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Celebrating World Diabetes Day


For this year 2010, World Diabetes day will be celebrated on Sunday, November 14. The slogan is “Let’s take control of diabetes. Now”.

Amidst the increased talks and events planned in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, all of which I hope will see your participation and interest, I urge you to truly stop and think: personally, how am I going to take control of my diabetes?{{more}} If Diabetes Day has passed you by without this soul searching, let me please offer you some suggestions about how you can take control of your diabetes:

1)Own it. There is never going to be any improvement in your health if you fight the diagnosis left, right and center. I know people who for years kept making excuses as to why they DID NOT have diabetes in truth, even though their lab tests said otherwise. Ask your doctor/nurse how the diagnosis was made for you, read up on it, and MOVE ON to the business of taking care of yourself, instead of living in denial.

2)Read for yourself. Much damage has been done by people asking their friends/family/neighbours for information WITHOUT checking into it themselves. I am not saying you should never ask people questions or take their information into account. But I am asking you to read and listen to information on your own instead of hearing it second and third-hand. You don’t want food that has been digested by someone else; you want to chew your own food and digest it. Same with information: chew your own.

3)Ask questions when you have appointments. I know I keep stressing this, but it is SO important and I know many people still don’t do it. ASK QUESTIONS when you see your doctor and nurse. Yes she/he may be busy, but this is your time to get your questions answered by a professional who knows the answer. Take advantage of it.

4)Take your medication and the way you were told. This seems obvious, but somehow many people still seem surprised when their diabetes control gets worse after stopping their medication (or failing to take it as their doctor instructed). If your medical team says take it twice a day, please take the pill that way.

5)Start eating properly. This may include eating LESS for many people, since type 2 diabetes tends to occur often in folks who are overweight/obese. It should also include eating healthier foods (goodbye fried chicken every day, hello baked fish), drinking more water overall (and thus less juice/soda/alcohol) and stabilizing eating patterns throughout the day.

6) Get some exercise. ANY exercise! Walk, run, swim, climb, clean your house, do some gardening, go pick bananas, take your grandchildren to the park and run around with them. Just be sure to get that heart beating faster than normal about 5 times a week.

7) Get your labs done. This is how your doctor monitors your progress, and it should be as important for you to see the results as for her/him to see them. Let the gauge be your hemoglobin A1C, not whether or not the cut on your foot heals up before you need something cut off….

Until next week, stay safe and healthy my Vincy family!

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227