From clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator, Dr. Beverly Adler, here are some significant milestones and reflections that can help motivate your personal diabetes care.
March is National Nutrition Month
Nutritional health is much more than just our food intake. Eating well involves mindfulness, compassion, is part of self-care, provides us with pleasure and is a social activity.
Managing diabetes means maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Along with proper medication and physical activity, this also requires balancing the foods you eat…
Eat a variety of foods.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Choose healthy carbohydrates.
- Eat less fat.
- Cut the salt.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Focus on your food.
- Watch portions.
March is National Save Your Vision Month
People with diabetes are at risk for eye complications but with regular check-ups, you can keep minor problems minor.
How to keep your eyes healthy…
- Eat well.
- Quit smoking.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Use safety eyewear.
- Look away from the computer screen.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly for a comprehensive eye exam.
March is National Kidney Month
With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body can get damaged. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.
How to keep your kidneys healthy while living with diabetes…
- Manage your blood sugar. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7 percent. Take your medicines as prescribed to achieve your blood sugar goals.
- Control high blood pressure. Take your medicines as prescribed to achieve your blood pressure goals.
- Avoid any medicines that may damage the kidneys (especially over-the-counter pain medications).
March 14th (2019)
In addition to being “Pi Day”, celebrating the mathematical constant pi, because the digits in the date 3/14 are the same as the first three digits of pi (3.14), the day also celebrates my 44thdiaversary (the anniversary of my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes)! On that day in 1975, I took my first insulin injection. I am proud to say that after 44 years of living with diabetes, I have not only survived, but I have thrived. I do not have any of the major complications. My career path was influenced by that life-changing event many years ago. I became a clinical psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator, author and speaker. I have a private practice where I specialize in treating the emotional issues of people with diabetes. In addition to discussing issues of diabetes management, therapy focuses on processing feelings of denial, anger, guilt, depression, stress and anxiety regarding adjustment to living with diabetes. My focus strongly endorses empowering the lives of people with diabetes.
Life lessons I’ve learned if you want to live successfully with diabetes…
- Nobody is perfect and nobody can manage their diabetes perfectly. Your goal should be to do the best that you can.
- You need to live a healthy lifestyle. Be mindful to balance healthful eating, physical activity, sleep, work and leisure.
- I personally believe that diabetes is a blessing in disguise. Diabetes has taught me lessons in courage and determination.
March 26th (2019) is American Diabetes Association Alert Day
Held the last Tuesday of March each year, the American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day is a one-day “wake-up call” to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes and encourages all to take the diabetes risk test and learn about your family’s history of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is more common among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Higher body weight increases diabetes risk for everyone.
Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?…
- How old are you?
- Are you a man or a woman?
- If you are a woman, have you ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes?
- Do you have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure?
- Are you physically active?
- What is your weight category?
The good news is you can manage your risk for type 2 diabetes. Small steps make a big difference in helping you live a longer, healthier life. For more information visit www.diabetes.org/alertday.