4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life.
Step 1: Learn about diabetes.
Diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. There are two main types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes - the body does not make insulin. Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.
Type 2 diabetes - the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 often need to take pills or insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.
Gestational (jes-TAY-shon-al) diabetes - occurs in some women when they become pregnant. It raises her future risk of developing diabetes, mostly type 2. It may raise her child's risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is serious.
You may have heard people say they have “a touch of diabetes” or that their “sugar is a little high.” These words suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it!
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!
All people with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and move more every day.
Taking good care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel better. It may help you avoid health problems caused by diabetes such as:
When your blood glucose is close to normal you are likely to:
Step 2: Know your diabetes ABCs.
Talk to your health care team about how to manage your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol. This can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems. Here's what the ABCs of diabetes stand for:
A for the A1C test (A-one-C).
It shows what your blood glucose has been over the last three months. The A1C goal for many people is below 7. High blood glucose can harm your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
B for Blood pressure.
The goal for most people with diabetes is below 130/80.
High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
C for Cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol).
The LDL goal for people with diabetes is below 100.
LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or a stroke. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels.
*An A1C of less than 7 is the goal for many people but not for everyone. Talk to your health care team about what A1C target is right for you.
Step 3: Manage your diabetes.
Many people avoid the long-term problems of diabetes by taking good care of themselves. Work with your health care team to reach your ABC target. Use this self-care plan.
Step 4: Get routine care.
See your health care team at least twice a year to find and treat any problems early.
At each visit be sure you have a:
Two times each year have an:
Once each year be sure you have a:
At least once get a:
My Diabetes Care Record
Record your targets and the date, time, and results of your tests. Take this card with you on your health care visits. Show it to your health care team to remind them of tests you need.
Self Checks of Blood Glucose
Record your targets and the date, time, and results of your checks. Take this card with you on your health care visits. Show it to your health care team.
Where to get help:
Many of these groups offer items in English and Spanish.
National Diabetes Education Program
National Kidney Disease Education Program
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
American Association of Diabetes Educators
American Diabetes Association
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services