This year, the National Diabetes Education Program’s theme is: Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It. This theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss and amputation. As a part of engaging in National Diabetes Month, we want to educate you on the ways you can manage your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you know the day-to-day steps needed to manage diabetes can be hard. Managing diabetes is a balancing act, but can be made easier by making a plan and setting goals. You do not have to make big lifestyle changes all at once. Set realistic goals based on what is important to you. Start with small changes, such as walking 15 minutes twice a day or replacing sugary drinks with water. These are small steps that can go a long way to help you manage your diabetes.
Keys For Success:
1. Be active.
- Work your way up to getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
2. Eat well.
- Reduce calorie intake.
- Eat a foods that are low in fat, sugar and salt.
- Get more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta.
- Choose foods such as fruits low in sugar, vegetables and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
- Drink water instead of juice and soda.
3. Keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol close to your doctor’s recommended target numbers.
4. Reduce stress as it can raise your glucose levels.
- Practice deep breathing exercises, meditate, focus on a hobby or listen to your favorite music.
- If you are feeling especially down, ask for help. Visiting a mental health counselor may be beneficial.
5. Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
To help manage diabetes and other chronic conditions, the Compass Rose Health Plan offers a Care Management Program to those who qualify.
Making good food choices, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight is not easy, but it is worth it! Taking care of yourself to manage your diabetes is the best thing you can do. Each time you visit your doctor it is important to discuss how your plan is working for you. If you are struggling, do not be scared to ask for help such as healthy meal plan recommendations or ways to be more active.
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