Skill Prescriptions for Diabetes Management

Manage Stress

Your mood is very connected to your diabetes.  Experiencing stress can cause the release of a stress hormone called cortisol.  This hormone can raise blood glucose levels and can also cause fat to increase around the belly.  Explore this site to learn more about stress and how to manage it.

Eat Well

Most people with diabetes understand that it is important to eat a healthy diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Obesity is a common contributor to diabetes and weight loss can help reduce the symptoms of diabetes.  Explore Nutrition for Diabetes to learn more.  Be sure to discuss any changes to your diet with your doctor.  These changes may affect the amount and types of medications that you need.

Get Moving

A regular and consistent exercise or movement routine is extremely important to managing diabetes.  This can help you control your weight and manage stress.  It is especially important that you exercise on a consistent schedule so your sugar levels can be managed accordingly.  Explore Exercise for Diabetes to learn more.  Be sure and discuss any changes (increases, decreases or new activities) to your fitness routine with your doctor.

Communicate Your Needs

Don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family if you have special needs.  This can include needing time to check your sugars and administer medications.  It may also mean suggesting healthier places to eat out or better foods to eat at home.  If you are a guest, offer to bring your own foods or to cook for your hosts.  If you are feeling symptoms related to low or high sugars, speak up.  Let your workplace know if you need to have snacks nearby or when you will need breaks to check your sugar levels.

Plan Ahead

It is very important to plan ahead when you have diabetes.  Make sure you always have some easy to grab and packable snacks in your house, car, office and when you go out.  Don’t rely on public restaurants and facilities to have healthy options.  Carrying, nuts, fruit, raw vegetables, nut butters, yogurt, cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain crackers and other nutrient-rich foods can make a big difference in the success of your day.

You will also need to consider taking medications and insulin with you.  There may be times when you are somewhere longer than you expected.  Always have a little more than you need for the day.  Make sure you have enough of each of your medications prior to travel.  Plan trips around your schedule so that you have time to eat.

Sleep Well

A regular sleep schedule with enough hours of sleep can help you manage your diabetes more effectively.  People who do not get enough sleep are more likely to overeat and to be overweight.  Poor sleep contributes to stress and can cause release of stress hormones such as cortisol.  If you work second or third shift, this will have an effect on the management of your diabetes and your medication schedules.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about these issues.  Take some time to explore Improving Your Sleep for more information.