Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Diabetes Can be Overwhelming

When you have diabetes you often hear “do this, check that, can you have that.” There seems to be a “to do” list that just will not go away. It is easy to say there are just too many changes, and you feel like you cannot make all of the changes. This results in deciding not to make any changes in your lifestyle. Remember small changes can really add up and have a big impact on your health.

Start out slowly by setting realistic goals. I usually hear individuals announce that they want to lower their blood glucose level. Excellent, but how do you plan on reaching this goal. If you change everything tomorrow, it is like trying to climb the big blocks of a pyramid to reach the top. You will get halfway up and more than likely give up. It is much easier to take the small steps to the top of the pyramid. Goal setting is similar. It is much easier to make small goals and adjust the goals as needed to help you reach your ultimate goal.

This may mean starting to exercise at least four times a week by walking, during chair exercises, or swimming for at least 10-15 minutes. You can build your exercise by adding more intensity, exercise more often, or exercise longer.

If you dislike exercise think of it as increasing activity and not the dreaded bad “E” word “exercise”. Think of ways to incorporate activity into your daily schedule. This may include: walking the dog, walking around the store before shopping, taking one bag a groceries in the house at a time, walking around the room during commercials, or playing with kids or grandkids.

Do not take my word that exercise will help to lower your blood glucose level. Do a test to determine how exercise affects your blood glucose. Check your blood glucose before you exercise and about a half hour after you finish exercising.

Education is key to help manage your diabetes. You are the driver; however, Wayne HealthCare Diabetes Education department is here to provide you with the tools you need to help manage your diabetes. Consider attending group classes or individual education to learn more about your diabetes. Even if you have had diabetes for years, education is important to help you to stay healthy.

Group classes meet once a week for four weeks. During the classes you will learn the following: 1) facts associated with diabetes, 2) the relationship between diabetes and healthy eating, 3) the value of monitoring and using the blood glucose results, 4) the importance of exercise, 5) how diabetic medications work, and 6) ways to reduce risk of complications.

The cost of each class is $10 or $40 for the series of four classes. The next group classes will be held September 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm. Pre-registration for the classes is required.

If you prefer to meet individually with the Certified Diabetes Educator, you can receive education regarding Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) and Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).

You can also attend Free Monthly Diabetes Programs at Wayne HealthCare. The program “Avoiding Mindful Eating Traps” will be discussed on September 8, 2015 from 6-7 pm.

For more information regarding the programs offered by Wayne HealthCare Diabetes Self Management Program please call 937-547-5750.

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