Sometimes it feels like diabetes (whether Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes) needs to come with an instruction manual – preferably an A to Z on what to do!
Here’s an easy set of instructions to help you navigate through the A to Z of healthy diabetes – a whole alphabet of assistance:
A – Always have your medication handy. No matter where you are or what you’re doing.
B – Be aware of everything you eat. You can’t afford to snack without thinking.
C – Check your blood-sugar levels frequently. The only way you’ll know if you’re in good control is if you have the numbers to prove it.
D – Don’t forget to drink lots of water. It’s a simple thing that makes a big difference to your health.
E – Exercise every day, for at least half an hour. It doesn’t have to be anything hectic – just a walk around the block will do.
F – Fresh fruit is a must, in moderation. Try to eat as much fresh food as possible, and avoid processed food whenever you can.
G – Good health is in your hands – if you choose it. Balance your food intake, insulin and exercise and you’ll feel on top of the world.
H – HbA1c tests are important to have, every 3 to 6 months. They can give you an average blood-sugar reading for the last few months.
I – Insulin needs to be kept cool if you’re not using it – keep extras in the fridge. Insulin can last for 30 days at room temperature, but any longer than that and it deactivates.
J – Juice is a great pick-me-up for a low. Try to carry a small juice box on you at all times, to combat an inconvenient low.
K – Ketones should be avoided at all costs (it means your sugar is very high). If you’re in good control, you shouldn’t have to worry about ketones.
L – Learn as much as you can about your condition, and it will make more sense to you. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the less diabetes will be a problem in your life.
M – Move! A sedentary lifestyle won’t do you any favours. Even if it’s just dancing to your favourite song or going for a quick jog around your garden.
N – Never allow yourself to feel like a patient. You’re going to be diabetic for the rest of your life – but if you look after yourself, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
O – One or two treats might keep you from a binge – don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s better to have a cookie a week than feel deprived and then eat a whole bag in one day.
P – Preparation is key for diabetics in any situation. You always need to have your insulin, a snack, and a clear idea of where your next meal is coming from.
Q – Quitting is not an option, with a chronic condition. So make sure you’re good to yourself and you get lots of positive reinforcement.
R – Regular check-ups with your doctor are a must. You can’t afford to ignore any kind of illness – best to double-check.
S – Sometimes you won’t feel so great – that’s okay, just accept it and it will pass. Give yourself a day off and catch your breath.
T – Take time out to relax and rejuvenate. There’s nothing better to combat stress!
U – Unless you take control of your diabetes, it will take control of you. Don’t let it become the defining point of your life.
V – Vegetables are a diabetic’s best friend. Make sure you eat enough of them, every single day.
W – Wholegrains should be a big part of your diet. They’ll keep you and your heart healthy.
X – eXtra care should be taken any time you feel unwell. Learn to recognise the symptoms, and nip illness in the bud.
Y – You are the most important part of your diabetes care programme. Treat yourself well!
Z – Zzzz… Make sure you get enough sleep…
Do you have anything to add to the diabetic alphabet?