A new year gives you a fresh opportunity to consider your past diabetes care efforts. It is a perfect time to make positive lifestyle changes. Consider incorporating these top diabetes care New Year’s resolutions into your life for improved health and happiness.
Plan Medical Visits
Schedule appointments with your health care team. Visit your primary care doctor two to four times each year or as suggested. Get a flu shot in the fall at your primary care MD or at the pharmacy. Make an appointment for an annual foot exam from your podiatrist. Plan for annual appointment with an ophthalmologist that includes a dilated retinal eye exam. Visit the dentist twice a year or as suggested for a complete dental exam and cleaning to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Discuss your health care routine with your regular doctor and see if you should add other specialists to your list of routine exams.
Medication and Supplies
Make a comprehensive list of all your medications, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, and over-the-counter medications you currently take. Keep an updated list in your wallet. Share them with your doctor and pharmacist. Make sure you are taking them at the correct time and that they do not interact. Learn which times are best for checking your blood sugars. Check your inventory of diabetes testing supplies and get rid of items that might be expired. Keep a fresh supply of in date diabetic test strips on-hand so you are ready to check your blood sugar levels when needed. Maintain a journal or log of your results to share with your doctor during routine exams.
Know Your Numbers
Find out the current numbers that help define your health. This includes your A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, micro albumin and triglycerides. Your numbers should be tested regularly to see if your diabetes management plan is working and you should keep your own records to follow trends. If your results are unsatisfactory, work with your health care team to improve your diabetes care routine.
Plan meals to ensure you have a well-balanced diet. Get rid of fattening holiday foods that could be hiding in your refrigerator and pantry. Buy wholesome foods with little or no added sugar, salt and fats. Swap out white foods such as bread, pasta, and rice with whole grains. Pack your fridge with low-fat dairy products lots of green vegetables. Add berries and apples for sweetness. Choose lean meats and fish, including salmon with heart-healthy omega-3s. If you have questions about choosing the right foods, work with a dietitian or diabetes nurse educator.
Make a commitment to fit exercise and movement into each day. Join a gym, invest in home workout equipment or get a pair of sturdy well fitting sneakers for walking, jogging or hiking. Even if you have a hectic schedule, you can fit 30 minutes of exercise into your day by moving around for intervals of 10 minutes. Pool exercises are perfect for those with orthopedic problems or balance issues. If you have difficulty getting motivated, exercise with a friend or workout with a trainer.
Diabetes Care: Good Habits of Daily Living
Be aware of daily routines for optimum health. Know the symptoms of low blood sugar and have glucose tablets available at all times. Check your feet each day to look for scrapes, cuts, sores, and blisters. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Keep your feet covered with shoes or slippers for protection. Find ways to reduce stress in your life, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. Get a decent night’s sleep with seven to eight hours of sleep each day. Try to maintain a healthy weight which will help your blood sugars.
The New Year gives you the opportunity to revamp your diabetes self-management plan. Make resolutions to remind you to take good care of your health. Start slow and build on those changes!
NOTE: Consult your Doctor first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.