It's a New Year! Now's the perfect time to reflect on your past and make plans for the future. It's also the perfect time to recommit yourself to controlling your diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar, planning healthy meals, exercising, taking medications, and getting regular checkups shouldn't be just once-a-year resolutions. This year, make them a way of life.
Here's how to tackle diabetes, this year and every year:
See your doctor two to four times a year, even if you feel well.
Make sure your doctor performs a comprehensive foot exam once a year.
Be sure your doctor knows about all of the medications you're taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies.
Follow the instructions for every medication to the letter. If anything seems confusing, ask.
Follow your schedule for checking blood sugar.
Know the numbers that define your health: A1C, cholesterol, triglycerides, microalbumin, and blood pressure.
Keep moving. Regular, moderate exercise can turn your body into a sugar burning machine. Start slowly -- even a leisurely walk around the block is a step in the right direction.
Take a look at your diet. Are you getting enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains? Are you going easy on fat? If you have any doubts about your meals, see your dietitian.
Have a yearly Dilated Retinal Eye (DRE) exam. Make sure the eye specialist sends the results to your primary doctor.
See your dentist twice a year.
Get a flu shot in the fall.
Be prepared. Know the warning signs of low blood sugar and other complications. Keep glucose tablets handy.
Examine your feet for cuts or sores, or have someone check for you.
Bathe with mild soap and lukewarm water.
Brush and floss your teeth.
Live well and stay healthy!
UPMC (Univesity of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Health System. Diabetes. Treatment and management: Staying Healthy.
American Diabetes Association. Executive Summary: Standards in Medical Care in Diabetes -- 2014. . http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/37/Supplement_1/S14.full.pdf+html