Health recommendations for diabetes

Patient education is a cornerstone in management of diabetes. You can approach your doctor for printed education material or for access to a diabetes educator.

Standard recommendations of care for people with Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic illness that requires ongoing medical care and education. The goals of diabetes treatment are to prevent emergencies caused by high and low blood sugars, minimize the risk for diabetes - related eye, nerve and kidney damage, and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Success in achieving these goals requires an approach in which the patient takes an active role in caring for his/her health.

Follow the meal plan developed with your diabetes care team. For most individuals this will involve eating the diet that emphasizes fruits, non-starchy vegetables, pulses, low-fat dairy and whole grain products. If you are on medications or insulin, eat your meals at around the same time each day.

Work with your doctor to develop an individualized exercise program. In general, plan to exercise for about 30 minutes on most days.

Take your diabetes medicine at the same times each day. If you are on insulin, do not increase/decrease the doses on your own.

Monitor and record your blood sugar values as discussed with your doctor. If you do not meet your blood sugar goals for 2 to 3 days consecutively, or if you develop very high (above 250 mg/dl) or very low(below 60 mg/dl) blood sugars, contact your doctor urgently.

Diabetes increases the risk of developing foot wounds and infections. Check your feet every day daily for cuts, blisters, sore, swelling, redness and hard areas (calluses).Consult your doctor for advice on appropriate footwear for preventing foot problems.

People with diabetes may develop a variety of oral problems, including gum disease and infections. Brush and floss your teeth and gums every day to keep them clean.

Routine checkup

Things to discuss with your health care provider during regular checkup visits:

Your blood sugar records: Show your records to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have low blood sugar or high blood sugar too often.

Your weight: Ask your doctor about your ideal body weight. Talk about ways to reach your goal that will work.

Your blood pressure: A good goal for most people is a blood pressure less than 130/80 mmHg. Ask your doctor about ways to reach your goal.

Your diabetes medicines plan: Talk to your doctor about problems you have had with your diabetes medicines.

Your feet: Ask your doctor to check your feet to make sure your foot sensations and blood circulation are OK.

Your plan for exercise: Tell your doctor what you do to stay active, or discuss your problems regarding exercise.

Your meal plan: Ask questions about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and how to manage meals while traveling or partying.