Diabetes management can refer to dealing with short term events such as high and low blood sugar to controlling it over the long term such as by getting to grips with understanding the condition.
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How you manage your diabetes tends to vary from person to person but we’ll give you general tips that you’ll be able to apply. They say knowledge is power and it certainly gives you more power to control your diabetes.
When you understand diabetes and how your body works, it’s a big help towards how you go about managing it.
Some good options for building an understanding of diabetes are:
- Reading the information guides on Diabetes.co.uk
- Reading a book on diabetes
- Using the Diabetes Forum and learning from others
If you can record the things which affect your blood sugar, you’ll be in a good position to make sense of the numbers and control your ups and downs in future.
Good things to record are:
- Your blood glucose numbers
- Any dosages of medication -such as insulin or tablets
- What you eat - you might want to include the carbohydrate values
- Any activities that could affect your levels –such as exercise, walking, shopping, or any stress or illness
- Any symptoms of high or low levels
Diabetes.co.uk has downloadable blood glucose diaries on the website. Search the site for ‘diaries’. Don’t worry if you miss a day or two of recording. We all have hectic times when recording is more difficult.
The main thing is to get back into the habit and start recording again as soon as you next can. One blood test on its own tells you what your number is at that point in time, but it doesn’t tell you much else. To get an understanding, you need to take blood tests in pairs or threes.
If you having a meal and test just before, two hours after and then 4 hours after you can get a good idea of the effect that meal and any medication you took has had on your levels.
Once you get into the swing of recording blood sugars, the next step is to make sense of the numbers.
- Are you going high or low at similar times on most days?
- How high or low do different forms of exercise push your levels?
- Is there a type of food that keeps pushing your levels too high?
If you spot patterns, you can start to look to make changes that could improve your levels in future circumstances.
Furthermore, how you manage your diabetes can at times involve striking a balance between how strictly you wish to control sugar levels and how much freedom to allow yourself to live as full a life as possible.
Diabetes is far from an easy condition to keep under control to the extent that there are a number of different educational courses designed to help people cope with the daily challenges the condition can present.