steps to control diabetes
steps to control diabetes

STEP 1: Learn about diabetes.
What is the diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

– With this type of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. This is a problem because the body needs insulin to remove sugar (glucose) from the food you eat for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.

Type 2 diabetes

– With this type of diabetes, the body does not make or use insulin well. People with this type of diabetes may need to take pills or insulin to help control their diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes – This type of diabetes occurs in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. However, even if it goes away, these women and their children are at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.

You are the most important member of your health care team.
You are the one who manages your diabetes day by day. Talk to your doctor about the best way to take care of your diabetes to stay healthy. Other people who can help you are:

dentists
diabetes doctors
diabetes educators
dieticians or nutritionists
ophthalmologists (eye doctors)
podiatrists (foot doctors)
friends and family
mental health counselors
nurses
specialized nurses
pharmacists
social workers

How to learn more about diabetes.
Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. To find a class, check with your health care team or ask your local hospital or clinic. You can also search online.
Join a support group, in person or online, to get support in managing your diabetes from other people with the disease.

Read articles about diabetes that appear on the Internet.
Take your diabetes seriously.
You may have heard some people say that they have “a little bit of diabetes” or that they have “a little high blood sugar.” Hearing these words can make us believe that diabetes is not a serious disease. That’s not true. Diabetes is serious , but you can learn to control it.

Take your diabetes seriously.
You may have heard some people say that they have “a little bit of diabetes” or that they have “a little high blood sugar.” Hearing these words can make us believe that diabetes is not a serious disease. That’s not true. Diabetes is serious , but you can learn to control it.

People with diabetes need to learn to eat healthy foods, maintain or achieve a healthy weight, be more physically active every day, and take their medications even when they feel well. There is too much to do. It’s not easy, but it’s worth doing!

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Why take care of diabetes?

By taking good care of yourself and managing your diabetes, you can feel better today and in the future. When your blood sugar level is close to normal, you are likely to:

have more energy
feel less tired and thirsty
urinate less often
heal better
have fewer skin or bladder infections
You’ll also be less likely to have health problems caused by diabetes, such as:

a heart or brain attack
eye diseases that can cause you to have problems
of sight or even go blind
nerve damage that makes your hands and feet hurt or feel
feel numb or tingly
kidney problems that can cause them to stop working
problems with teeth and gums

Steps You Can Take

check mark Ask your health care team what type of diabetes you have.

check mark Find out where you can go for support.

check mark Learn how diabetes care can help you feel better today and in the future.

STEP 2: Learn the key factors of diabetes

Ask your health care team what you can do to better control your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes-related problems.

Blood sugar and A1C test
What is the A1C test?
The A1C test is a blood test used to measure your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months. It’s different from the blood sugar checks you do every day.

Because it is important?
You need to know what your blood sugar levels are over time. It’s not good that those numbers go up a lot. High blood sugar levels can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.

What is the ideal level of the A1C test?

The ideal level for most people with diabetes is less than 7. It could be different for you. Ask what yours should be.

blood pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood pushes against the wall of the blood vessels.

Because it is important?
If your blood pressure is too high, your heart has to work too hard. This can cause a heart attack or stroke and damage your kidneys and eyes

What is the ideal level of blood pressure?
The ideal level for most people with diabetes is less than 140/90. It could be different for you. Ask what yours should be.

Cholesterol
What is cholesterol?
There are two types of cholesterol in the blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up in your blood vessels and clog them. This can cause a heart attack or brain attack. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps move “bad” cholesterol out of the blood vessels.

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What are the ideal levels for LDL and HDL?
Ask how much cholesterol you should have. Your ideal level might be different from other people. If you are over 40 years of age, you may need to take a statin drug for heart health.

check mark Steps You Can Take
check mark Ask your health care team:
What your blood sugar (A1C), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels are and what your levels should be. Your ideal levels will depend on how long you’ve had diabetes, other health problems, and how hard your diabetes is to control.
What you can do to achieve these ideal results.
check markWrite your results on the record card at the end of this booklet to track your progress.

STEP 3: Learn to live with diabetes

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you have diabetes. Maybe you know the steps you need to take to stay healthy, but it’s hard to stick to the plan for long. This section has tips on coping with diabetes and how to eat well and stay active.

Stand up to diabetes.

Stress can increase your blood sugar level. Learn different ways to reduce stress. Take deep breaths, garden, walk, meditate, distract yourself with a favorite hobby or listen to your favorite music.
If you feel depressed, ask for help. Perhaps a mental health counselor, support group, religious community leader, friend, or family member who listens to your concerns will help you feel better.
With the help of your health care team, make a diabetes meal plan.
Choose foods low in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
Choose foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese.
Drink water instead of regular juice or soda.
When served, fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables, one-fourth of the plate with a low-fat protein such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and the other quarter of the plate with a whole grain, such as rice or whole wheat pasta.

Eat well.

Stay active.
Make a goal to be more active most days of the week. Start slowly by walking for 10 minutes, 3 times a day.
Twice a week, work to increase your muscle strength. Use resistance bands, do yoga, work hard in the garden (digging holes and planting with tools), or do push-ups.
Maintain or get to a healthy weight by using your meal plan and getting more exercise.

Know what you need to do every day.
Take your medicines for diabetes and other health problems even when you feel fine. Ask your doctor if you should take aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke. Let your doctor know if you don’t have money to buy your medicine or if you’re experiencing any side effects from taking it.
Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, or swelling. Call your doctor right away if you have a sore that does not heal.
Brush and floss your teeth every day to keep your teeth, mouth, and gums healthy.
Stop smoking. Ask for help to do it. Call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).
Keep track of your blood sugar level. You may need to measure it more than once a day. Use the card at the end of this booklet to keep track of your blood sugar levels. Don’t forget to show this card to your health care team.
Check your blood pressure if your doctor tells you to, and keep a record.
Talk to your health care team.
Check with your doctor if you have any questions about your diabetes.
Let him know of any changes in your health.

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Steps You Can Take
check mark Ask for a healthy eating plan.
check mark Ask about different ways to be more active.
check mark Ask how and when to check your blood sugar and how to use the results to manage your diabetes.
check mark Use these tips as a guide for your self-control.
check mark Every time you have an appointment with your health care team, let them know if your self-management plan is working for you.

STEP 4: Get routine medical care to stay healthy

Visit your health care team at least twice a year to find and treat problems early.

Make sure that at each medical visit you have:

a blood pressure check
a foot check
a weight check
a review of your self-monitoring plan
Twice a year do:
the A1C test . You may need to test more often if your result is more than 7.
Once a year, make sure you have:
cholesterol test
a complete foot exam
a dental checkup to see how your teeth and gums are doing
a complete eye exam (dilated) to see if you have any problems
give the flu or influenza vaccine
blood and urine tests to see if you have any problems with your kidneys
At least once, have yourself put:
the pneumonia vaccine
the hepatitis B vaccine
Medicare and diabetes
If you have Medicare, find out what your plan’s coverage is like for diabetes care. Medicare covers part of the cost of:

diabetes education
diabetes supplies
diabetes medications
consult with a dietitian or nutritionist
special shoes, if you need them Steps You Can Take
check markAsk your health care team about these and other tests you may need.

check markAsk what the results mean.

check markWrite down the date and time of your next medical visit.

check markUse the card at the end of this booklet to keep track of your diabetes care.

check markIf you have Medicare, check your plan.