White Paper – Diabetes Management

Testing Your Blood Sugars!

An important part of managing your diabetes is testing your blood sugars regularly at home. Depending on your healthcare provider, you may be testing your blood sugar levels one to four times a day. You want to test your blood sugars in the morning before eating or drinking and 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Keep a log of your blood sugars to show to your doctor or pharmacist so they can better manage your therapy. Having your A1c level tested is also an vital marker to help providers determine and adjust your treatment. A1c levels show your average blood sugars for the past 3 months. This blood test is done at your healthcare clinic and should be done at least 2 times per year.

Target Glucose Levels:
  • Before meals: 70-130 mg/dL
  • 1 to 2 hours after a meal: < 180 mg/dL
  • A1c: < 7 %
Diabetic Foot Care

People with diabetes may lose sensation and feelin in their feet. It is important to take care of them to eliminate possible infections that could lead to amputations. Checking your feet daily is the best way to avoid this.

  • Look for cuts, blisters, sores, or redness (If you can’t see your feet, have someone check them for you or use a mirror.)
  • Keep your toenails trimmed by cutting them straight across.
  • Examine your shoes daily to make sure there isn’t anything in your shoes that could poke you (rocks, nails, etc)
  • Wash your feet daily by using warm water and drying them well. Then apply a moisturizing lotion to your feet, but avoid putting it between your toes.

*Foot care may need to be done with your primary care provider if a patient is dealing with complications.

Contact AuBurn Pharmacy for details on getting fitted for diabetic shoes! Medicare may cover one pair of diabetic shoes and insoles per year if certain criteria is met.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Sleep hygiene is a good first step to being a healthier person. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is key, and getting 8 hours of sleep is recommended.

  • Taking daytime naps
  • Exercising right before bed
  • Alcohol, caffeine, or large quantities of liquids before bed
  • Bright lights during the night

Changing your eating habits is the most important aspect of managing your diabetes. Making the right lifestyle changes will help you feel more energetic and improve your quality of life. Some general tips when starting a healthy diet is to focus on small, gradual changes and making realistic goals. Try to avoid processed foods, skipping meals, and drinking your calories. Keeping healthy snacks on hand and preparing meals ahead of time is a good way to maintain a healthy diet.

Physical activity is also important and increases endorphins that can reduce anxiety or depression and help increase your self-esteem. Your goal should be to exercise 5 days each week for at least 30 minutes per day, whether it is going to the gym or just going for a walk. Staying active can help you lose weight, build lean muscle, decrease abdominal fat, and decrease your risk of stroke and heart attack.

Complications of Diabetes
  1. Nephropathy – kidney disease or damage
    a. Most common cause is diabetes and high blood pressure
    b. Best therapy is managing these diseases
  2. Vascular Disease – poor circulation which can lead to coronary stress and cause stroke
    a. People with diabetes are 2-4x more likely to have a heart attack or stroke
  3. Neuropathy – numbness and tingling in your legs and arms which could progress to total loss of feeling in your extremities.
    a. Causes nerve pain in 60-70% of diabetic patients
  4. High Blood Pressure
  5. High Cholesterol
  6. Retinopathy – can cause blindness
    a. Once a year eye exam is highly recommended in diabetic patients