At the helm of the diabetes care team is the person who has it. She/he is most aware of its effects and treatment on their respective lives. Tushima Amey Mashelkar helps you with few important guidelines to sail well through this difficult journey.
Diabetes is serious and a chronic lifelong condition. It requires healthy emotional adjustment along with several lifestyle changes like maintaining physical activity, good dietary habits and timely medications. To successfully integrate Diabetes into the routine, one needs to learn to cope with it effectively. A few simple strategies can help you to protect your health and take charge of your Diabetes.
Learn about Diabetes
There are several myths about Diabetes that can interfere with the treatment. Also, the psychological impact of the disease like feeling overwhelmed, fear and concern about the future, low confidence or several uncertainties often leave a person confused, with poor compliance to the treatment. So educate yourself and learn more about the disease to have a grip over it. Talk to your Diabetes care team and get answers to the questions that bother you the most.
Know your ABC’s
Diabetes over a period of time can have an impact on all major organs of the body, including heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) promote the control of ABCs of Diabetes as means of lowering the related complications. ABC of Diabetes stands for:
A for A 1c
The HbA1c test measures average blood glucose (both high and low blood glucose levels) over a three months’ time span and it reflects the degree of your glucose control. The ADA recommends target HbA1c be less than 7 percent.
B for Blood pressure
Diabetics are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure. The treatment goal for most people is 130/80mmHg.
C for Cholesterol
Just like blood pressure, Diabetes can also put you at a risk of high cholesterol which increases your chances of developing heart diseases. ADA recommends the following treatment goal:
LDL cholesterol: < 100 mg/dl
HDL cholesterol: Men > 40mg/dl, Women > 50mg/dl
Find out from your health care team what are your A 1c, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers?
Manage your Diabetes
Managing Diabetes requires taking very simple steps. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends many things you can do every day to ensure that your Diabetes is under good control.
Things to Do Every Day for Good Diabetes Care
- Follow a healthy eating plan that you and your dietitian have worked out.
- Be active for at least 30 minutes for most days. Consult your doctor for the activities that are best for you.
- Take your medicines as directed.
- Check your blood glucose as recommended by your doctor. Each time you check it, record your readings.
- Watch out for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, redness, or sore toenails. Remember feet are important.
- Brush and floss your teeth every day.
- Check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Don’t smoke.
Work with your diabetes care team
Diabetes care is all about team effort. Your health care team can help you set goals for annual checkups. As a guideline given by ADA and NDEP, following are some of the few things that one needs to keep an eye on:
On each medical visit:
- Measure weight and blood pressure.
- Review self-monitored glucose record with doctor.
- Review medications.
- Review self-management skills, dietary needs and physical activity.
Twice a year
- Check A1C with stable glycaemia.
- Dental Exam
- Fasting lipid profile
- Serum creatinine and urinalysis for protein and micro albumin.
- Eye exam
- Administer influenza vaccination.
Remember most of the Diabetes care is self-care! So step into the bandwagon and be your own guide.