The day you find out you have diabetes is one of those days in your life you never forget. That is because the diagnosis changes everything.
All of a sudden, you have to deal every day with monitoring your blood sugar, watching what you eat, and taking just enough medication. “What is carb counting, exactly,” you ask, “and how does it work?” And that is not even considering the long-term effects of the disease.
To deal with these new variables in your life, you need a diabetes care plan. We have collected eight tips to get you started on creating yours. Read on to begin the process for yourself.
8 Suggestions to Start Your Diabetes Care Plan
Diabetes affects nearly all aspects of daily life, and our suggestions reflect the disease’s wide reach. From taking medication to dealing with the indirect effects of diabetes, we have got you covered. See for yourself.
1. Develop a Close Relationship with Your Endocrinologist
You should see your endocrinologist at least every three months. This is a doctor you will be working with closely. You should choose a doctor you trust and share all of your concerns and struggles with them.
2. Create an Emergency Plan for Low Blood Sugars
While neither high nor low blood sugars are fun, it is lows that are most acutely dangerous. You need a plan to combat them when they inevitably occur.
Carry some form of fast-acting carbohydrate around with you, like apple juice, non-diet soda, or candy. You should also have a glucagon kit and train the people who live with you how to use it.
3. Take Care of Your Feet
Diabetic neuropathy is just one of many neurological disorders to which diabetics are vulnerable. If you manage your diabetes poorly, you can lose sensation in your extremities, including your feet and toes.
To nip foot problems in the bud, see a podiatrist once a year.
4. Work with a Nutritionist
Changing your diet is hard to do alone, but small changes to your diet can make your insulin or other diabetes medication much more effective. See a nutritionist to learn about the particular dietary needs of someone with diabetes.
5. Find a Glucometer You Like Using
You are going to be pricking your finger a lot, but you also have a lot of options. From tiny travel meters to fully equipped tech gadgets, we recommend finding something that makes you feel engaged with your diabetes management.
6. Know Your Numbers
It is easy to want to close your eyes and stay ignorant, but you will get better at management if you know your hemoglobin A1c every three months and your blood sugars daily. If you need help facing these numbers, talk to your endocrinologist to come up with a plan for dealing with them.
7. Stick to a Schedule
Unless you are using an insulin pump, you will likely need a strict schedule for your medications, whether they are pills or shots. This also means regular meal times.
8. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise can create low blood sugars, so be careful to monitor yourself. But if you start an exercise routine now, you will get tighter control of your blood sugars over the long haul. Even gentle exercise like walking can be extremely beneficial.
You Are Your Own Diabetes Manager
These are the fundamental building blocks of a diabetes care plan. We hope reading through them has given you a sense of the importance of creating a plan and sticking to it. It may seem daunting, but if you attack these items one by one, you will find yourself in much better control of your disease.
For more information on how to deal with diabetes, check out our diabetes management services.