For the best results:
- Have your doctor or diabetes educator show you how to use your blood sugar meter and blood pressure monitor. Patients on insulin, in particular, need to monitor their blood sugar daily.
- Write down your monitoring results and bring them to your diabetes care visits. Discuss any patterns you've observed with your healthcare provider.
Most people with type 2 diabetes take at least one medication, and many take several pills and/or injections per day.
To make sure you stay on track with your medications:
- Enlist the help of your pharmacist when you have questions about your medications or trouble taking them.
- If you often forget to take your pills, try using a weekly pill box, marked with the days of the week.
Diabetes, like life, is unpredictable, and sometimes you have to think on your feet. How can you be more prepared to respond when the unexpected happens?
- Take a diabetes education class to learn the basics. Many hospital diabetes programs offer them for free.
- Talk to your health-care provider about what to do when you're sick, when you're traveling, or any other time your routine is different from usual.
Reducing risks means nixing any behaviors with negative health consequences (such as smoking).
It also includes having age-appropriate health screenings (such as cancer screenings and immunizations) and recommended screening tests for diabetes complications, including:
- An annual dilated eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy (eye disease)
- An annual microalbuminuria test to check for kidney disease
- Daily self-performed foot exams to check for breaks in the skin or anything else that looks or feels unusual
- An annual foot exam by your doctor to check for any diabetes-related complications
Living with diabetes is challenging and sometimes stressful. In fact, many people report becoming frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, and discouraged when trying to perform all of the self-care tasks their healthcare providers set out for them.
- Participate in online or in-person support groups.
- Practice a relaxation technique, such as meditating or using guided imagery.
- Speak to a mental healthcare professional if self-help efforts aren't helpful.