Creating Your Diabetes Management Plan
When you are living with diabetes, having a management plan in place is essential. Your diabetes management plan should balance healthy eating, blood sugar testing, insulin administration, and exercise.
That said, there is no one-size-fits-all diabetes management plan because everyone has different daily needs. With a management plan personalized to your lifestyle, you can maintain an easy and seamless routine that ensures you are taking the right measures to manage your diabetes.
Insulin is essential to your diabetes management. Unfortunately, however, insulin can be hard to access when you have to jump through the American healthcare system’s hoops, and the price tags attached to the medication are so high.
Access: Ensuring you have regular access to affordable and safe insulin is essential to your diabetes management plan. Insulin can be hard to access, which is why at PolarBearMeds, we make it so that you can buy insulin from Canada easily and securely.
As an online prescription referral service, we team up with reputable Canadian pharmacies so that you can order insulin online from Canada at affordable prices.
Brand: Identify the best brand and the right type of insulin for you. Your medical professional will be able to prescribe the best balance of fast-acting, rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting insulin based on your unique needs.
Time: You don’t want to be out of insulin. We make it easy to refill your prescription online after an initial order so that you can get your refill shipped out to you for when you need it next.
When: When you take your insulin will depend on the type you are taking and your mealtimes. According to the American Family Physician Journal, regular or long-acting insulin should be taken 15 to 30 minutes before eating. If you take fast or rapid-acting insulin-like Humalog, you will want to take it under 15 minutes before eating.
Where: Administer your insulin in the same area every day to accurately read your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association suggests that, instead of administering your insulin in the same place every time, inject it within the same area. Injecting insulin in the same place every day can cause hard lumps or deposits to develop.
How: Identify how you will be administering your insulin. Insulin can be administered by an insulin pen, syringe, or pump therapy. Identify what you will be using to ensure you always have the right diabetic supplies on hand to administer your medication.
Your eating habits – what and when you eat – are vital to your diabetes management. Work with your medical professional to create a meal plan so that you can integrate the right foods and determine the best times to eat based on when you will check your glucose levels.
The times when you administer your insulin and check your blood sugar levels will directly impact your mealtimes (and vice versa). You will want to schedule your mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) accordingly to maintain a consistent routine.
It’s good to plan and ensure you have enough time in between mealtimes and other activities. Help Guide suggests that maintaining a regular meal schedule – eating moderate portions of meals at consistent times each day – allows the body to better regulate its blood sugar levels.
Your diabetes management plan should include foods that are good for your heart and blood sugar levels and exclude those that can negatively impact your health.
- Healthy fats (nuts, fish, flax seeds, avocados, olive oil)
- Fruits & vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, squash, strawberries)
- Whole-grain bread
- High-fiber cereals
- Chicken & turkey
- Low-fat dairy (i.e., Greek yogurt)
- Foods high in trans-fat (deep-fried foods)
- Food high in sugar (baked goods etc.)
- Carbs like white bread, cereals, pasta & rice
- Processed meats
- Red meats
- Products with added sugar (most fat-free products)
Exercise plays a significant role in diabetes management. It helps regulate blood sugar, control weight, reduce blood pressure, strengthen your muscles and bones, and improve your overall well-being.
That said, it is important to integrate exercise into your daily schedule in a way that aligns with your other daily activities (eating, checking blood sugar, administering insulin, etc.)
What: Establish what exercise you are going to do on a daily or weekly basis. There are specific exercises that are better suited to people with diabetes than others. Exercises to integrate into your routine include:
- Aerobic exercises (walking, bicycling or jogging)
- Resistance exercise (weights, weight machines, resistance bands)
- Interval training (periods of high intensity running or cycling
When: The earlier you exercise, the better. Exercising in the evening can cause your levels to spike while you’re heading to sleep.
Time: Strategize what time you will exercise, as this will impact when you can do other daily activities. For one, Harvard Health Publishing suggests that you exercise one to three hours after eating and check your blood sugar levels before the physical activity.
The frequency and length of time that you exercise also plays an essential role in your diabetes management. The ADA recommends that people with diabetes maintain the following exercise habits:
- At least 2.5 hours of physical activity (moderate to high intensity)
- Two to three days of resistance training
- Integrate stretching and other flexibility exercises into your weekly routine
- Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time
- Avoid exceeding two days without exercise
Testing Blood Sugar Levels:
The times and frequency that you test your blood sugar levels also play an essential role in your daily routine. Here’s when you should be checking your blood glucose levels every day:
Before & After Meals:
These are the target blood sugar levels for people with diabetes before and after meals:
- Before Breakfast: 80-130 mg/dL
- Before lunch, dinner, and snacks: 80-130 mg/dL
- After Eating (Two Hours): under 180 mg/dL
Before During & After Exercise:
Before: Test your blood sugar 15 to 30 minutes before exercising. If your levels read between 5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L, you are safe to exercise. If your levels are higher or lower, however, hold off. If your levels are too low, you can eat fruit and check again in half an hour.
During: Planning a long workout? Be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels every half hour. If you feel weak, confused, or your levels drop below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L), stop exercising.
After: Your blood sugar levels will rise after exercising, so check your levels after to identify if they need to be adjusted.
It’s essential to establish a nighttime routine for your overnight diabetes management.
Snack: Because glucose levels tend to spike in the evening, it is good to eat a snack like whole wheat crackers or an apple before bed to regulate your blood sugar. Be sure to keep the portion small.
Check Your Blood Sugar: Before your head hits the pillow, check your blood sugar levels. Do this to avoid hitting exceedingly high or low levels in your sleep.