What’s the Bottom Line in Diabetes?
You guessed it – it is Blood Sugar Control.
Getting good control of daily blood sugars isn’t as easy as it may seem. Blood sugars are affected by medications, dietary input, physical activity, illness, traveling, stress, and day-to-day living.
We are never 100% in control of all these activities at the same time. However, they are part of life that changes minute by minute. People with diabetes are jugglers, needing to try to keep all these aspects of their lives in balance by constantly paying some attention to each of these areas at all times.
For instance, when there is an illness in the family, additional responsibilities at work or unforeseen health issues, it affects everyone. Our time schedule, eating habits and/or choices, ability to maintain our physical activity, etc are all affected.
The disruption of your usual schedule can be difficult, or it can be challenging. We need to look at change as a means to grow as a person and feel accomplished.
Find a way around the obstacle by planning ahead or adjusting your usual schedule to accommodate the change. If we can do a little to balance all these aspects of maintaining diabetes control, we will be able to maintain at least partial control. We may find that the adjustments we make are better than our original schedule. Prepparing for meals for the week by having everything ready to add to the meal when it is time to cook can help us maintain good eating habits. Find a park on the way to an appointment and take a short walk.
A reminder of our goals in terms of diabetes:
Be encouraged to accept change and find a way around it. Be creative to find a way that works for you. Don’t lose sight of your goals as a person with diabetes to be in control.
Susan Smith, Ph.D., CDE, is a nationally Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a specialist in the field of diabetes since 1988. Since 2002 she has worked with patients individually through all of the physicians in internal medicine and family practice at Visalia Medical Clinic.
Diabetes and foot care
Jeffrey Hagen, DPM, is Board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is especially interested in running/athletic injuries, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and prevention of diabetic complications.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes damage all over the body and can lead to nerve and circulatory damage to the feet and lower legs. In fact, about 73,000 amputations were performed in the U.S. in one year alone due to uncontrolled diabetes.
Dr. Hagen works closely with VMC’s certified diabetes educator Susan Smith, Ph.D. to help patients maintain healthy control of diabetes and avoid complications of the feet. Dr. Hagen is now accepting new patients.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
- Blurred vision
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Slow-healing cuts
- Unexplained tiredness
- Rapid weight loss (Type 1 diabetes)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
If you experience more than one of these symptoms, make an appointment with your primary care provider.
Symptoms may occur rapidly with Type 1 diabetes; however, with Type 2 diabetes the onset is more insidious and may not be noticed.
How is diabetes diagnosed?Through a blood test measuring your blood glucose level. Usually these tests are repeated to confirm the diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, what should you do?
- Request a referral to a certified diabetes educator and/or a dietitian
- Obtain a prescription for a glucometer and testing supplies
- Begin to make lifestyle changes
- Begin an exercise program
- Decrease portion size
- Make healthy food choices
- Limit your intake of concentrated sweets
- Increase your fiber intake
- Test your blood sugar at varying times of