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Your Top 10

Healthcare tips

We're here to support you as diabetes becomes part of your life - we'll help you manage it and stay in control, so that living with diabetes becomes second nature to you. 

We can support you as you think about your diabetes, consider your goals and plan for the kind of life you want to live. It's not always easy, but many people with diabetes manage it very well.

We asked some of them to share their top tips for living well. Here's what they said:

1. Be a fact-finder.

Learn as much as you can about your diabetes so that you feel more confident in looking after it. Find out how your body uses food and what role insulin plays. Ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to an education course in your area to learn more about diabetes and from the experiences of others.

2. It's not all about your diabetes – it's about your life.

Diabetes needn't stop you from doing the things that you love. You may just need to do them a little differently. Take time to think, talk to others and focus on what's important to you. Don't let one 'bad' blood glucose results spoil your day.

3. Don't diet, just make healthier food choices.

Find a way of eating that you can stick with for life that supports you living well. Eat regular meals, don't ban foods and get as much variety as possible - to keep you energised and help keep your blood glucose levels in check.

4. Become a snack-packer.

Carry some quick-acting glucose with you in case you have a hypo. This may be dextrose tablets, jelly sweets, an energy drink or a small fruit juice. People treat hypos differently, so find out what works for you.

5. Get to know your doctor.

Seeing your doctor regularly and getting your tests and screenings on time helps you become an active partner in your care. There's no point in taking chances with your health.

6. Is your mood affecting how you look after your diabetes?

Everyone feels off-colour at times, but could you be depressed? Depression can be difficult to spot and can really affect how you manage and cope with your diabetes. In the last month, have you been feeling down, hopeless or sad? Do you have little interest or pleasure in doing things? If you answered "yes" your doctor, counsellor or trained therapist can help you find out what is making you depressed and help you deal with it. Talking to a friend also helps.

7. Know your numbers.

Be aware of your personal targets for blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.

8. Chew on this.

Make sure you visit the dentist regularly as high blood glucose levels can lead to dental problems. Your mouth is a haven for bacteria!

9. Give up the cigarettes.

Smoking generally increases your blood pressure and your risk of long term circulatory problems. Take steps to quit, however hard it may be.Find out more about giving up smoking.

10. Listen to your body.

Learn to read the signs of blood glucose fluctuations so you can spot and treat hypos and hypers. Question, reflect, test, record and judge how you are feeling. The longer you live with diabetes the more familiar you become with how to do this.

We hope you find these top 10 healthcare tips useful and they help you to better manage your diabetes.

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