Published by Courtney Rosenfeld

A diabetes diagnosis changes your life and can be hard to accept.  It’s common to grieve when you are diagnosed with diabetes or are facing complications. Sometimes diabetes can make you feel like you have lost control. But it doesn’t have to be that way — here are four ways you can take control and advocate for your health.

1. Learn How to Talk to Your Doctor Honestly and Confidently

The first step in advocating for yourself is learning to talk to your doctor. When you talk to your doctor, keep the following in mind:

  • Bring a list of all medications you are using, including over-the-counter medicines.
  • Be honest about what you are experiencing and the steps you have taken. Use strong but clear language.
  • Keep track of symptoms using an app or a notebook. This will help you describe when you are experiencing things and for how long.

Finally, you may want to consider taking a trusted family member or friend with you to appointments, especially if you are recently diagnosed. Ahead of your appointment, practice questions you plan to ask.

2. Maintain Your Medical Records with Digital Backups

Organize and maintain your medical records. There are several different methods for tracking your medical records, but one simple solution is to use an app to combine video of your records, X-rays, medication lists, and symptoms. This can help guide conversations with your doctor in a positive and helpful direction.

3. Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle, Even When You’re Busy

Diabetes is chronic, but symptoms can be managed by a healthy lifestyle in addition to medication. Eating well and exercising can also help prevent comorbidities common in diabetic individuals.

To get started on your healthy living journey, begin by taking short walks. If walking regularly doesn’t fit your schedule, consider parking slightly farther away from your destination or taking the stairs to get a few more steps in. You can also follow a simple exercise routine. Restorative yoga, simple stretching, or lightweight exercises will help you build muscle and keep your heart rate up.

Finally, try to eat better. Put your plans into action by collecting healthy recipes, making a meal plan, and enjoying what you eat. Diet is one of the most important ways to manage your blood sugar. If planning and making your own meals is burdensome, you could also look into healthy meal plan services.

4. Consider an Assisted Living Facility

If you are a senior with numerous medical concerns, you may want to consider an assisted living facility. Facilities such as these are nothing to be ashamed of or avoid. They can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. Many assisted living facilities offer independent living with medication assistance, transport services, and certified nutritionists.

When selecting a facility, consider costs, payment options, and level of care. Research nearby facilities, and don’t compromise on what you need to be comfortable. You can use Google Reviews for patient reviews and rely on websites such as A Place for Mom and to provide facility reviews.

The Bottom Line: Trust in Yourself

Follow these tips, and you’ll become an advocate for your own health. Visit Diabetics United for up-to-date health information, resources, and tools.

Image via Pexels


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