When you or your loved one are living with diabetes, developing routines that help you manage your health and maintain the lifestyle you want is an important part of settling in to your new normal. Everyone’s health story is unique and each person’s journey to finding the routines and systems that work for themselves and their families will always look a little different. However, there are a number of tried and true strategies for looking out for your health each day and limiting the ways a condition like diabetes can interfere with you living your best life.
One of the most immediate things that will change, no matter if you are living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, is your need to monitor your glucose levels. But when you use an integrated, continuous glucose monitoring device like Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system, tracking your glucose levels is painless and reduces the hassle when checking your glucose levels1. The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is the only integrated CGM system available that continuously transmits glucose data every minute with customizable, optional real-time alarms† to alert users when their glucose is high or low without scanning or painful fingersticks.‡ This technology is available for children (ages 4 and older) and adults with diabetes, and monitors glucose levels for up to 14 days2, providing trends, insights and actionable data. With access to this type of information on your glucose levels, you’re able to rest assured that you’re making smart choices for your health.
Talking with experts — doctors, people living with diabetes and caregivers — we got the low-down on some useful and practical advice for managing your diabetes day-to-day. Whether it’s lifestyle and self-care changes or hacks for monitoring and keeping track of your glucose levels, these experts have you covered.
Meal plan and snack plan
“Since my diagnosis, I am so mindful of every piece of food going into my mouth and how it will affect my glucose levels and my overall health. I’ve gained a lot of self-discipline and self-control when it comes to food and beverages. I also carry extra supplies and low snacks everywhere I go.”
— Amanda R., founder of The Chambray Bunny
Inform your support system
“I’ve shared with everyone I know how to assist me if my glucose levels drop too low. This condition is not easy by any means but with the proper medication (insulin), food, exercise, technology, support system from family and friends, and a determined mindset, I know that I, and so many other people with diabetes, will get through this day by day!”
— Amanda R., founder of The Chambray Bunny
“After his diagnosis, my son’s daily routine, and subsequently our family’s, became filled with checking his glucose levels several times a day, injecting him with insulin for every meal and at bedtime, monitoring his activity, counting carbs and more to ensure he remains as healthy as possible and avoids potentially life-threatening effects and long-term complications. While life with the condition is certainly not hopeless, and in so many ways Cameron’s life is the same as it was pre-diagnosis, with Type 1 diabetes there are no days off.”
— Shalyce T., founder of ShalyceTyson.com
Make time for exercise and sleep routines that make you feel good
“I do not skip my daily walk — something I was guilty of doing earlier. There were days I gave in to my laziness. Now, exercise is a non-negotiable. I also make sure I get seven or eight hours of sleep and go to bed at a decent hour. I had the habit of staying up late — now I avoid that. I realize that I owe it to myself to stay healthy. I am more conscious about self-care as I know that slacking off will harm my health and cause irreparable damage.”
— Vidya Sury, founder at Collecting Smiles
Monitor your glucose levels
“I need to check my glucose levels daily with my Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2 system so that has changed, as well as the fact that I now take medication. I was one of those people who, if I got a prescription from the doctor, I would be like ‘I have to take an antibiotic for two weeks. I’m never going to remember to take it every day for two weeks.’ And now I’ve been on daily medication for four years. So, you know, what I always tell people is like diabetes does not ruin your life. It’s not a death sentence, but you do have to make changes … My Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2 system made me more mindful and I really needed that.“
— Alysse D., founder of Ready to Stare
This article was created by SheKnows for Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system includes a self-applied sensor (the size of two-stacked quarters) that is the easiest glucose sensor to apply3 and worn on the back of the upper arm, eliminating the need for painful fingersticks to test glucose levels.‡ Easily check your glucose levels with a painless1 one-second scan instead of a fingerstick.‡
WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS*: The System must not be used with automated insulin dosing (AID) systems, including closed loop and insulin suspend systems. Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment. Do not take high doses of Vitamin C (more than 500mg per day), as this may falsely raise your Sensor readings. Failure to use the System according to the instructions for use may result in missing a severe low blood glucose or high blood glucose event and/or making a treatment decision that may result in injury. If glucose alarms and readings from the System do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick blood glucose value to make diabetes treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate and contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit* www.freestylelibre.us for detailed indications for use and safety information.
*For full indications for use and safety information, see more here.
†Notifications will only be received when alarms are turned on and the sensor is within 20 feet of the reading device
‡Fingersticks are required if your glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol in the first twelve hours.
1Haak T, et al. Flash glucose-sensing technology as a replacement for blood glucose monitoring for the management of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes: a multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial. Diabetes Ther. 2017;8(1):55-73.
2FreeStyle Libre 2 System User Manual.
3Data on file. FreeStyle Libre 2 System User Manual.