The goal of diabetes treatment is to maintain blood glucose at normal or near-normal levels.
This is the key that will keep you healthy and prevent long-term complications, such as heart disease, nerve problems, and eye problems.
By taking charge, you will feel better and healthier.
Let's design an action plan for your own self-care. Here are the basic components:
- Monitor your blood sugar.
- Work with a registered dietitian to find a meal plan that works for you.
- Lose weight or maintain your already healthy weight.
- Become more physically active and fit.
- Take oral medication or insulin if necessary.
- Make a plan to stop using tobacco as soon as possible if you use it now, or do not start.
- Discuss with your doctor starting aspirin or a cholestrol medicine to help prevent cardiovascular problems.
- Find out your 10-year risk for coronary heart disease. Consider taking a cholesterol medicine if you need to. If you already have heart disease, a beta-blocker may be prescribed.
- Get your kidney function checked every year. An ACE inhibitor may be recommended to prevent or slow the effects of diabetes on your kidneys.
- Have a basic neurological exam every year.
- Take care of your feet. Have your health care provider carefully examine them at least once a year.
- Get the influenza vaccine each year and the Pneumovax once with a booster in 5 years. Recently, a hepatitis vaccine has also been recommended for people with diabetes. Talk to your health care provider.
- Get your eyes checked yearly by an eye care professional.
- See your primary doctor about every 3 - 4 months, or more frequently if your plan is not working. You can also consult with an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist).
The next few steps of this guide describe the initial components in more detail. Remind yourself that you don't have to work on every step all at once. Taking small steps over time will get you to your goal.
Also remember that you are not alone. You are the most important person in this plan, but your doctor and other members of your health care team (such as a diabetes educator, a nurse, and a registered dietitian) are involved in your health care and will help you.
National Diabetes Fact Sheet
This is the official Fact Sheet developed jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and other partners. The Fact Sheet is the authoritative source of information, statistics, and national estimates on diabetes in the United States.
Nancy J. Rennert, MD, Chief of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previoulsy reviewed by Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. (5/13/2010)
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