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    Take Charge of Tomorrow

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 26th, 2023

    Take Charge of Tomorrow

    There is no way I can end the month of November without discussing diabetes. As most of you know, diabetes is personal. My father died at age 53 due to complications of diabetes. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart and has been linked to some types of cancer. This year’s theme for National Diabetes Month is Take Charge of Tomorrow: Preventing Diabetes Health Problem. How I wish I knew some of the things I know now. Diabetes health-related problems can be prevented, but you have to be an active participant in your care if you have diabetes. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has tips to help manage diabetes to prevent diabetes health related problems.

    Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol – To prevent diabetes health problems, your diabetes has to be under control. This is done by monitoring your hemoglobin A1C. The hemoglobin A1C indicates the average blood glucose level. Some people with diabetes may need to check their sugars multiple times a day. It is so important to understand what the numbers should be and work towards the goal. Having our blood pressure and cholesterol at normal values is also essential. If you cannot remember, think of ABC- AA1C, BBlood pressure, and CCholesterol.

    Take small steps towards healthy habits – Lifestyle habits include planning healthy meals, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and not smoking. You may consider engaging with a health coach. Most insurance companies have started paying for a health coach. You may need this ordered by a healthcare provider.

    Take your medicines on time: Have a clear understanding of how to take your medicine. Even if you feel healthy, take your medication. It is the medication controlling the disease.

    Reach or maintain a healthy weight: This can be difficult, and you may need help. It is okay to ask for help. The lifestyle changes discussed above will be helpful.

    Take care of your mental health – Having a chronic disease, including diabetes, can make you feel down. It is essential to find ways to cope with stress. Having a therapist you trust can be helpful. You can seek help through your provider. Some workplaces provide mental health resources. Every individual has their method of dealing with stress. Finding your method is helpful. Exercising for me is a stress reliever.

    Work with your health care team – Managing diabetes takes a team. Your primary care provider cannot do it alone. Your team may include your primary care provider, diabetes specialist (often endocrinologist), registered dietician, certified diabetes educator, or podiatrist.

    Diabetes health-related problems can be prevented. It is not easy, but there are resources available to help. Health care providers see a lot of patients. We all need to be advocates for ourselves. Get educated and then arm yourself with the information. Set goals with the help of your provider.

    2 Responses to “Take Charge of Tomorrow”

    1. Ebere Okoye says:

      Thank you

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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