When it comes to diabetes, it can be managed not cured. That’s the bitter truth! So, treatment is critical to keep this disease under check. That is why you need to make a sound care plan for diabetes.
Diabetes Care Plan
You should know one thing that creating a diabetes care plan isn’t an individual effort, but it’s a combined effort of the sufferer, his health care provider and family. It’s important that you carve out a care plan that suits your needs and you stick to that plan as well.
Now let us look at the components of a diabetes care plan:
- Appointment with the Healthcare Provider
When you have diabetes, the first person you should consult is your physician. You shouldn’t let appointments with the healthcare provider go to waste. Some things that you need to do before, during and after the appointment, have been mentioned in the next few pointers:
- Before you go to the doctor, decide what you are going to do there. First of all, you need to decide what you want to know. After that, write down some important questions and queries you have for the doctor. Another important thing that you need to do is to test your blood glucose level with a glucose meter. Record the results and tell your physician about the daily fluctuations.
- Now come to ‘during the appointment’ phase. The first thing you need to do is to be an active listener. You wouldn’t want to get into any complication only because you didn’t listen actively. Give feedback, ask different questions and ask for their clarifications if you don’t understand. After that, take out the list that you wrote before the appointment and make sure you haven’t left anything. Make notes during the appointment as it will help you to remember afterwards what is said.
- After the appointment, go straight to your house. With a cool head, go through everything that has been said and discussed. You also need to make some brief pointers on what to do before the next appointment.
- Managing Your Weight
A diabetes care plan also involves keeping your weight under control. Research shows that greater body weight puts you more at risk to develop this condition. The simplest thing you can do to lower your weight is by choosing the right type diet.
- You need to choose foods having low fat content in them. You should eat vegetable oil, instead of ghee and butter.
- You also need to increase the intake of high fiber foods. These include lentil and beans; bread cereals and whole grains; other vegetables and fruits.
- Replace processed or fatty meat, such as burger and sausages, with lean meat and fish.
- Go for low fat yogurts, skimmed and semi-skimmed milk.
In case you are overweight/obese, you should definitely lose weight. However, you shouldn’t make sudden changes in your weight. The process of losing weight should be gradual, by becoming more active and reducing the caloric intake.
Now a question arises, what is a healthy weight loss for a diabetic? In general, a 5-10% loss of body mass over a period of one year is a reachable goal. If that’s your plan then you’re on the right track. However, if you’re losing too fast- which happens in some diabetics- then it’s an alarming sign. This means that your disease is progressing real fast. In a nut shell, your outlook is what defines your inner health too!
- Physical Activity
Physical activity is quite important for managing diabetes. When you get involved in physical work, the oxygen and energy consumption of whole body increases. Skeletal muscles use triglycerides and glycogen to meet the increasing energy demands during workouts. In other words, workouts have dual benefits for diabetics. First, regular exercise helps shed some weight and improves sensitivity to insulin. Second, workouts make body tissues more proficient in utilizing surplus glucose.
But, you should follow some general workout guideline to reap the benefits only with getting harmed.
- The general requirements of physical activity for adults is a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity (fast walking, cycling etc.,) per week.
- Muscle strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting, should be done at least two or more days a week. The exercises should target different muscle groups.
- Stay hydrated during workouts.
- Monitor your blood glucose before, during and after workouts.
- If you get hypoglycemia attacks too often then do eat something sweet before, during and after workouts.
- Medical Care
Diabetes worsens over time, if not properly dealt with. Making certain lifestyle changes may help control diabetes, but it isn’t the ultimate solution in the longer run. Some medicines mentioned here are just to give you an orientation that what diabetes medicines are and how they function. You MUST consult with your healthcare provider before using any medicine.
- Metformin is the top medicine recommended by healthcare providers when a person has diabetes. It reduces the amount of glucose released in the blood.
- Another popular medicine group is that of Sulphonylurea group. Drugs in this group work by promoting insulin secretion by pancreas.
- Gliptins, another diabetes drug group, function by blocking the hormonal breakdown of insulin.
- Some other medications recommended are Acarbose, Glitazones, and Nateglinide and repaglinide.
- Mange the Complications
Diabetes may trigger several serious complications including nerve damage, eye damage, liver damage, cardiovascular diseases, end-stage renal disease, neuropathy and retinopathy. If you see some or most of the following symptoms then it’s time that you see a doctor and get better medical assistance:
- Constant tingling, numbness of limbs, slow healing, burning of feet and soles, are all symptoms of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage).
- If you’re urinating than usual, with blood and high blood pressure then it means that something is wrong with your kidney (diabetic nephropathy).
- Vision may also deteriorate with blurring, halos and pain. This is when you should consult with an ophthalmologist as these might be the signs of retinopathy (eye damage).
Also, abnormal increase in blood pressure, palpitations, dizziness, excessive lethargy are all signs that your disease is getting worse and is now causing damage to several organs too.
- Infection Control
Infection control makes another important component of diabetes care plan. Weaker immunity, poor blood circulation and slow healing wounds make even common cold cumbersome for diabetics. Instead of eating pills all the times, you should improve the way of your life. Adopting a healthy and hygienic lifestyle can help cut down your problems in half.
- Gaining a Sense of Power
Diabetes leaves you powerless. That’s perfectly natural to feel down and depressed in such conditions. Due to these feelings, most diabetics are reluctant to express their true feelings. They also don’t monitor their progress and don’t participate in making decisions. Also, due to the physical deterioration, they get depressed and show sudden emotions like anger, withdrawal and apathy.
Being self-sufficient is good, but sometimes you need help too. You can involve your physician and your loved ones in your discussions and decision makings. This will give you the vigor to beat this foe!
It takes a team effort to beat diabetes. You need to make a sound plan and follow it with all zest. You may face difficulties, but never let those stray you from your path. Stray strong, stay healthy and stay safe!