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Keys to Diabetes Self-Management

  • Healthy Eating - Balance, timing, eating from a variety of nutrient-rich foods and being carbohydrate aware (not cutting them out!).
  • Being Active - Helps control the amount of glucose and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. Just 30 minutes of walking is equal to a pill for diabetes.
  • Monitoring (glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol) - Test glucose before breakfast and before dinner, at the least. Premeal goal: 70 to 120
    • To learn from meal choices: Two hours after meal goal: less than 160
  • Healthy Coping - Stress raises glucose and blood pressure. Stress can come from pain, lack of sleep, work, planning for a trip, steroids, etc.
  • Taking Medication - Which ones are you taking? Don't skip, double up on or change medicine without checking with your doctor.
  • Secretagogues - makes the pancreas release insulin
    • (Glucotrol, Glyburide, Amaryl, Starlix, Prandin)
    • *Risk of hypoglycemia; take 15 to 30 minutes before a meal
  • Biguanides - decrease liver glucose production (Glucophage)
    • *Risk of diarrhea, nausea (take WITH food to minimize)
    • *Takes a couple of weeks to reach full effect
  • Thiazolidinediones - decreases insulin resistance (Actos, Avandia)
    • *Risk of swelling, weight gain, 4 to 8 weeks for full effect
  • Insulin: the hormone; know its peak time to avoid low glucose
    • BASAL = background (Lantus, Levemir, NPH)
    • BOLUS = mealtime or correction (Novolog, Humalog, Regular)

Problem Solving

  • Hypoglycemia (low glucose); less than 70
    • Causes: medications, missed meal, exercise, alcohol
    • Signs: shakiness, hunger, sleepiness, weakness, headache, irritability, sweating
    • Treatment: Sugar! Rule of 15 (15 grams sugar, wait 15 minutes, retest. If low, 15 grams of sugar, retest, if above 70, eat)
  • Hyperglycemia (high glucose); above 200
    • Causes: too little medicine, stress, food choices
    • Signs: tired, increased urination, poor would healing
    • Treatment: medications

Reducing Risks

Certain tests reduce your risk of complications (yearly exams for eyes, feet, cholesterol; regular A1C tests and dental visits)

Created by the Washington Hospital Diabetes Program Team. 510.818.6556.

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