The Diabetic gateway prints an article from D.L. Shearer.*
“When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes you may feel overwhelmed. It can be hard to remember how to best take care of yourself. You know you should always follow your doctor’s advice when you find out you’re diabetic, and these tips may help you to stay on the right track. Ask your doctor before trying any new program or advice.
1. Test your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels. Your doctor will explain when and how often to do the testing.
2. Always take your diabetes medicine exactly as prescribed.
3. Visit a dietitian who can design a meal plan that’s right for you.
4. Be careful to eat the right foods to control your blood sugar.
5. If your test shows you have low blood sugar, treat it quickly with your prescribed diabetes medication.
6. Keep accurate records (like a journal or diary) of all your blood tests, medicines you take, and your daily events. Always have your doctor look over your records.
7. Maintain a weight that is right for you. Your doctor will help you learn how much you should weigh.
8. Ask your doctor if you can exercise, then make sure to get physical activity.
9. If you haven’t been very active for awhile, be sure and inform your doctor, then start slowly.
10. Two recommended activities are walking and swimming.
11. Check your feet everyday for any sores, blisters, cuts, red spots or swelling. Tell your doctor immediately about any sores that don’t heal.
12. Don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars or a pipe. There are many ways to quit.
13. Continue to learn more about diabetes and diabetes self-care.
14. Make sure you have someone to talk to about your diabetes. Ask your family and friends for support. There are even diabetes support groups you can join.
15. You will always have questions about diabetes, but will you remember to ask your doctor about them? Write down any questions and take them with you to your appointments.
16. Get important health tests done regularly. Ask your doctor about the following tests, what they mean and how often you should take them: * Hemoglobin A1c test * Blood pressure checks *Cholesterol and other blood fat tests *Foot, eye, and kidney exams
17. Don’t forget to tell your dentist you have diabetes.
18. Set healthy goals for your life and break them into small steps to help you succeed.
19. Don’t forget – you can control your diabetes instead of letting it control you.
20. Watch out for temptation! Stay away from foods or activities that you know can make you sick.
21. Reward yourself for following your doctor’s plans and for staying in control of your blood sugar levels. Treat yourself to a new book, time with special friends or a drive in the country.”
*D.L. Shearer is a nonfiction writer. She has published articles online and in print on topics such as health, family and politics. Diabetes is common in her family.