levels and ensure you’re in a safe zone. Depending on the type of diabetes you have, you may need to check your blood sugar when you first wake, before a meal, two hours after a meal and right before you go to bed. In some cases, more frequent checks will be necessary. If your blood sugar level is not optimal you can do things such as drinking fruit juice, drinking regular soda, eating hard candy or taking glucose tablets. You may also need to administer medication to stay within ideal levels. Your doctor will be able to guide you through your best options and dosage amounts.
Preparation for Unexpected Life Events
When natural disasters occur, diabetic patients can be among the most vulnerable if not adequately prepared. Diabetics should plan for insulin storage, blood glucose meter protection from elements, and have an established checklist of items in case of emergency.
Untreated mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and stress can intensify the effects of diabetes, so it’s important to address those issues as you would any physical ailments. Diabetes distress is also a real issue that can cause you to abandon your self-care and develop dangerous habits for your health. Skipping doctor appointments, neglecting to check your blood sugar and letting your weight get out of control are all results of diabetes distress. If you’re feeling discontented or overwhelmed by your condition, seek help so your situation doesn’t worsen.
Western Washington Medical Group Diabetes Classes
Sometimes it’s helpful to have the support of community members who are experiencing the same things that you are, medically. Western Washington Medical Group provides Type 2 Diabetes Education through our Silver Lake location.
The courses are designed for anyone who has diabetes, whether it’s a brand new diagnoses or you’ve been living with the condition for years. Regardless of your experience with diabetes, you’ll gain skills and strategies to help you best manage it in a supportive, open environment shared by those going through a similar journey.
To see the current schedule and/or register for classes, visit this page.
If you’re not interested in signing up for a class, or simply need assistance from a provider to manage your diabetes, schedule an appointment with the Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center. With offices in Bothell, Everett, Marysville, Snohomish and Arlington, plus Telehealth options that can serve you from virtually anywhere, the team is ready to meet you.
If you have more general inquiries for Western Washington Medical Group, complete the form on this page.