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Resolutions for a healthier New Year

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We all make a ton of New Year resolutions with the best of intentions. Diabetics specifically often resolve to better manage their diabetes. This year resolve to have a healthier new year.

Test blood sugar regularly. Regardless of whether you are Type 1 or Type 2, testing will help you determine not just when you hit the highs and lows but may well also show patterns. For example, my testing (I am T2) shows I wake high (171 BSL this morning) but by noon I drop to the low 80s if I do not have breakfast and a mid morning snack. Testing has shown me how to avoid the extremes. Testing before and during exercising is also a good idea.

Take medications as prescribed. Self medication is never a good idea. That said, if you have a migraine by all means take an Excedrin if that works for you. However, if testing shows good management, do not skip your meds. Instead schedule a visit with your physician. Obviously, the meds are working if testing shows good management. In addition, most medications work best if taken at relatively the same time each day. Some work better with food, and some with drink. Read the instruction sheet from your pharmacy if you are unsure. For example, Metformin – a common oral diabetic medication – should be taken with food.

Eat. That’s right – eat! To clarify, eat simply means do not skip meals. Research has shown several smaller meals throughout the day are better for diabetics than three traditional bigger meals. Talk to a nutritionist to confirm your specific needs. Never binge. A food journal works for many people who find themselves caving into emotional eating.

Rest up. Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep controls the hormones that in turn control your blood glucose. Talk to your physician if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that disrupts your sleep. Essentially people with sleep apnea stop breathing numerous times throughout the night, thus not getting a rested sleep. This disturbance causes the blood sugar to rise.

Finally, exercise. Exercise may improve insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Exercise also helps prevent other medical issues, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and of course obesity. New to exercise? Many gyms and athletic clubs offer fitness coaches to help guide you and assist you in your success. In addition, many, including the Universal Athletic Club on Oregon Pike, Lancaster, offer guest passes so you can try it out before committing to a membership.

This year – 2014 – is a great time to make and commit to healthier resolutions!

NOTE:

This article is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of diabetes, make an appointment with your physician.

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Lancaster City is located in South Central Pennsylvania. Home to over 60,000 people, it is the County Seat. Do you have an upcoming event or information that would interest the Lancaster community? If so, please email Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman at jeanne.eckman@comcast.net.

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