Diabetes affects the ability of the body to lower blood sugar (glucose). This can lead to damage in many parts of the body, including blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and digestive system. Diabetes also increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and blindness. With proper management and self-care, people with diabetes can lead a healthy life.
With proper management, it is possible to lead a healthy life with diabetes. Self-care gives you the power to manage diabetes and feel your best.
Diabetes affects the ability to lower blood sugar (glucose). In turn, this can lead to damage in many parts of the body, including the blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and digestive system. It also increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and blindness.
Proper self-care, combined with your personal physician's treatment program, is the best way to protect your health. With self-care, you can manage your condition and improve your health; recognize symptoms and know when to get help; and limit the risk of future health problems.
Because you can't always feel if your blood sugar is too high or too low, daily monitoring is critical. Long-range monitoring will tell you how well your treatment plan is working in the long term.
Your health care provider will help you understand your target ranges or healthy blood sugar goals. If your blood sugar gets too high, you can take steps to get it back into a healthy range.
Treating High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)
Signs of Hypoglycemia
Signs of Hyperglycemia
Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. When the body can't make insulin or use the insulin it has, your blood sugar can get too high. Medication or insulin injections may be prescribed to help lower blood sugar.
Some pills help your body make more insulin. Other pills make the insulin in your body work better.
|Exam and Test Checklist:|
|Maintain a record to keep track of the medical appointments you need each year|
|Have an A1c test at least twice a year or as recommended by your physician|
|Have your cholesterol checked yearly (HDL, LDL and triglycerides)|
|Have your blood pressure checked at each visit with your physician|
|Have a dilated eye exam every year or as your physician recommends|
|Ask your physician about foot exams, kidney screenings and other appointments you may need|
|Have your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist two or more times a year|
Certain foods affect blood sugar. Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you have to diet or give up tasty foods. It does mean learning how to balance food and blood sugar.
Fat and Protein
Diabetes can change the nerves in your feet, so it can be difficult to feel injuries or sore spots. Diabetes also affects blood flow, making it harder for cuts and sores to heal.
Make a point to check your feet every day, so you can catch problems before they get worse. If you have trouble seeing the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or have someone help you. Examine the top, bottom and nails of each foot. Look for changes in color. Look for any red spots or streaks. Look for skin changes, such as blisters, corns or calluses. Check for dry, cracked or scaly skin. Check for changes in feeling, such as numbness, tingling, coldness or burning.
If you find a problem during a self-exam, call your physician immediately.
To help protect your feet:
Don't trim your corns, calluses, toenails. See a podiatrist (foot specialist) for regular foot care. Wash your feet with soap and water and dry them carefully, especially between your toes. Don't walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid high heels, tight work boots or shoes that are too tight and need to be broken in.
Activity or exercise is an important part of managing your diabetes. If you're overweight, exercise can help you lose extra pounds, which helps the body use its own insulin better. Activity also can relieve stress and contribute to your well-being.
|If your health care provider clears you to start an exercise program:|
|Check your blood sugar before you exercise|
|Choose shoes that are right for the activity|
|Wear a medical ID that says you have diabetes|
|Be sure to stretch and warm up|
|Carry fast-acting glucose tablets|
|Exercise with a partner|
|Drink plenty of water|
|Be sure to cool down afterward|
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