Diabetes is very near and dear to me. I have been a certified diabetes educator since 2000; I have had the awesome privilege of working with all different age groups and in many different capacities (started a camp for children with diabetes, obtained national certification for a hospital’s diabetes center, trained on insulin pumps/other medical devices just to name a few). More importantly, I have family and friends who have diabetes.
Below are 4 key tips I have found to be true in managing diabetes:
1. You have to truly understand what diabetes is in order to manage it.
Simply put, diabetes is too much sugar/glucose sitting in the wrong place. We have a certain amount of sugar in our blood; we also need sugar in our muscle cells where our bodies can use it for energy. With diabetes, there is more sugar in the blood than normal. Check out the resources below to learn more about diabetes.
2. For successful and long-term management, a person with diabetes should always:
a. have an exercise regimen in place
b. take all medication as prescribed (if your doctor has prescribed medication for you)
c. meal plan
3. Diabetes is a complex condition and because it is, a person with diabetes may have to be on more than one type of medication/insulin to control it.
When I first started as a diabetes educator, diabetes was thought to be a condition where one’s body did not make enough insulin. Now we understand that is not the only reason a person can have diabetes.
4. You are the team leader and must work as a team with your doctors, diabetes educator, registered dietitian, pharmacist, and other medical professionals.
Resources (click on each):
American Association of Diabetes Educators