Treat Yourself Well


By: Nadia Al-Samarrie

As we go to press, President-elect Barack Obama has not yet been sworn into office but he and Senator Tom Daschle, Secretary-designate for Health and Human Services, have made it clear that health care will be a top priority. They have pledged to make health insurance work for people and businesses. One suggested reform in the Obama-Biden health plan is requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so that all Americans, regardless of their health status or history, can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums. This will be good news for the diabetes community.

While we wait and watch to see what the new administration can accomplish, I propose that you can show your patriotism through your personal commitment to better health. This can be even just a “baby step” such as watching your carbs or testing your blood sugar more often for tighter control.

This issue of Diabetes Health is all about treating yourself well. Get active with detailed advice from Dr. Sheri Colberg on how to be an athlete with diabetes. Thinking of kids? Check out Amy Mercer’s article on handling your diabetes while pregnant. In “My Side of the Meter,” Riva Greenberg shares the revelation that poorly controlled diabetes is very different than diabetes. Perfection is impossible, but “good enough” is possible and important. Remember, your blood sugar number is just bio feedback, not a judgment. It is simply information as to how your body is responding to the current circumstance. Shift your mind and you’ll find you have the power to improve you health, even if you have diabetes. You owe it to yourself, your family and yes, your country, to be the best that you can be. Not perfect, just the best you can be.

February is American Heart Month. Deanna Glick’s article about women and heart health teaches us that women with diabetes are more susceptible to heart disease than men with diabetes but there are many things women can do to lessen the odds. Abraham Morgentaler, MD writes about the intriguing relationship between low testosterone and blood sugar control. Author Ron Smith gives some very useful tips on how to fight your insurance company and come out a winner.

Humor and health expert, Leigh Anne Jasheway, details how laughing can improve your health. It seems that Japanese researchers found that people who laughed at a comedy show after dinner experienced a lower spike in blood sugar following their meal than those who didn’t do something that made them laugh. Conclusion? Dinner theatre is good for you. Well, anything that lets you lighten up is good for you so go out in your community and laugh.

Jump into wellness. You are doing the planet a favor by developing your full potential. No one benefits if you prolong better self-care, even if you’re sacrificing yourself in order to take care of someone else. There’s nothing to give if your cup is empty.

Best wishes, health, and happiness in 2009 to you and yours,

—Nadia Al-Samarrie



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