Willingness to Pay More Attention to Diabetes

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, there is amazing you should worry about: blood glucose monitoring, watching your diet, which includes daily exercise and normal visits to the doctor.

Be aware of your diabetes will now make a world of positive difference to the future health of your heart, feet, kidneys, brain and eyes. Why not take a New Year’s resolution to be more aware of your diabetes?

Diabetes is a complex disease, but putting a few well-defined measures in place can put you on track for making it part of your life rather than viewing it as an unwelcome stranger who, while easy to ignore, really won’t go away. Here are some suggestions that can help you map out a plan for taking control of your diabetes:

Make a pact with yourself to check your glucose. If you’re having a hard time remembering to check, try some new tactics. For example, buy an inexpensive watch with an alarm, or use your cell phone alarm to remind you to test your blood sugar. You may also wish to carry a small notebook with you to use as a journal to record your blood sugar.

Make an entire year’s worth of doctor’s appointments now. Even if you are unsure of your schedule six months from now, having an appointment on the books will serve as a reminder to you, even if it has to be changed later. Schedule appointments with your primary caregiver, your endocrinologist, your ophthalmologist and your dentist.

Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked. Since diabetes increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, it is important to make the time to have order valtrex 500mg these checked at least once a year as part of an annual visit with your doctor.

Make losing weight a priority. An estimated 80 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. If you fit into this category, losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight will help improve your diabetes and may even lessen your need for medication to control your disease. Start your weight loss program by calculating how many pounds represent 5 to 7 percent of your body weight, and then work with your physican to find the right combination of diet changes and activity in order to lose the weight in a predetermined amount of time.

Get moving. Exercise offers wonderful benefits to anyone with Type 2 diabetes. If you don’t already exercise, fit some sort of activity into your day. Strive for at least 30 minutes a day, but if that’s too much at once, break it down into three, 10-minute sessions. That can be a 10-minute walk around the block after each meal.

Order a copy of the “Diabetes Playbook” from Penn State’s Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute. It’s a great guide for managing your disease. Diabetic people who successfully manage their disease generally have a better quality of life and suffer fewer complications throughout their entire life. It’s a great way to start the New Year!

Linda Tobin is a partner in promoting health and wellness, Penn State Employees Wellness Program at the Pennsylvania State Office of Human Resources, who is also a trustee of people focused on diabetes.

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