Diabetes: Self-care For A New Year

Barb Mathauer has had diabetes for more than 20 years. She first tried to control it with diet and now she’s on medication. She’d like to get back to focusing more on her diet.

So on a recent Tuesday night she sat around a table and joined an informal discussion about setting goals in the New Year. Nurse Angela Madden a certified diabetes educator led the discussion.

“The hardest thing for me is eating three meals a day and trying to get enough sleep,” said Mathauer, who recently lost her husband. “I feel better when I eat right and take care of myself, I just need a little encouragement.”

On the second Tuesday of every month, Mathauer and others diagnosed with diabetes can find that encouragement at a support group. The group meets at various locations – including local libraries. Topics include: “Diabetes and stroke;” “Monitoring diabetes and what to do with your results;” and “Foot and Heart Care.”

Participants recently shared recipes and resources including information about a mobile app – “IU Health My Diabetes Tracker.” The app was created by Indiana University Health to help patients and their families manage their diabetes. The app helps track insulin dosage and blood sugar, set up medication reminders and log nutrition and activity. Patients can also receive messages from their healthcare providers.

“Diabetes isn’t just about food, but food is a big part of our culture,” said Madden. She encouraged participants to plan ahead when eating out (even review the menus online) and reviewed the “seven self-care behaviors” provided by the American Association of Diabetes Educators:

  • Health Eating
  • Being Active
  • Monitoring
  • Taking Medication
  • Problem Solving
  • Healthy Coping
  • Reducing Risks

The next Diabetes Support Group meets February 13 at Irvington Library. All meetings are from 6-7 p.m. Learn more about upcoming meetings, topics, and how to subscribe to the monthly diabetes newsletter here.

– T.J. Banes