When your car gets stuck in an uncomfortable rut, you have a choice. You can stay and continue to travel down a path that may not be right for you, or you can power your car out of the rut’s well-worn tracks and head in a direction that serves you best.
Ruts might happen with diabetes also, especially if you continue to follow guidance that may be outdated or brings you less than optimal results. Are you in a diabetes rut? Take this brief quiz that may help you to find out:
• You haven’t seen your diabetes care team in a while
The American Diabetes Association (the Association) encourages people living with diabetes to see their physician at least 2 to 4 times a year. People who have a harder time controlling their blood glucose levels are advised by the Association to go 4 or more times a year.
If you haven’t seen a member of your healthcare team in a while, you may not know about recent developments in diabetes care. I recall meeting a patient who still avoided eating any foods that contained even a hint of sugar. She didn’t know that the “sugar prohibition” that was conventional wisdom years ago, was no longer recommended. Just think of all of the delicious foods she could have enjoyed! Make an appointment and give your diabetes the tune-up it deserves.
• You avoid certain activities because of your diabetes
Diabetes need not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. People living with diabetes fly planes, compete in amateur and professional sports, appear in movies and on TV, and even sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. If you turn down invitations or avoid certain situations because of your diabetes, you may be in a rut. Speak with your doctor before starting or changing your physical activity.
Don’t let diabetes run your life. Today, there are great options to help alleviate some of the burdens of diabetes – from tools such as continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to different treatment options. Speak to your doctor to learn what may work for you.
• You have grown accustomed to feeling less energized
If you feel “off” or more fatigued during your day, don’t accept it as the way you must feel because you have diabetes. It’s possible that your activity level, stress level, foods you choose and medications you take may need to be adjusted so you are better able to store energy and access it when needed. These are options to bring up for discussion with your health care team.
• Your loved ones complain about your blood glucose control
Do any of your relatives or friends nag you about your diabetes? Some of their comments may feel intrusive and unwarranted, but others may be accurate. Think about the things your friends and relatives mention. If they say you seem sluggish, are often in a bad mood or tend to be short tempered and irritable, your blood glucose may be running too high or too low. Make an appointment with your healthcare team to see what you can do to treat some of these issues.
Are you in a diabetes rut? In a future column, I will share more suggestions of what you can try to help get out of your rut and onto the road to achieving your desired health goals.
Janis Roszler, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE*, FAND, is the American Association of Diabetes Educators 2008-09 Diabetes Educator of the Year. She is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and marriage and family therapist. Her books include Sex and Diabetes and The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes. Roszler is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
*“Certified Diabetes Educator” and “CDE” are certification marks owned and registered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE is not affiliated in any way with Sanofi US. NCBDE does not sponsor or endorse any diabetes-related products or services.
© 2015 The DX: The Diabetes Experience