Sir Edward Coke is credited with the famous phrase "et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium" or "A man's home is his castle." Hundreds of years later, we can apply that same principle to diabetes care. Your home is your diabetes castle, a place where you can feel safe and secure in the knowledge, support, and supplies you have to successfully manage your condition.

Getting Educated

The American Diabetes Association recommends gathering "need to know" information from a variety of resources, beginning with your first visit to your doctor. Your healthcare team is there to answer any and all questions regarding the disease and how to manage it. Remember, knowledge is power. And making sure everyone in your home is supportive and knowledgeable is a key to making your diabetes management a success.

Getting Healthy and Active

Diet is an important factor in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. This involves getting everyone on the same page regarding food choices. Be an advocate for filling the fridge with healthy fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, and lean meats. One of the best ways to get the family on board is to meet with a registered dietician and include them in your healthcare team. When it comes to exercise, be the team captain for getting the family more active. Try scheduling activities that are fun for the whole family in order to keep them eager and energized. Day hikes, bike rides, and team sports are all great activities that the whole family can participate in.

Getting Tested

One of the most important aspects to managing your diabetes is testing your blood glucose levels. Your home is going to be your base of operations for this, so be sure to have all necessary supplies in abundance. Some physicians suggest having a log book of test results and keeping it at home. Regular testing can be done before and after the meals you eat at home, providing you with valuable insight into how you react to certain foods and portions.

The home front is the best place to build a foundation of healthy food choices, physical activity, and regular testing. Take advantage of being able to control your environment, and make sure you enlist the help of family and friends. Now that you've mastered your domain, you can confidently go out into the world knowing you are managing your diabetes successfully and that you have a long and healthy life ahead of you.