Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes
Diabetes care can be time-consuming. Here are some tips to help you keep up.
These days, doctors’ visits can be quick, 15-minute sessions. The key to
getting the most from your appointment: plan ahead.
- Write a list of questions and concerns before your visit so you don’t
forget anything important. Do you have any new symptoms? Have you had trouble
with low blood sugar? Do you have questions about foods or medications? Be your
own advocate. "You shouldn’t take for granted that your provider’s going to
cover anything," says Andrea Zaldivar, MS, C-ANP, CDE, clinical director at
North General Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
- Bring all of your medications in a bag for your doctor to review. Include
your diabetes drugs and those for other health conditions.
- When you talk with your doctor, mention your top concerns first. Don’t save
them for last, or you may not have time to address them adequately.
- Write down what your doctor says so that you can remember the instructions.
Or bring a friend or relative to help take notes.
With today’s busy schedules, it’s hard for everybody -- not just those with
diabetes -- to find enough time to prepare healthy meals and snacks. Some
- Keep the right foods on hand. "Most of us, research shows, eat about
the same 100 foods most of the time," Kulkarni says. "Be familiar with
those foods, and have a balance in terms of nutrition." For example, keep
whole-grain breads, cereal, milk, vegetables and fruit well-stocked in your
- Find easy, diabetes-friendly recipes that take less than 30 minutes to
prepare. Diabetes cookbooks can help.
- Buy bagged broccoli, bagged lettuce, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes to
cut down on chopping and preparation time.
- Stock your pantry with commonly used ingredients, such as low-sodium broth,
whole-grain pastas, and lentils. "If you’ve got basic ingredients, you can
always throw something together," Kulkarni says.
- Consult with a registered dietitian about your diet. Ask him or her to
teach you how to read food labels so that you can evaluate convenience foods to
make sure they’re not too high in carbohydrates, salt, or fat.