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
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.
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%
This is urine test that checks for protein and helps to identify your risk
of kidney problems. It should be checked every year.
Lipid Profiles measure your cholesterol
and is important for identifying your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in
Total Cholesterol <200 mg/dL
Blood pressure check
LDL < 100 mg/dL
HDL > 45 men; > 55 women
TG < 150 mg/dL
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
- 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