Archive for February, 2016
The start of each year is a prime time to consider your life, health and ways to improve both. Motivation and method are both key to setting new goals and ending your year with a sense of accomplishment.
Good health is important, but it will not just happen. SMART Goals provide a road map to success because those goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Diabetes is often a numbers game: blood sugar level, A1C, weight, etc. Beyond those faceless figures, one should focus on goals that bolster your diabetes control. “I want to lower my A1C to 7, but ‘why?’”
If you want to accomplish a task, you set a plan, you set deadlines and you take action. Most people are familiar with SMART goals in the workplace, but they also apply to health. For example, let’s say you wanted to an A1C of 7.5, but your level is now 11. It would be unrealistic to say you wanted reduce your A1C to 11 in next month.
It would be more realistic to set up a SMART goal:
- Specific – I will decrease my average fasting blood sugar by 2 points each week.
- Measureable – I will keep track of blood sugar levels three times daily so I can track my
progress towards my goal.
- Attainable – Is the goal attainable for me? Your diabetes care team should be consulted about ways to reduce your A1C and risk of complications.
- Realistic – Is the goal realistic for me? Lowering one’s blood sugar is a great goal, but drastic drops can increase changes of hyperglycemia.
- Timely – I will make an appointment with my care team every three months in 2016 to evaluate my A1C with hopes to start 2017 near 7.5.
Other goals that will impact blood sugar control include getting regular and sufficient exercise, gaining or losing weight, following a diabetes nutrition plan, and being more compliant to medication schedules.
Need help turning your goals into a viable game plan? Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services. For more information on specific needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Diabetes Education Program, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers an online resource for making a plan for success. Visit Diabetes Health Sense and make your plan today!
Blood sugar levels are tested in your doctor’s office, but that is not enough. Blood sugar changes not only from day to day. It changes from hour to hour. Some people run high in the morning and others at night. Certain foods might cause a spike. A long walk may drop levels too low.
Glucose monitors are machines that measure blood sugar from finger sticks. Continuous glucose monitors are worn on the body. They records several readings a day without finger sticks.
Why test your blood sugar?
- Tell how well you’re reaching health goals
- Know how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels
- Know how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels
- See the effect of diabetes drugs on blood sugar levels
- Know when blood sugars are too high or low
To get a full picture of your diabetes, you need regular monitoring. Testing often will show problem areas and how your levels react to certain foods. A blood sugar reading might be an early warning sign in sudden illness.
Another method of monitoring blood glucose is Continuous Glucose Monitoring or CGM. A CGM automatically takes several blood sugar readings throughout the day, sends alerts for extreme readings and feeds those levels to the insulin pump. The goal would be blood sugar control that is consistently stable.
The CGM reads blood sugar levels every one to five minutes and shows whether a person’s blood sugar is rising or falling. Combining CGM with insulin pump therapy can provide a method to monitor and manage blood glucose levels. The information obtained can also help to fine-tune the pump settings.
The American Heart Association offers these tools to help you understand the importance of monitoring and staying as healthy as possible:
- Diabetes-Friendly Recipes. Recipes to satisfy cravings – sweet, savory or somewhere in between.
- My Diabetes Health Assessment. Having type 2 diabetes greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Learn your 10-year risk and ways you can lower it.
- Diabetes Quiz. Take this short quiz to learn the facts about diabetes.
The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your monitoring needs. For more information on specific monitoring or insulin delivery needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.