My 5 Pillars to Good Diabetes Control!

In almost 2 years of having diabetes i've learned there are 5 essential things needed for good diabetes control each of the “5 Pillars” I call them are designed to help you work towards successful glucose management. When you learn how to properly incorporate each pillar into you daily routine in a way that works for you, you’ll have all the right tips for good self-management.

1. Proper Nutrition Education. Doing a 60 day Juice Diet or the Latest Diet Crazy just won’t work when you need to take care of your diabetes. You need to work with a Registered Health Professional to properly educate yourself on the right things you should and shouldn’t be eating. Learn what foods help you control your diabetes and what foods poorly affect your glucose numbers. Find out what’s actually in the foods you’re eating and understand that healthy diabetic eating isn’t just about CARBS and SUGAR grams buts a whole list of things including Fiber Intake, Calories, Serving size, Protein and Fat Grams. Believe it or not, each number listed on the Nutrition Label has a different effect in your diabetes control. Don’t forget understanding what you’re really putting on your plate and how it’s affecting every aspect of your diabetes from Glucose Control to Risks for CAD and High Blood Pressure can make all the difference.

2. Exercise… It’s one of the best things for diabetes Management. It’s no secret how much diabetes experts are saying that regular exercise (Cardio, Resistance/Strength and Stretching) have major positive effects on diabetes control. Your Glucose numbers and overall health will thank you. Don’t feel like you half to run marathons to feel like you’re doing it right, start small and gradually increase over time. Find a fitness activity that you enjoy doing. Try a short walk. Walking a dog, with family or friends can make it more enjoyable. Try taking a dance class or going swimming. Even just parking the car farther away from the store and taking the stairs instead of Elevators. Every little bit helps. Just Be Active!

3. Stress Management! This one is big for me. Stress has huge correlations to diabetes Control especially your Blood Sugar numbers. I’ve noticed that when my stress is minimal my numbers are more likely to be in good range because most likely everything else is going well. When the stress takes over my numbers go up and up usually due to another pillar in the mix not being on track (mostly FOOD for me). Find healthy ways to deal with your stress instead of resorting to unhealthy food choices, Liquor or dangerous addictions. Learn what things triggers your stress and find coping mechanisms you can use to deal with these triggers. At the end of the day, we may not like doing this, but… TALKING HELPS! Find an online support group or even just letting your loved ones know what’s going on makes all the difference and can allow them to help you help yourself.

4. Self – Management! This is the most important thing in the equation. In diabetes you are the most important health provider in your care. You need to know what to do. How do you care for your feet? How do you monitor blood sugars and track carb intake? What medications and insulin are you on and when? How much do you need? What would you do if you got sick? How do you treat a Sugar Low or High? Proper Self-Management is about learning all the tools you need to care for your diabetes. Try taking a self-management program at a hospital or public health facility or have a mentor in your life that you can contact with questions or for support. Finally… Self-management also means knowing when to ask for help from a Health Care Professional. Have a support system of Health Care Experts in your network including your Family Doctor, CDE’s, RN’s, Dietitians, Endocrinologists, Podiatrists and Eye Specialists. Keep them in the know when your treatment plan changes or if you need assistance.

5. Finally Understand YOUR Body! A lot of us know when we feel a cold coming on. We just feel it, right! Well, the same can be said about a low or really high Blood Sugar. Find out how you get there; learn which symptoms you experience and how to treat it. What triggers headaches, colds/flu, symptoms of Neuropathy what works to treat it. Just because a Diabetes Organization says it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. We are all diabetics yes… but each of us is different. Our Treatments are different our meal planning is different our health is at different stages. So what works best for me and my care won’t necessarily work for yours. That’s why you need to find out what works for you. Oh and word of Advice. Make sure you know the difference between General Exhaustion/tiredness from daily activities vs. An Actual Low Blood Sugar episode. It can save your life, LITERALLY!

I hope that gives you a better understanding of my 5 Pillars to good Diabetes Control! All the best in your diabetes Care.

Views: 62

Comment by Sissy on May 13, 2014 at 10:33pm

When I was in Nurse's Training (many moon ago); as Nurses we were taught: D diet
I insulin E exercise . IF you do not: you will D I E. Plain & simple. Just sayin'...

Comment by Judith in Portland on May 13, 2014 at 11:12pm

Mmm. This is good for the 2-year mark. Bravo.

It is also true at 7 years with no meds yet. BUT at age 64 and 7 years, the pillars need to evolve to achieve the same control.

With fibromyalgia since 1996 and worsening arthritis, etc, you need to soften the edges of your pillars. They are all still essential of course, but they did not speak to me who is struggling daily to ADAPT. Some of my exercise is in a chair now. But I do think it's okay to be even more forceful about carbs. At 7 years of 25-35 carbs/day I don't miss any of the old crap. From truffles to turkey stuffing to cheesecake, I eat well at 25-35 carbs/day.....Just a thought: Suggestions and considered opinions, not definitive----especially not at 2 years. This is a lifelong battle.....Blessings...Judith in Portland

Comment by Judith in Portland on May 13, 2014 at 11:25pm

Sissy: Respectively---

I am a T2 NOT on meds yet after 7 years of tight control thru diet and exercise. Lows are NOT a problem. Highs are scary. AND I juggle it with fibromyalgia since 1996, which includes "reactive hypoglycemia" which MIMICS diabetic hypos, but isn't low (believe me, I have tested at such times). 2 years ago in the hospital for a TKR they shot me up with insulin at 69 which is no biggie for me. All I needed was a piece of string cheese because the "shakies" of fibromyalgia need protein. All they had on hand was some too-sugary peanut butter which of course spiked me to 200----my First 200 ever..... I still have PTSD symptoms from that hospital stay. Nobody cared that I knew my diabetes better than they did.....

I'm sorry. That was a too-long held in vent which has nothing to do with you. I'm facing a few scary procedures in the next month and all thoughts of being a T2 not on meds in the hospital are scary.....Blessings, sweetie. Forgive the vent!.....Judith in Portland

Comment by shoshana27 on May 14, 2014 at 5:54am

you are so right but i've lived with t1 for over 77 years eating a balanced meal
am now on pump & love it


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