Managing Diabetes

November 11, 2020

Receiving a diabetes diagnosis can at first feel overwhelming. Understanding what your test results mean, and learning how to manage it can feel like learning a new language. But you are not alone. The Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center provides patient-centered diabetes care, which means each patient receives a care plan that is as individual as they are.

My goal as the certified diabetes care and education specialist/CDCES at GRMDC is to provide patient-centered diabetes care that is respectful of the individual patient’s preferences, needs, and values. Shared decision making is key in leading to favorable outcomes for our patients,” said Donald Woodbury, RN, CDCES, GRMDC diabetes educator.

Once you have identified if you are at risk, or if you are a patient living with diabetes and you are familiar with your symptoms, you can now focus on how to take charge of your health and improve your daily life.

Strategies to Improve Your Health

Improve eating habits

It is a proven fact that a diet can greatly affect blood sugar levels. A diet that is high in fiber-rich, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, non-fatty protein sources, fish, and minimal processed foods and fats is a great place to start. Watching portion sizes is also beneficial. At GRMDC, we can work with you to help educate you on nutrition and learn how to improve your diet to help with your diabetes.

Include daily physical activity

Being physically active for 30 minutes a day can help control diabetes and minimize negative health consequences. Walking is a great way to start. But there are many fun ways to increase your physical activity such as cycling, dancing, exercise classes, and more! Aim to increase your heart rate and most of all, enjoy it while you’re doing it. For more suggestions on increasing your fitness, visit the American Heart Association.

Manage stress

Stress is not a cause of diabetes, but it can affect people in many different ways that can lead to unhealthy habits. The stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain, interrupted sleep and unhealthy coping responses such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol can affect your overall health and be cause for concern if you are diabetic. Try to incorporate stress-reducing habits into your daily life such as spending time with friends and family; playing a sport or activity you enjoy; listening to music; finding a new hobby, or try meditating.

When we work with patients to manage diabetes, we look at the whole picture. Your physical health, medications, habits, and lifestyle all play a role in your personal diagnosis.