Diabetes Self-Management: Organization is key


Diabetes is a chronic medical condition. This condition is manageable, and many people with diabetes live long, productive lives. Successfully managing a chronic health condition, though, takes time and effort. The following are some well-known tips that have proven to empower the person with diabetes.

1. Get organized. The world of diabetes is filled with medical supplies, medications, doctors’ appointments, and dietary modifications. Many persons with diabetes find these areas quite stressful, and time consuming. Organization is key to ensure that you are in control of your health condition. Create a master checklist/calendar of annual doctor appointments. Set aside a dedicated area in your home to store your diabetic supplies. This will help you see when supplies and medications are running low and prevent you from running out of them. Make an appointment with a diabetic educator or related healthcare provider and learn about diabetic nutrition. You will be able to prepare meals and snacks confidently, and ahead of time, further lowering stress levels.

2. Make sure your medication list is up to date. Take time now to write down all your medications (prescription and over the counter), allergies, and other medical information. Give a copy to a family member. This will ensure safe medical care in the event you are not able to speak for yourself.

3. Be prepared for unexpected emergencies (think weather related emergencies, and extended power outages). Create your own emergency preparedness kit, with additional medications, a first aid kit, nonperishable food items, batteries and backup medical supplies, as well as bottled water).

4. Travel is supposed to be fun. Preplanning a trip will definitely lower stress levels and allow you to enjoy your travel more so. Use a checklist for clothing, toiletries, and medical supplies (think glucose meters, medications, emergency treatment for low blood sugar). Be sure to carry on your diabetic supplies, if you are flying, so any lost luggage will not delay your medical regimen.

5. Self-care. The world of diabetes can become overwhelming at times. Be sure you take time to address personal stress levels. Seek methods to lower stress levels, including physical activity, adequate rest, and proper hydration. Be sure to find enjoyment in your daily life; by doing so, you will control your health condition instead of it controlling you.

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