1. Take care of your feet.

Take care of your feet. Foot problems are more common and develop more quickly in people who have Type 2 diabetes. With daily foot care, you will detect problems early. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness and swelling. Consult your diabetes care team if you have a sore or another foot problem that doesn’t heal promptly on its own.

2. Get your eyes checked.

Get your eyes checked. Get a yearly full eye exam with dilated pupils. Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma. It is important to pick up these problems early. Ask for a copy of your eye exam results and share it with your diabetes care team during your next visit.

3. Schedule your next routine diabetes appointment.

People with diabetes should see a doctor two-to-four times a year. At your visit, your diabetes care team will assess your diabetes control by looking at your blood sugar log and the result of your A1C test, which gives a picture of your blood sugar over the past 60 to 90 days. Your providers will also check your blood pressure, your weight and your feet. Also, once a year you should get your cholesterol checked and have a urine test to make sure your diabetes isn’t damaging your kidneys.

4. Make healthy choices.

Eating healthy foods (in the right amounts) and exercising regularly can go a long way toward helping control your diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise—such as brisk walking— five days a week. The American Diabetes Association also recommends that people with diabetes should avoid sitting more than 90 minutes at a time.

5. Learn all you can.

Diabetes requires your attention. Learning all you can about diabetes will help you manage it day by day. People with diabetes need to make healthy food choices and know when, what and how much to eat. They need to know how to use a glucose monitor, when to test and what the results mean; how their medications work, when to take them and possible side effects; how to care for their skin and feet; when to call the doctor and what tests they need to prevent the complications of diabetes. Managing your diabetes isn’t easy, but it is worth it! Take a class to learn more about living well with diabetes.

Knowledge is Power. Become Powerful!

Learn to take care of your diabetes by attending Parrish Medical Center’s Diabetes Education Program. Small group classes and individual appointments are available for you and a support person. A follow-up class can serve as a refresher and help you with problem solving and fine-tuning your diabetes management. Nutrition services are also offered for people who want help with weight loss, carbohydrate counting and meal planning. A physician referral is required. Medicare and most insurance programs cover diabetes self-management education and nutrition counseling. Classes are offered in Port St. John, Titusville and coming this spring at Health Village East. For more information, call (321) 268-6699.

A Day for Diabetes Awareness

World Diabetes Day is November 14. Check out the activities that Parrish Medical Center has planned at ParrishMed.com/Diabetes