Great Health Guide
MANAGING YOUR DIABETES
Four top tips to better manage your diabetes
Every five minutes someone is diagnosed with diabetes, which adds up to almost 300 people per day. In addition, an approximated 1.8 million Australians are currently living with diabetes and 500,000 of these cases are undiagnosed patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
As a pharmacist, each day I see patients suffering from an array of symptoms related to diabetes that could simply be helped with a beneficial management plan or treatment schedule.
TOP FOUR TIPS FOR BETTER MANAGEMENT OF YOUR DIABETES: 1. Get active & stay health driven
Diabetes is currently the seventh most common cause of death by disease in Australia, with one in four adults over the age of 25 living with either diabetes or pre-diabetes. One of the simplest steps to managing or even decreasing the risk of the disease, is remaining active and making a conscious effort to eat the correct foods. While this predominantly describes Type 2 Diabetes, many people with diabetes will see a change in symptoms and the balancing of glucose levels once they shift towards a healthier mindset, both physically and mentally. Approximately 58 per cent of all cases of Type 2 Diabetes can be delayed or prevented with changes to diet and lifestyle, therefore it’s important to balance your diet with a variety of foods from the five food groups, (vegetables, fruit, meats, wheat and diary) and maintain 30 minutes of exercise per day.
2. Regular readings
To ensure you’re managing your blood glucose levels correctly as a Type 1 Diabetic, patients need to conduct regular checkups and monitor their readings every day to check that their body is being provided with enough insulin to move glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells for energy. Patients need to maintain a strict routine to lower the risk of serious health conditions such as organ failure and nerve damage. Type 2 Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or insulin no longer playing its role correctly as the body’s cells are unaffected by it (insulin resistance). While daily blood glucose monitoring is not as vital, it is still strongly recommended that patients watch their levels to significantly reduce the risk of damage to vital organs, including the heart and kidneys.
3. Know your ABC’s
Many diabetes patients, whether they’re diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, have a unique and personal plan when it comes to managing their symptoms or situation. Whichever path a patient takes, knowing the ABC’s can be a simple acronym to remember what helps them manage symptoms and keep on top of their healthcare requirements.
A – This represents the A1c blood glucose, also referred to as the HbA1c, which is a blood test that measures blood glucose levels over the past three months, to review a patient’s progress and/or recurring levels. Commonly, the HbA1c target for most people is under 7%.
Get a personal plan to help manage your diabetes.
B – This is for blood pressure and the importance of monitoring it. Almost two out of three people with diabetes, have high blood pressure, more commonly for those with Type 2 diabetes. C – This signifies cholesterol. Cholesterol levels should be checked and monitored to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in the long run. The ABC reminder is a great way to jumpstart your diabetic management, particularly for patients living with Type 2 Diabetes, who can often moderate the disease through the proper management of a healthy diet, lifestyle and exercise regime.
4. Have regular checkups
It is strongly recommended that all people with diabetes receive regular checkups with a healthcare professional, including a nutritionist and GP, to ensure they are maintaining an appropriate health regime and their personal management plan.
Discount Drug Stores offer management clinics for patients with Type 2 Diabetes, to either calculate your risk or give you practical advice on how to decrease it. Be sure to consult your local GP about any concerns you may have about your health.