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Outsmart Your Diabetes By Setting SMART Goals

Outsmart Your Diabetes by Setting SMART Goals

Outsmart Your Diabetes by Setting SMART Goals

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise changes a reality, consider turning them into SMART goals.
A goal gives you something to aim for. SMART goals tell you exactly where you are going, how and when you will get there, and why the effort is worth your while.
SMART Goals
“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable,” wrote the philosopher Seneca. No doubt, Seneca would endorse the idea of SMART goals: those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented.
Specific. Goals should be written in simple, clear terms that define exactly what you are going to do. For example:
“I’m going to lose 12 pounds” (instead of “lose some weight”).
Measurable. Goals, and steps toward goals, need to be measurable so you know when you have completed one. For example: “I will walk for 20 minutes three mornings per week for two months; then 20 minutes five mornings per week.”
Attainable. Goals must be achievable; they should be challenging but within reach. For example:
“I will lose at least 2 lbs per month.”
Relevant. Goals are motivating when tied to something that you value. For example:
“I want to lose weight to manage my blood sugar and prevent health complications, and so I have more energy to play with the kids/grandkids.”
Time-oriented. Goals are most helpful when linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, otherwise known as a deadline. For example:
“I will lose 12 pounds by Oct. 1, six months from now and before my next Continue reading

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Does Diabetes Cause Rashes?

Does Diabetes Cause Rashes?

There are a variety of rashes commonly experienced by those with diabetes. Some require treatment, and some disappear on their own.
There are many comorbidities to diabetes and skin issues are high on the list. Diabetes can cause nerve damage as well as impair blood flow to skin cells, which makes the skin more susceptible to damage, infection and changes in color.
Some Disorders are Considered Precursors to Diabetes
There are certain disorders considered to be precursors to diabetes. Believed to be the result of insulin resistance, Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder where there is darker, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases. This is also typically found in people who are obese.
Another disorder is Eruptive xanthomatosis. The result of poorly controlled sugar levels and extremely high levels of triglycerides, this disorder manifests as firm, yellow, waxy-like eruptions surrounded by red halos. The bumps generally appear on the face, buttocks, backs of the arms and within creases of skin.
Disorders can Result from Impaired Blood Flow
Because diabetes causes inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels, the small capillaries that nourish the skin with oxygenated blood and heal it with white blood cells can no longer supply sufficient quantities of either.
Diabetic dermopathy appears as shiny round patches on the lower shins. They don’t hurt and are generally benign. The condition is believed to result from impaired blood flow to the skin.
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum results from changes to the collagen and fatty tissue that support the skin. The ski Continue reading

Diabetes and Amputation: What You Need To Know

Diabetes and Amputation: What You Need To Know

Diabetes is associated with numerous health complications such as heart disease, eye conditions, and neuropathy. According to Diabetes Management, diabetic neuropathy is a leading cause of amputations in the U.S.
Diabetic neuropathy can affect any number of bodily functions. Nerve damage most commonly occurs in people who struggle to control their blood sugar, people with high blood pressure, overweight people, and people over the age of 40.
The most common area affected is the feet because the combination of poor circulation and nerve damage leaves the feet susceptible to ulcers that can cause significant damage to the surrounding tissues and bones. These nonhealing ulcers may require amputation of the affected area.
Reduce Your Risk
There are certain preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing a severe foot ulcer that may need amputation:
Don’t smoke
Regulate blood sugar levels
Wear shoes that fit with clean, dry socks
Eat well and exercise regularly
Amputation and Recovery
Sometimes amputation is the only option for treating a severe foot ulcer. Surgeons will remove the damaged tissue while preserving the healthy surrounding tissue as much as possible.
The wound may take as long as eight weeks to heal, and many patients choose to engage in some sort of physical or occupational therapist as well as a mental health provider to begin to accept the life changes that accompany amputation.
Source: The Mayo Clinic, Diabetes Management
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in many ways. As its alternate name of adult-onset diabetes implies, Continue reading

Prevent Diabetes Complications By Following These 8 Tips

Prevent Diabetes Complications By Following These 8 Tips

Prevent Diabetes Complications By Following These 8 Tips
Diabetes is a condition whose seriousness is measured by its potential health consequences. Its long-term effects include heart and kidney disease and vision disorders. If you suffer from diabetes, here are eight tips to follow that can help reduce the possibility of such complications.
1. One of the most important elements in controlling diabetes, particularly the type 2 variety, is having a healthy diet. A restricted diet will help maintain a proper balance of insulin and sugar in the blood system. Carbohydrates may be consumed, but only in the right form. Your diet should be rich in whole grains, beans, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. The issues of health and weight are closely related. Maintaining a proper weight will help your body utilize sugar, which is the source of trouble for diabetics. Weight loss is also important when it comes to controlling blood pressure. You need to reduce your caloric intake to the amount your body needs to function properly.
3. Exercise is important for everyone, especially for those with diabetes. Though it need not be strenuous, about 30 minutes of physical activity every day will help you maintain your weight and will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Exercise may even enable you to reduce your diabetes medication and thus help you to deal with your condition in a more natural manner.
4. Bad habits can aggravate diabetes, so you should consider indulging in them moderately or giving them up altogether. The excessive consumption of alcohol can adversely affe Continue reading

Communicating With A Loved One Who Isn't Managing Their Diabetes

Communicating With A Loved One Who Isn't Managing Their Diabetes

It is concerning when a loved one is not managing their diabetes well.
Out of caring and frustration, we may apply pressure, criticism or guilt to change their behavior even when we know these tactics will not work.
What can help is communicating in an autonomy-supportive manner. By focusing on your loved one’s feelings, needs and goals, you can encourage successful diabetes management without attacking or annoying them.
Autonomy-Supportive Communication
Encouraging a person’s autonomy requires you to understand their viewpoint and nurture their self-motivation. This is done by:
Showing that you understand and empathize with their point of view. For instance,“I realize it’s difficult going to parties where people enjoy food and drink not on your diet plan.”
Giving them the rationale for any advice offered. For instance: “I recall the doctor said if your evening glucose readings were consistently high you might need your insulin dose changed. I think we should give the doc a call.”
Showing concern. For instance:“You seem a bit scattered today, like you're having trouble focusing. I’m concerned about you.”
Offering options whenever possible. For instance,“What do you think, should we take our walk this morning or wait until this afternoon?”
Asking about their experience of the illness and acquiring an accurate understanding of their feelings and capabilities. For instance:“What does an insulin shot feel like? Has it become easier, or does it still make you anxious?” or, “What is the most difficult part of managing diabetes?”
Discussing the illn Continue reading

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