Diabetes Care

image of a diabetes care kit

In 2018, 1 in 10 Americans had diabetes. It is the 10th leading cause of death in this country, but it doesn’t need to be. While there isn’t a cure, you can control your diabetes through lifestyle changes and medication therapy.1,2 Through proper measures, you can continue leading a healthy life. Learn more here about diabetes and how you can take better charge of the condition.

Blood Sugar Monitoring

Blood sugar (also called blood glucose) is the amount of sugar that is in your blood. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems.

It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible to help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Staying in your target range can also help improve your energy and mood.

View steps for monitoring glucose (PDF)

Testing Your Blood Glucose

Watch this video to learn about testing your blood glucose. For more information on the topic discussed in this video, please go to: https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/medication-treatments/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/checking-your-blood-glucose

Recently Diagnosed Diabetes

What exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not use glucose properly as a source of energy, which leads to its build-up in the bloodstream. There are two types of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a result of insulin cells being destroyed in the pancreas and not being able to transport glucose throughout the blood. Type 2 diabetes3 occurs when the cells in your body become resistant to insulin, therefore the pancreas is not making enough insulin to overcome this resistance leading to a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream.

What is hyperglycemia & hypoglycemia?

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar. Signs and symptoms develop slowly, but recognizing symptoms early can help treat it early. Frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, fruity-smelling breath, weakness, and confusion are all signs of hyperglycemia.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia means that your blood sugar levels are lower than normal. Immediate treatment is
needed with these symptoms: irregular or fast heartbeat, fatigue, pale skin, anxiety, sweating, hunger, and tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, or cheek.

How can diabetes affect me?

What conditions could worsen my diabetes?

  • Malnutrition
  • High blood pressure

What conditions am I more at risk for?

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage
  • Foot complications
  • Hearing impairment

How can I better control my diabetes?

Diet

A healthy diet can really help you control your diabetes. Healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; foods high in fiber like nuts and legumes; fish; and ‘good’ fats like avocados are nutritious food examples.

Exercise

Exercise should include both strength training and aerobic exercise. The goal of aerobic exercise should be 150 minutes per week – 30 minutes per day. As long as you can’t easily talk, you are exercising! Strength training is beneficial if done two times per week for at least 20 minutes. Remember to start low and go slow.

Medication Adherence

Adherence to diabetic medications is an important part of improving a patient’s health. Taking medications as prescribed leads to lower hospitalization, lower health care cost, and lower mortality rates.

Regular Doctor Appointments

Patients with diabetes will typically see their doctor for appointments every 3-6 months depending on their condition. If they have complications or have uncontrolled blood sugar levels they may have to see their doctor more frequently. At these appointments it is important to provide your doctor with your home blood sugar log and to inform them of any new changes in your medical history or life that may end up affecting your diabetes.

Download the 'Are You New to Diabetes' brochure (PDF)

Additional Resources

REFERENCES

  1. Newly Diagnosed | ADA. Diabetes.org. Published 2019. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/newly-diagnosed
  2. CDC. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017 Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States Background. ; 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
  3. Type 2 diabetes. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc
    -20351199. Published January 20, 2021. Accessed February 24, 2021.