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Health Journey Support | Manage Your Diabetes

You can help to avoid the long-term problems of diabetes by taking good care of yourself. This brochure outlines what you can do. Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC).

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This information is intended for US Consumers

Manage Your Diabetes

You can help to avoid the long-term problems of diabetes by taking good care of yourself.

  • Use your diabetes meal plan If you do not have one, ask your health care team about one
    • Make healthy food choices such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese
    • Keep fish and lean meat and poultry portion to about 3 ounces (or the size of a deck of cards). Bake, broil, or grill it
    • Eat foods that have less fat and salt
    • Eat foods with more fiber such as whole grains cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta
  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Fast walking is a great way to move more
  • Stay at a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more
  • If you feel down, ask for help from a mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns
  • Learn to cope with stress because it can raise your blood glucose (blood sugar). While it is hard to remove stress from your life, you can learn ways to manage it
  • Stop smoking and ask for help to quit
  • Take all your medicines as prescribed, even if you feel good, and ask your doctor if you need aspirin to help prevent a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicines or if you have any side effects
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums
  • Check your blood glucose (blood sugar) and, if your doctor agrees, test it one or more times a day at home and keep a record that you can share with your doctor on your regular visits
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises
  • Report any changes in your eyesight to your doctor

Talk to Your Doctor

Always talk to your doctor about what is best for you. Ask your doctor before starting any treatments or making changes in your routine or medicine.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) Web site. https://ndep.nih.gov/i-have-diabetes/ManageYourDiabetes.aspx. Accessed March 7, 2014.