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Managing Diabetes One Day at a Time: 4 Ways to Stay Healthy
06/25/2020

If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, it’s understandable that you may be spending more than the usual amount of time at home and limiting close contact with others right now. It also makes sense that this change in your daily activities can make it harder to control your diabetes. If you are having difficulty controlling your blood sugar — and even when you’re managing it well — you need to see your physician for regular health checkups. We’re ready when you’re ready: You can count on AdventHealth for world-class care that’s focused on protecting your health and safety. 

Don’t Delay Important Appointments

Regular checkups and labs are an important part of living well with diabetes. Routine health care can help find and treat any health problems early or, better yet, prevent them.

A1C test: Also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1C test, this measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. The results can help you and your physician make decisions about your medicines, your diet and other care measures. 

If you’re meeting your treatment and blood sugar goals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you have your A1C level measured every six months. If your treatment has changed or if you’re having trouble meeting your blood sugar goals, your physician may want you to have it measured every three months. 

Physician visits: If you’re meeting your treatment and blood sugar goals, visit your personal physician at least every six months. Otherwise, schedule time for a visit every three months. 

These appointments are a great time to bring up any concerns or questions you may have. Don’t be embarrassed to mention challenges you may be facing with your eating or exercise plan – or anything else, such as concerns about what medications you should be taking, and when. And be sure to ask your physician to check your feet if you’ve noticed sores, blisters or changes in your toenails or foot skin. 

Your physician will:

  • Check your weight
  • Discuss your self-care plan
  • Review your medicines
  • Take your blood pressure

Sustain Your Self-Care Routine

You are the most important member of your diabetes care team. So be sure to keep up your regular self-care even if your other routines are disrupted:

  • Check blood sugar as directed by your personal physician, and keep a record to share with your health care team 
  • Check your feet daily for cuts, swelling, sores or blisters
  • Eat a healthy diet that keeps your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in your target range
  • Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking or riding a bike
  • Take your diabetes medicines exactly as prescribed by your physician, even when you’re feeling good

Make Hygiene a Habit

Here are simple strategies to reduce your risk of illness and slow the spread of infection: 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow 
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding close contact and staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone outside your household
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and light switches
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol
  • Wear a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose when around others, even if you don’t feel sick

Mental Health Matters, Too

Today’s 24/7 news cycle helps keep us informed about events and developments, almost in real time. But sometimes the constant barrage of information leads to excess stress and anxiety, especially when the news isn’t good. That’s why the CDC recommends taking breaks from focusing on or talking about the news.

This is particularly important advice for people with diabetes, who are more prone to both anxiety and depression. Being stressed or depressed can make it harder to stick to your diabetes care plan, and your blood sugar levels may rise or fall unpredictably. Talk with your primary care physician right away about any mental health concerns. In addition, consider these strategies:

  • Exercise regularly to help boost your mood
  • Set goals and priorities and be mindful of the things you accomplished at the end of the day
  • Stay connected to people who can provide emotional support
  • Schedule regular times for relaxing activity, such as muscle stretching or breathing exercises

We’re Ready When You’re Ready

Our diabetes experts are here for you when you need us, and we’re taking extraordinary measures to protect those who visit any AdventHealth facility – whether it be your doctor’s office, lab, or emergency room. When necessary, for some types of care, you may be able to talk with your AdventHealth physician virtually through your smartphone, tablet or computer. Your physician can help you decide when it’s best for you to come in for care, versus having a video visit. He or she can also provide guidance on concerns you may have about your diabetes care schedule, such as when you may need:

  • A1C testing 
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure check
  • Preventive care like screenings and vaccines
  • Labs to check for kidney problems
  • Your annual eye exam and next dental visit

You Can Count on Us

Managing diabetes is complex, which is why we are here to help you with the tools and support you need. Take control of your diabetes care and feel empowered to make the choices that are best for you. Call the Member Experience Center at 855-747-7476 to schedule an appointment with your personal physician today!