Diabetes is a chronic condition and while you may have become use to the daily insulin injections and dietary management, there are still things to keep in mind on how to best manage your treatment plan in different seasons. As the days are warmer and your activities, schedule, and environment changes, let’s consider some ways to prepare for a healthy experience of the coming season.
Diet is a major part of how your diabetes is managed. There isn’t a diet that will be optimal for every diabetic, but you can definitely discover the best healthy eating plan for you and your condition. You may find it helpful to meet with a dietician or a health professional who specializes in diabetes to help give you personalized approaches on how to begin or how to adjust according to where you are at right now. Think about what challenges have come up in previous summers when it comes to your diet, and ask yourself how you can handle them better this year.
Weight loss and weight maintenance is often a major goal of your treatment plan. The routine that works for you during the cooler months may not hold up as easily during summer. Plan ahead in controlling your time and how often you will exercise by joining a fitness class with a friend. Summertime is also filled with more social events and therefore more social eating. Prepare for this and set a plan in place to eat on your schedule and within your boundaries. Communicate with friends and family, and bring your own meals when possible.
Insulin is integral to maintaining a good blood sugar balance, and summertime activities can take you out of your usual routine. If you enjoy a more active lifestyle in the summer, it can be difficult to carry your medication and tools with you. Spending a day at the lake or going camping with the family requires extra preparation for what to bring with you when you leave the house. Look into ways to keep your insulin vials and supplies dry and cool. Bring a cooler, waterproof bag or container, a back-up insulin pen, both fast-acting and long-acting medication, and a lock to keep your belongings safe if you want to leave it in the shade. Perhaps a waterproof watch with an alarm will be a helpful summer accessory to keep you on schedule with your medication.
Temperature can affect your blood sugar levels, as well as the quality of your insulin if you are carrying it around with you. Be extra observant of your levels in different temperatures, activities and scenarios by bringing your meter and tests strips with you and taking tests, even if you feel fine. You can work with your doctor or diabetes expert on how to adjust your basal rate according to the activity you are doing and the temperature you are doing it in. Be extra prepared by having emergency supply of backup and fast-acting medication, and as always, remind the people you will be spending time with on what to do in case you have an incident. Even if your friends and family have been informed before, a refresher for summer will be good if they have not had to actually help you recently.
The point of an effective diabetes management plan is to live your everyday life as unaffected as possible. Enjoy your time in the sun with your loved ones, and have peace of mind doing so by preparing and following an effective treatment plan for your diabetes this summer.
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