Managing Diabetes

Managing Diabetes - It isn't easy, but it's worth it!

Diabetes is a serious disease and can affect almost every part of your body. However, research has shown that managing your diabetes can help prevent or delay the long-term complications associated with this chronic disease. There are lifestyle changes you can make to control your diabetes.

  1. Learn about diabetes to feel better now and in the future.
  1. Ask your health care team which type of diabetes you have.
  2. Learn all you can about diabetes and why it is serious. 
  3. Learn how caring for your diabetes will help you have more energy, be less tired and thirsty and urinate less often, heal better and have fewer skin or bladder infections, and have fewer problems with your eyesight, feet, and gums. 


  1. Know your diabetes ABCs.
  1. A is for the A1C test. This shows what your blood glucose has been over the last 3 months. The A1C goal for most people is below 7. High blood glucose damages your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet and eyes.
  2. B is for Blood pressure. The goal for most people with diabetes is 130/80. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
  3. C is for Cholesterol. The LDL goal for most people is below 100. The HDL goal for most men is over 40 and for most women is over 50. LDL cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels causing a heart attack or stroke. HDL cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels.


  1. Manage your diabetes.
  1. Ask your health care team what your blood glucose targets are, how and when to test and how to use the results to manage your diabetes.
  2. Follow your diabetes meal plan. If you don’t have one, ask your health care team.
  3. Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
  4. Stay at a healthy weight.
  5. Ask for help if you feel depressed.
  6. Learn to handle your stress.
  7. If you smoke, quit! Call the Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669.
  8. Take your medicines as you have been told by your health care provider. If you can’t afford your medicines, or have side effects, tell your health care provider.
  9. Check your feet every day. If you have any problems, call your health care provider immediately.
  10. Brush and floss your teeth every day.
  11. Check your blood sugar as you have been told and keep a record.
  12. Report any changes in your vision to your health care provider right away.


  1. Get routine care. See your health care provider at least 2 times a year. Work together to reach your goals.
  1. At each visit, have a blood pressure check, foot check, weight check and review your self-care plan and goals.
  2. At least 2 times a year, get an A1C.
  3. Once a year, have a cholesterol and triglyceride test, complete foot exam, dental exam, dilated eye exam, flu shot and urine and blood test to check for kidney problems.
  4. At least once, get a pneumonia shot.