Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems.? For the nearly 65 million Indians with diabetes and the 200 million Indian adults with pre-diabetes, it is especially important to change health behaviors now in order to avoid serious diabetes complications. Fifteen percent of diabetics in India are under 40, and most of them also have high cholesterol levels that may lead to cardiac problems as a result of diabetes complications!
Adjustments – small and large – need to be made to an individual’s lifestyle to avoid diabetes complications, but where does a person start?
The American Association of Diabetes Educators outlines seven areas of self-care that are essential for living a healthy life with diabetes and to avoid diabetes comnplications. Known as the AADE7, they are:
- Being active – recognizing the importance of physical activity and making a plan to start moving today.
- Monitoring – learning to check and record your blood glucose levels and other numbers important to your diabetes self-care.
- Taking medication – remembering to take your medications as prescribed and understanding how they affect your body and diabetes management.
- Problem solving – gaining skills to identify problems or obstacles to your self-care behaviors and learning how to solve them.
- Reducing risks – understanding the potential complications you are at risk for with diabetes and taking steps to prevent them.
- Healthy coping – developing healthy ways of dealing with difficult times in your diabetes management.
Health care professionals can help people with diabetes learn self-care strategies for each of the AADE7, and work with individuals to set and achieve behavior change goals in order to reduce the risk of developing complications.