7 Self-Care Strategies for Managing Diabetes This Summer
Make veggies the stars of your next cookout. Grill large portobello mushroom caps and serve as “steaks” or “burgers.” Or make blended burgers: Combine 1/2 pound of finely chopped cremini mushrooms with 1 pound of ground turkey or lean grass-fed beef, then form into patties and grill.
Some over-the-counter medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbs can interfere with the effectiveness of your prescribed meds. And cough and cold meds can be loaded with sugar. Be sure to tell your health care provider about everything you’re taking so that he or she can make the best recommendations for your care.
Protect your eyes from the sun as you would your skin. UV exposure can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration, and people with diabetes are already at risk for these conditions. Look for sunglasses that shield from both UVA and UVB rays.
Spending a day by the pool or at the beach? Invest in a cooler to carry your insulin, blood glucose meter, and diabetes supplies with you. Or try a cooling case such as Frio’s. Heat can affect the accuracy of meter readings and the potency of insulin. But avoid putting insulin directly on ice packs! If it freezes, it loses its potency.
Going on vacation? Call ahead to see if your hotel has a workout room; if it doesn’t, throw a resistance band or jump rope into your suitcase. And be sure to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes so you can explore on foot without worrying about blisters or other wounds.
Exercising outdoors? Do it early in the morning or later in the evening, when summer temperatures tend to be more moderate. You’ll be less likely to overheat or become dehydrated at those times.
Diabetes self-care takes a lot of daily effort. Take time to recognize everything you do to care for your body, even if the results aren’t always ideal. Praising yourself can help keep you motivated!
Sources: Timika Chambers, MSN, RN, CDE, spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators; Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook; Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, MBA, CDE, director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas.