Living with Diabetes? Here’s a List of New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Health and Well-being
Our list of New Year’s Resolutions for diabetics may seem like a no-brainer – and is probably the same “old thing” you hear every day. But the truth is, these small things are often neglected – and yet, they are the most critical things you can do to improve your overall health when you have diabetes.
Following these resolutions when it comes to caring for your diabetes may seem simple – they’re the things we know we should do every day, but often don’t. Make a commitment to improving your health, and you’ll find that your diabetes will be easier to manage and many of your symptoms will probably alleviate.
Care About Your Diabetes
If you have diabetes, the most important resolution you can make is to take care of yourself by monitoring your blood sugar level, each and every day, even if you have no symptoms. Know what your target glucose levels are and perform your tests on a regular basis. Modern tests are so quick, simple and unobtrusive, there’s no excuse to skip them.
Your healthcare provider should have educated you about other diabetes-related health concerns, too. Chances are you’ll also need to routinely monitor your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, kidneys, eyes and feet. If you notice common diabetic symptoms such as fatigue, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, urination or hunger, agitation, blurred vision, frequent infections or have wounds that are slow to heal – call your physician immediately.
As a diabetic, part of monitoring your health includes attending regular checkups with your physician. If you take insulin for diabetes, it’s critical that you visit your doctor at least every three months. Otherwise, be sure to see your physician a minimum of every six months.
Take Your Diabetes-Related Medications
In addition to insulin, a diabetic person may need other medications, such as those necessary to control or regulate cholesterol or blood pressure. It’s important that you take all of your medications, as prescribed. Missing just one dose can cause problems…
And even if you are following a nutritious diet, take a vitamin recommended for diabetics.
Even if you find the medications to be expensive, or have transportation difficulties, there are plenty of solutions, such as online diabetic pharmacies and diabetic supply delivery services that should enable you to keep a supply of medicine on hand.
Modify Your Diet to Accommodate Your Diabetes
It’s especially important for diabetics to follow a consistent, well–balanced diet that’s low in fat, concentrated sugars, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and white rice) and salt. Instead, add high fiber foods, such as oats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These will not only lower your cholesterol, but also stabilize your blood sugar level.
When you’re diabetic, it’s also important to limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. Instead, include proteins such as lean meats, seafood, low-fat dairy and plenty of water to your diet. Also, be sure to slow down when you eat. Your body will be able to better process the food – and you’ll have time to actually enjoy what you eat.
According to new studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, following a Mediterranean style diet (high fiber / low fat) is one of the best choices you can make in regards to your health – especially for a diabetic.
Of course, the best thing you can do is consult with a dietician or nutritionist that works specifically with diabetic patients.
Control Your Weight and Diabetes Symptoms with Exercise
There is a direct correlation between obesity – especially the dreaded belly fat – insulin levels, and diabetes… as well as many other diseases. That’s why it’s so important to stay active and maintain a normal body weight, whether or not you have been diagnosed as diabetic.
If you’re diabetic, however, it’s even more important that you exercise. Ask yourself:
- Would I be considered “active” by an average person?
- Do I dedicate at least 20 to 30 minutes per day to some type of physical activity that gets my heart pumping and my blood flowing?
- Am I within my normal, recommended weight range?
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, discuss modifying your exercise routine with your physician. As you increase your activity level and get closer to your ideal weight, you’ll discover your diabetes symptoms will become less problematic. Even better, you’ll feel and look healthier.
Educate Yourself About Diabetes on an Ongoing Basis
Sure, you probably read some brochures or online articles when you were diagnosed with diabetes. Maybe you even discuss progressive treatments with your doctor. But is it enough?
In the last three months, studies have determined things such as: Getting enough sleep (7 to 8 hours per night) can reduce the risk of diabetes – and that a smoker with a 20+ cigarette per day habit increases his or her risk of diabetes by almost half. In addition, medications are always being reviewed. Sometimes new diabetes drugs are approved – or drugs that will treat a related problem, such as high cholesterol. Other times, new risks are revealed in articles and news.
It’s important that you continue to research and educate yourself about diabetes, including what is in the news and what new research reveals in terms of treatments, etc.
One easy way to monitor diabetic-related news and articles online is to set up a Google Alert. Just type “diabetes” in the box, then enter your preferences and email address. You’ll receive the latest diabetes updates in your email box.
Simple Diabetes Resolutions for the New Year Can Make a Difference in Your Overall Health
Of course, adopting these resolutions won’t cure you of diabetes – but it will offer relief from some of the symptoms. In addition, following these recommendations, with approval from and including any additional recommendations from your physician, should reduce the risk of diabetes-related health complications, help prolong your life – and improve your overall health.
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