How to Take Control of your Chronic Diseases – Diabetes

Posted on03/12/13 by admin

Chronic diseases are one of the primary causes of hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations in the US today. One of the reasons for this is a simple lack of knowledge of how to manage these conditions to prevent the need for acute medical care.

Uncontrolled diabetes is one of the major conditions contributing to preventable hospitalizations. Staying out of the hospital benefits everyone patients, healthcare providers, and payor sources as well. But most importantly if you are able to stay out of the hospital that will mean you are healthier and happier in the short and long term.

Here are some simple steps The National Diabetes Management Program cites to manage your diabetes properly and ensure you are as healthy as possible.

1) Follow a diabetic meal plan. If you don’t have one, ask your doctor for one specific to you. But here are some general guidelines.

- Healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats should be the focus of your diet

- Limit poultry, fish, and meat of 3 oz a day.

- Eat foods high in fiber and low in salt and fat

2) Exercise or participate in physical activity 30-60 minutes a day

3) Keep your weight in check.

4) Check your blood sugar regularly.

5) Log your food intake so you will be able to reference what you ate if your blood sugar is out of range.

6) Stop Smoking if you smoke.

7) Brush your teeth and floss everyday to avoid oral complications.

8) Report any changes in your vision or sensation to your doctor.

9) If you have a sensation deficit in your lower extremities check your feet regularly with a mirror to ensure there are no open wounds or cuts.

10) Know what your blood sugar should be and the actions you need to take if you are falling outside the range your physician indicates for you.

11) Always be prepared and have any diabetic medication available to you in case you need to take an unexpected dose.


Individuals with diabetes are at risk for many other health problems if the disease is not managed well including unhealing wounds, loss of sensation and visual changes. All of these factors also increase a persons risk of falling or getting an infection which as can result in additional hospitalizations. Furthermore, chronically uncontrolled diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure and also contributes to disease in other organ systems such as the heart and cardiovascular systems.

If you are a caregiver for a person with diabetes and they are unable to manage the condition themselves effectively, make sure you are aware of these guidelines and are prepared to take steps needed if a diabetic needs intervention.

Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic to our nation’s health and the cost of managing it is ever growing both at an individual and health provider level. By taking these steps you can reduce effects the disease has on your body, save money, and continue to be as healthy as possible for as long as you can.

Thanks for reading.

Statics and information use in the post was found at

This post was written by:


Joseph Gross OTD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Adult Cognitive and Memory Disorders Specialist

RBA Therapy



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