1) WATCH YOUR STARCHES. Remember, anything that is a starch will turn to sugar in your body. And it is not just the obvious sugary stuff like sweets and ice cream. Starches are also ground provisions, breads, roti skin, cereals etc. All of these will drive up your blood sugars; so try to keep them to smaller amounts on your plate, spread them out during the day and avoid sweet ones as much as possible.
2) TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS as directed by your medical team. Remember: they canât help you unless you actually take them!
3) ASK YOUR MEDICAL TEAM QUESTIONS. Any question, no matter if you feel silly about it. They are there to guide and help you. Ask.
4) GET EXERCISE. Being physically active, as much as you can safely, will help keep your sugars controlled, manage your weight, keep your heart strong.
5) CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGARS. If you have a meter, please use it. If you donât have one, try to get one. If you take insulin you should be checking your sugars at least twice to three times a day. If you are taking pills, ideally check a few times a day for a few times a week.
6) GET YOUR BLOOD TESTS DONE AT THE LAB when your doctor or nurse asks you to. The test results will be important to see how your sugars are doing long-term and if your kidneys are okay.
7) GET YOUR EYES EXAMINED: once a year is the ideal. An eye doctor needs to look in the back of your eyes to make sure your blood vessels look healthy.
8)WEAR PROTECTIVE SHOES. NO GUNSLINGERS. NO TOO-TIGHT SHOES. AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DONâT GO BAREFOOT!!!
9) DONâT ACT LIKE YOU DONâT HAVE DIABETES. You know what I mean, ignoring the fact that your sugars WILL go up if you eat the wrong thing or decide to skip your medication. Ignorance is NOT bliss in this case. Diabetes will go on wrecking your body, even if you ignore it. Donât make that mistake.
10) DONâT FEEL GUILTY OR ASHAMED OF HAVING DIABETES. This is not a disease of shame or guilt. It happens to men, women, children, rich, poor, black, white, everyone. Instead of hiding it, be empowered to take control of it and educate others about it. If you feel overwhelmed by it, ask for help from your medical team and support from your family.
Next, we will turn to those of you who donât have diabetes yourself, but know someone close who does have it. You are critical to their success, so we will talk to you too.