Managing Diabetes

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

Glucose Monitoring Devices
You can monitor your blood sugar at home with one of a variety of devices that use a small sample of blood.
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
Hypoglycemia is most often seen as a complication of diabetes and is sometimes referred to as "insulin reaction."
Keeping Blood Sugar in Check
The official term for blood sugar is glucose, and having either too little or too much of it occupies the minds of people with diabetes daily -- even hourly. But keeping blood sugar at safe levels can be achieved by most patients through monitoring, diet, exercise and drug therapy.
Why Your Health Care Provider Tests Your Blood Sugar
In adults, a screening blood sugar test is generally used to determine if your blood sugar is too high. For adults, having an elevated blood sugar usually will not give you symptoms and may indicate a pending or current problem with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes: Why Measure Glucose at Home
Many people with diabetes who use insulin test their glucose two to four times daily. By tracking changes in the readings, you can tell when your blood glucose goes up or down.

Eating Healthy

Healthy Cooking Tips for People with Diabetes
Steam vegetables in low-fat broth or water, and use vegetable oil spray instead of oil, shortening, or butter.
Type 2 Diabetes and Food Choices
Understanding how food affects blood glucose is the first step in managing diabetes. And following a diabetes meal plan can help keep you on track.
Diabetes and Alcohol
Is it OK for people with diabetes to drink alcohol? This is something only you and your health care provider can answer.
Sodium and People with Diabetes
People with diabetes are encouraged to limit the sodium in their diets to help prevent or to control high blood pressure.
Success Secrets of Losing Weight
The majority of dieters regain the weight they lose within five years. But they could avoid doing so by gradually changing their eating and exercise habits. Your approach to weight loss should be to make changes you can keep up for the rest of your life.
Emotional Eating: How to Cope
Emotional eating affects most everyone from time to time, but regularly letting your feelings guide your food intake can affect your health.

Being Active

Exercise—Are You Getting Enough?
Exercise is one of the best ways to help keep diabetes under control. Yet researchers say that many people with diabetes don’t get enough activity.
Stay Fit When You Have a Health Challenge
Working out when you have a serious illness or health problem can be challenging. But for most people who have health issues, exercising can improve their prognosis and well-being. In fact, exercise can play an important role in helping you cope with or recover from a health challenge or accident.
Exercise for the Ages
While regular physical activity is a cornerstone of wellness at any age, it’s during your 30s, 40s and 50s that exercise becomes especially important.
Move to the Music: Dancing as Exercise
The benefits of dancing go well beyond heart health and physical fitness. Dancing, especially group dance activities, provides opportunities for people of all ages to be socially and mentally engaged, as well.

Taking Medication

Oral Medication

Managing Your Diabetes Medications
You may need to take as many as four types of medicine every day. The more medicines you take, the greater the risk is for a medication mishap.
Can You Control Diabetes Without Medication?
The answer depends on which type of diabetes you have, and how long you've had it.
Make Friends with Your Meds
What makes some people sticklers for following through with their medications, and others haphazard at best?
Oral Medications
Many types of diabetes pills are available, and each type has a specific action.
Easy Ways to Remember to Take Your Medications
If you have more than two medications to manage, consider getting a pill organizer -- a special container marked with the days of the week. Besides housing multiple medications, a compartmentalized organizer can be useful for keeping track of the medications you've taken.

Insulin

Insulin Replacement Therapy
Insulin is classified according to the speed of its action, the length of time when it's most effective, and its duration.
Insulin and Type 2 Diabetes
Many people with diabetes need to change their treatment plan at some point. There are advantages to this. For example, taking insulin can make it easier to manage your blood sugar.
Insulin Pump Use
Insulin pumps are used most often by people with type 1 diabetes, but some people with type 2 diabetes use them, too.
Is an Insulin Pump for You?
Insulin pumps deliver a steady, measured dose of insulin through a flexible plastic tube called a catheter.
Insulin Safety Tips
If you need to inject insulin to manage your diabetes, take care of your insulin properly.
Emergency Symptoms for People Who Use Insulin
Under certain circumstances, people who take insulin can have symptoms that require immediate action and, in some cases, treatment in a hospital emergency room.
Using Insulin in Public
It’s possible to use insulin in public and not feel like you’re the center of attention. Here are some tips to help put you at ease.

Managing Your Weight

Overweight

Balanced Ways to Attain a Healthy Weight
Whether you have tried to lose weight on your own or with the help of a weight-loss program, the focus is too often on severely restrictive diets and unrealistic goals, nutrition experts say.
Maintaining Weight Loss
Keeping extra weight off requires effort and commitment, just as losing weight does.
Metabolic Syndrome
Most people who have metabolic syndrome have insulin resistance. This may be a beginning of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Emotional Eating: How to Cope
Emotional eating affects most everyone from time to time, but regularly letting your feelings guide your food intake can affect your health.

Obesity

Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery Procedure
Bariatric surgery is a procedure that alters the process of digestion and is currently the best treatment option for producing lasting weight loss in obese patients when traditional methods have not been effective.
Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery
Gastric stapling surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that limits the amount of food a person can eat.
Medical Treatment for Obesity
Medical treatment can help with weight loss if your own efforts are unsuccessful—or if you have a medical condition that makes it crucial to lose weight.
Obesity Treatment Overview
Whatever treatment plan a person follows, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long term.
Emotional Eating: How to Cope
Emotional eating affects most everyone from time to time, but regularly letting your feelings guide your food intake can affect your health.

Self-Care

What to Do After Your Diagnosis
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a serious or chronic condition, you likely have a lot of questions regarding treatment and long-term health. Here are some suggestions on how to find accurate information.
People with Diabetes Need to Wear ID
If you have diabetes, wearing a medical identification (ID) bracelet or necklace at all times is a good idea.
Important Vaccines for People with Diabetes
You need a yearly flu shot, a vaccine against pneumonia, and a shot against hepatitis B.
With Diabetes, Beat the Heat
These no-sweat tips can help you avoid diabetes-related problems caused by summer temperatures.
Living With a Chronic Health Condition
Learning about your condition and doing your best to manage it can help you live a less fearful and more expansive life.
How to Manage Diabetes During Illness
The stress of illness or injury can cause blood sugar to rise and make insulin less effective. This can lead to serious problems, including diabetic coma. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when illness strikes.
Diabetes: Tests You Need and Why
By getting regular tests and checkups, you can help control your diabetes and prevent or delay damage caused by high blood glucose.
The Metabolic Syndrome: At Risk for Depression
People with more visceral fat or an apple-shaped body—two factors associated with the metabolic syndrome—are more likely to have depression.
Diabetes Tests Worksheet
To manage your diabetes, it's important to get regular health exams. This list will help you track which exams you need.
Real-Life Ways to Manage Diabetes
If managing diabetes seems like a full-time job, keep in mind it’s a task that can’t be taken lightly. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death by disease in the United States.
Steps Women Can Take to Reduce Their Diabetes Risk
Type 2 diabetes can be especially deadly for women. Of the nearly 16 million Americans with diabetes, more than half are female.

Working with Your Health Care Provider

Working with Your Diabetes Health Care Team
Diabetes affects the body in many complex ways, and having a team to help you stay as healthy and vital as possible, for as long as possible, is key.
Striking a Match: Ideal Doctor/Ideal Patient
Your health is so central to who you are, so important to how well you function and enjoy life, your doctor can be one of your most valued life partners.
Why the Doctor Asks for a Urine Sample
Few tests can match the routine urine analysis for telling your doctor what's going on inside your body.
Why the Doctor Takes a Blood Sample
You probably don't enjoy giving a blood sample, but it's an important part of a physical exam. From a small sample of your blood, your health care provider can order scores of tests.
Teaming Up with Your Pharmacist
Pharmacists do much more than count tablets and pour liquids. Their main job is to focus on the medications you take and the effect they have.
Get the Most From Your Doctor Visits
To avoid wasting valuable time, be prepared for every doctor visit, using these suggestions.
For Seniors: Choosing a New Doctor
Whatever the reason for needing a new primary care physician, these suggestions can help you find the right doctor.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Diabetes
Are you tempted to try herbal remedies that promise to “cure” diabetes without prescription medication? Be sure you understand the limitations.

Staying Motivated

What Can Disease Management Do for You?
A disease management program helps you stick to your diabetes treatment plan. And in the long run, it may lead to better health and fewer complications.
Putting the 'Fun' Back Into Fitness
Start thinking of fitness as fun. If it's something you want to do, then you'll figure out ways to find time for it.