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  Staying Healthy

Even though diabetes is a chronic illness, you can take charge and reduce its impact on your life.  Staying healthy means looking after yourself, following your diet and exercise plan, and monitoring and using your medications properly to control your blood sugar.

The following tests are recommended by the American Diabetes Association to help you to avoid long term problems:

Eye exam

A dilated eye exam should be performed every year. Every other year if the following three conditions are met: You are not taking insulin, you have an HGBA1c < 8.0 and you did not have retinopathy on the previous year’s exam. This test helps prevent diabetic retinopathy and blindness.

Foot exam

Check your feet and skin every day. At least once a year have your feet examined by your doctor. Checking your feet reduces the risk of amputations, foot ulcers and other foot complications.


This is a blood test that quantifies glucose control during the previous 3 – 4 months and is a preferred measure for long term control assessment. It is usually recommended that this test be performed every three months for people using insulin and not as often for those on medications other than insulin. Goal: <6.5%

Micro albumin

This is urine test that checks for protein and helps to identify your risk of kidney problems. It should be checked every year.

Lipid profile

Lipid Profiles measure your cholesterol and is important for identifying your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in diabetics.


Total Cholesterol <200 mg/dL
LDL < 100 mg/dL
HDL > 45 men; > 55 women
TG < 150 mg/dL

Blood pressure check

Since people with diabetes are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, good blood pressure control becomes essential. Hypertension is a major cause of stroke and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Goal: <120/80

What to Do When You Are Sick

Keep foods you like around for sick days, as no one wants to go to the grocery store when sick. Choose simple, easy-to-fix items that might appeal to you when you're not feeling well.

Sick Day Rules

  • Always take your insulin or diabetes pills
  • Test your blood sugar before each meal and at bedtime
  • Test your urine for ketones if blood sugars are greater than 240 mg/dL
  • Follow your meal plan if you can eat. If you can't eat, try to take in at least four ounces of a sugar-containing beverage every hour to keep your blood sugar from falling too low

Call your doctor when:

  • You are vomiting and unable to keep down foods, liquids or diabetes pills
  • Your illness lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Ketones are present in your urine
  • All blood sugars are higher than 240 mg/dL for more than one day
  • When the above symptoms occur, insist on speaking to your doctor or nurse to let them know something is wrong
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