If you live with a chronic health condition like diabetes, you can count on AdventHealth for world-class care that’s focused on protecting your health and supporting you to live your best life no matter your circumstances.
We’re here with our expert, endocrinologist Frederick Lim, MD, with five important tips that will help you stay healthy as you manage your life with diabetes.
Don’t Delay Important Appointments
“Regular checkups and labs are an important part of living well with diabetes,” says Dr. Lim. “Routine health care can help find and treat any health problems early or, even better, prevent them.”
Here are some of the tests your physician will likely recommend if you have diabetes:
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 health care provider 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.
Dr. Lim recommends that you do these things as part of your routine:
- Check blood sugar as directed by your 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
We believe in treating the whole patient in body, mind and spirit. When your mind is flooded, your body and spirit tend to follow, or the other way around. For instance, today’s 24/7 news cycle helps keep us informed about events and developments, almost in real time. But sometimes the constant barrage of often negative, frightening 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 whatever is on the news.
Dr. Lim emphasizes, “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 physician right away about any mental health concerns.”
In addition, consider these strategies to keep your mental health in check:
- 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 activities, such as muscle stretching or breathing exercises
We’re Ready When You’re Ready
“We are here for you when you need us, and we take extraordinary care to protect those who visit any AdventHealth facility – whether it’s your doctor’s office, lab or emergency room,” says Dr. Lim.
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 our diabetes experts 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.
Learn more and make an appointment with a diabetes specialist today. You deserve to feel whole.