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Did you know that you can be in control of the day-to-day care of your diabetes? This is important because it can prevent further health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and eye, foot or kidney problems.

You can:

  • Choose what, when and how much you eat.
  • Take your medicines.
  • Keep track of your blood glucose (sugar) levels.
  • Decide how much exercise you get. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

At every office visit with your doctor:

  • Review your daily at-home blood glucose numbers.
  • Have your weight checked and discuss your diet.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Review exercise and healthy lifestyle goals.
  • If you smoke, talk about a plan to quit.
  • Talk about if you need to take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • Ask any questions you may have about diabetes.

At least every three to six months (or according to your doctor’s recommendations) have your A1c (glycohemoglobin or glycated hemoglobin) test. This simple blood test tells your average blood glucose for the past two to three months. If your average result is too high, your diabetic care plan may need to be changed.

At least once a year you should:

  • Get your cholesterol levels checked.
  • Get your urine tested for microalbumin. This test checks your kidneys for changes or damage by looking for a protein called albumin in the urine.
  • Get your feet checked. Your doctor should exam your feet completely for any signs of infections or nerve damage.
  • Get your eyes checked. An eye doctor should perform an annual dilated eye exam to check for early signs of damage from diabetes.
  • Get a flu shot. Make sure you take this preventive care measure every year.
  • Get scheduled preventive care. Ask your doctor any questions you have about preventive care, immunizations and which tests and screenings are right for you.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have about a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.