DARKE COUNTY – There are several keys to Diabetes Self Management. These behavioral changes can be the most effective in managing diabetes.
The first key is Being Active. It is recommended that you have 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity 5 days per week or more. The activity can be split into three 10 minute sessions, if needed. Your activity should then be increased to include strength training and aerobic activity throughout the week. Also ask yourself how you can be more active throughout the day. This may include parking farther away, walking around the room during commercials, or taking one bag of groceries in the house at a time.
The second key is Self-Monitoring. You should monitor your blood glucose levels to determine if your blood glucose is within the normal range. Daily self-monitoring of blood glucose provides people with diabetes the information they need to assess how food, physical activity and medications affect their blood glucose levels. You should also monitor your blood pressure, feet, weight, and how well you are doing meeting your lifestyle goals.
The third key is Healthy Coping. Stress can raise your blood glucose levels. Learning to manage your stress will help with blood glucose control. Having diabetes can lead to diabetes burnout in which you develop an “I do not care” attitude towards your diabetes control. Understand that you do not have to be perfect in your diabetes management and setting small goals can have a big impact on your blood glucose control. Achieving realistic behavioral goals and learning to manage barriers to care can help you stay on track with your diabetes care.
The fourth key is Taking Medication. You should take your medication as prescribed by your physician, and learn how the medication works to help control blood glucose. As your diabetes progresses, you may need a change in your medications or even start on insulin. This does not mean that you have failed, but that your diabetes is progressing. The change in medication will reduce your risk of complications.
The fifth key is Problem Solving. Recognizing signs and symptoms of high and low blood glucose and how to properly treat is essential to reduce acute and long term complications. Knowing what to do when you are sick will help with diabetes control.
The sixth key is Reducing Risk. Diabetes increases an individual’s risk of developing complications including: heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease, amputations, and dental disease. Keeping your blood glucose under control and having proper screenings will help lower your risk of these complications.
The seventh key is Healthy Eating. Eating healthy does not mean that you can never eat your favorite food items again. Making healthy food choices, understanding portion sizes and learning the best times to eat are central to managing diabetes. You can learn to balance your portion sizes to improve your blood glucose. Gaining knowledge about the effect of food on blood glucose, sources of carbohydrates and fat, and appropriate meal planning can assist in making food choices.
These seven keys to diabetes control are covered in detail during group diabetes classes and individual educational sessions at Wayne HealthCare.
Group classes meet once a week for four weeks. The cost is $40 for the series of four classes. The next group classes will be held September 9, 15, 22, and 29, 2014 from 6pm to 9pm. Pre-registration for the classes is required. If you prefer, you can meet individually with the Certified Diabetes Educator.
For more information regarding the programs offered by Wayne HealthCare Diabetes Self Management Program please call 937-547-5750.