Diabetes is a serious condition where patients have to follow their treatment plan to manage their symptoms thoroughly. Patients need to have a round-the-clock commitment when dealing with this condition. With proper diabetes care, patients can reduce their risk for severe and even life-threatening complications.
On this page, we discuss the things you should remember when dealing with diabetes. Together with your diabetes care team, your dietitian, your primary care provider, and your diabetes specialist, you can make your life better and manageable again.
Take Medicines as Prescribed
Medications are prescribed for those with severe diabetes conditions. It’s also prescribed to individuals who want to alleviate their symptoms. So, depending on your condition, the medicine prescribed may differ. For example, the most common medication is insulin, and it’s usually given to patients with type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, patients who are Taking Trulicity and Metformin together usually have type 2 diabetes.
The difference between the two is simple: in type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make insulin. Thus, people with type 1 diabetes manually inject insulin into their body. On the other hand, with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes less insulin, and the body is resistant to insulin. So, the medicine prescribed to them improves their glycemic control, among other things.
If you have diabetes, you must stay active. If you aren’t, take this as a sign to start moving. You don’t have to sign up in a gym. You can walk, ride a bike, exercise at home, etc. A good 30 minutes of activity every day that can make you sweat and breathe a little more is essential to maintaining an active lifestyle, controlling your diabetes, and bringing down your blood sugar. Staying active can also lower the chances of getting heart disease.
Did you know that your blood sugar levels also go up when you’re stressed? Also, whenever you’re anxious or stressed, you may not be able to manage your diabetes too well. You may forget to eat right, exercise, or even take your imagination. Usually, when a person is stressed, they would find ways to relieve their stress rather than take care of themselves.
So, to manage your diabetes properly, you should find helpful ways to manage your stress. You can do this by doing yoga, hobbies that relax you, and practicing proper breathing. You should also get plenty of sleep and try to stay positive.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol causes different levels of blood sugar, depending on the amount of alcohol you take and what you eat. And since diabetes patients have to keep their blood sugar at a maintained level, you should observe how you consume alcohol.
When drinking, only do it in moderation. It means that you shouldn’t have more than one drink a day if you’re a woman and two drinks a day if you’re a man. Furthermore, you should always drink with a snack or a meal to maintain your blood sugar. This is especially important for those who take insulin. Lastly, you should include the number of calories from the alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count.
Schedule Regular Checkups
In a year, schedule two to four checkups, depending on what your physician recommends. In addition to this, you should also schedule yearly physical and routine eye exams. Diabetes can create complications in different parts of the body, and getting yearly checkups helps find the problem early.
You’ll observe that during your physical, the healthcare provider may ask about your nutrition and activity level and find any diabetes-related complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and other medical problems. They would also examine your feet to see if any issues require treatment. A routine eye checkup would check for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal damage, etc.
Keep Your Vaccines Up to Date
Diabetes can increase your risk of getting certain illnesses. So, be sure to get routine vaccines to prevent them. Ask your healthcare provider about the following vaccines:
- Flu vaccine: This yearly vaccine enables you to stay healthy during flu season and prevent serious complications from the flu.
- Pneumonia vaccine: Some vaccines only require one shot. So, if you’re 65 years old or older and you have diabetes complications, then you may need a booster shot to protect yourself.
- Hepatitis B vaccine: This is recommended for individuals who have diabetes but haven’t received the previous vaccine and are younger than 60. If you’re older than 60 years old and have never gotten the hepatitis B vaccine, then you may need to consult with your healthcare provider first to know what’s right for you.
- Other vaccines: Get your tetanus shot, which is usually given every 10 years to stay protected. There are also other vaccines that your physician may recommend.
Diabetes care is within your control. If you’re willing to do your part, then diabetes won’t stand in the way of you going on in your everyday life. It may be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle with this condition as the years pass, but remember that you are doing this for yourself to become better.