Take control of your diabetes
Did you know that you can be in control of the day-to-day care of diabetes?
- 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 – be sure you know of any physical limitations you may have1
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan
Getting regular care for your diabetes can help you prevent further health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and eye, foot or kidney problems. Review the lists below with your doctor to make sure you are up to date in the management of your condition.
At every office visit:
- 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:
- Have your cholesterol levels checked.
- Have your urine tested for microalbumin. This test checks your kidneys for changes or damage that might be occurring. The microalbumin test looks for the presence of a protein called albumin in the urine.
- Have a complete foot exam. Your doctor should check your feet completely for any signs of infections or nerve damage.
- Have a dilated eye exam. An eye doctor should be performing 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.
- Preventive care. Ask your doctor any questions you have about preventive care, immunizations and what tests and screenings are right for you.
Other things you should do:
- Find the support you need. Diabetes is a very challenging chronic condition to manage. Horizon BCBSNJ’s Chronic Care Program can help you, along with your doctor, to achieve your goals. Our program can provide you with diabetes education and nutrition counseling.
- Prepare for pregnancy. Speak with your doctors if you plan to become pregnant. Work to get to a healthy weight and activity level before and during pregnancy.
1Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Source: American Diabetes Association, diabetes.org
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 physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding 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.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.