Quality of Life for the Diabetic

 

Diabetes is a demanding disease that requires constant monitoring and careful attention to diet. Outcomes are meaningful to the extent that they affect the whole person and contribute to their physical, emotional , & social well-being. As caregivers in the home, your help with self-care translates into a higher quality of life for our clients with Diabetes. 

 

5 BASIC SYMPTOMS & INDICATORS

1. Symptoms: shakiness, sweating, weakness, dizziness, irritability, hunger, headache. Indicates: Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

2. Symptoms: Thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, drowsiness, blurred vision. Indicates: High blood sugar (over 240-300 mg/dl)

3. Symptoms: High blood sugar and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, extreme drowsiness, rapid breathing, flushed skin.Indicates: Diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by lack of insulin.

4. Symptoms: Pain and numbness, tingling sensation in the extremities. Indicates: Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage that affects feeling in the hands and feet)

5. Symptoms: Blurred Vision.  Indicates: Diabetic macular edema (accumulation of fluid in the central part of the retina of the eye)

 

MEAL PLANNING

A balanced diet helps avoid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. When preparing meals for diabetic clients remember to:

 

Individualize It: Food is a personal thing, and meals should be made as enjoyable as possible. Determine the eating patterns of the client, and ask what foods he or she likes to eat most. 

 

Include a Variety of Healthy Foods: Choose from the following food groups-vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat or low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats or fish-and balance carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Check the American Diabetes Association website www.diabetes.org for guidelines. Always follow dietary restrictions on the Plan of Care.

 

Watch Preparation Methods: Bake or broil food rather than frying it. Use monounsaturated oil (such as olive oil, canola oil or peanut oil) instead of lard. Also, avoid fast foods which tend to be high in fats and calories.

 

Limit Portion Size: Read the nutrition facts labels on packaged foods and remember that even healthy foods can become high-calorie if consumed in large quantities.

 

(Article Adapted from CaringToday.com)

 

Sound Options provides expert In-Home Care and Care Management Services for clients with chronic and progressive disease. We're here to support the quality of your loved one deserves.

Published on August 17, 2012.