REDUCING RISKS
There are several healthcare services that are recommended on a regular basis that can reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications:
• Annual eye exams
• Routine medical follow-up appointments
• Regular dental exams
• Daily foot checks
Stopping smoking
• Flu vaccinations
• Daily baby aspirin use (if approved by your doctor)

I like to think of this key as a safety belt, and also, as the car maintenance schedule of diabetes management. Certain tests need to be done at specific times to prolong the life and efficiency of your car, and likewise, your body.

HEALTHY COPING
This key deals with how you cope with having diabetes, how you perceive situations, and how you relate to others involved in your life.

Did you know there is a high rate of depression amongst people with diabetes? How are you coping with having diabetes? How supportive are your family or friends? How do you relax? If you need some tips on how to handle the emotional aspects of living with diabetes, you are not alone. Ask to see a Medical Social Worker, or talk with someone who has diabetes to get the support you need.

HUMOR
Although not part of the official AADE 7 Self-Care Behaviors, I encourage you to use it regularly. Humor has such positive benefits for the body (including lowering glucose) and it's a great way to help one cope.

I recently met one of the authors for the Technical Review of the Diabetes Self-Management Education Core Outcomes Measures, which was a guide for this column (Source: Mulcahy K., Marynuik M., Peeples M., Peyrot M., Tomky D., Weaver T., Yarborough. Technical review of the diabetes self-management education core outcomes. Diabetes Educator. 2003;Vol29:No5.). Malinda Peeples is a Registered Nurse and soon to be President of AADE. She works as a Certified Diabetes Educator at John Hopkins School of Medicine, in Boston, Massachusetts. She described the AADE 7 Self-Care Behaviors as a model that can be applied to any disease. I think it can be used as a model for health too. We all need to eat right, exercise regularly, deal with life, problem solve, etc., so I've added these keys to my collection as well. Every day, you make many decisions that affect your diabetes. I hope you pull out those keys as needed to help along the way.

And if you are planning a trip to the 7 continents of the world, be sure to pack the AADE 7 Self-Care Behaviors—and send post cards!

Read Theresa's bio here.

Read more of Theresa Garnero's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

 

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Last Modified Date: May 24, 2013

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