Taking a Look at Diabetes

By Sheila Robison, Economic Security Team Member for MiCAFE at Elder Law of Michigan

As the constant need to slow the growing epidemic of diabetes continues in the United States, National Diabetes Month strives to encourage and strengthen patients again this November.  

I live with diabetes every day. My husband has diabetes and it’s not anything to take lightly. He takes four insulin injections per day, one with each meal and one long-acting insulin at bedtime. Day in and day out I am reminded of foods to eat and when to eat them and medicines to take and when to take them. I am reminded of supplies to keep on hand, where to get them, and how to store them. The life-saving insulin and all-important measurement of units to disperse insulin and the times to disperse it also serve as daily reminders. These steps all work together to keep sugars under control and internal organs safe. These are all life-saving techniques that we often take for granted.

National Diabetes Month began 40 years ago in 1975, though Congress and U.S. presidents didn’t start passing proclamations recognizing November as “Diabetes Month” until the early 1980s, according to Healthline Media, Inc, an American website and provider of health information headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

If you are an older adult, please be aware of special situations that may damage vision and kidneys, cause cardiovascular disease, and increase infections. Having diabetes makes you more prone to get serious complications over the slightest injury. A cut on your hand or foot may not heal and lead to infections. Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease and can be more serious for the older adults. So, for all the seniors out there, be extra cautious and be aware of these conditions to live a healthier, happier, longer life.

If you are a diabetic, let me leave you with some good lifestyle habits:

  • Drink water. Dehydration makes you feel tired and hungry when that may not be the case.
  • Get more sleep. Lack of proper sleep may increase insulin resistance in your body.
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable. Keep the variety going.
  • Exercise, any way you can, but do it, move as much as possible, every day.
  • Take extra care of your teeth, eyes, and feet. See appropriate doctors on a timely basis.

Taking these lifestyle habits to heart will help any diabetic live a healthier longer life. It’s good to take a look at diabetes from different aspects. Please be safe as you carry on your daily living.

Sheila Robison is an Economic Security Team Member for MiCAFE as well as an MMAP counselor at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since June 2010. As an Economic Security Team Member, Sheila assists Michigan seniors with benefit applications and serves as an advocate for the health and safety of seniors.