Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times

Quick Guide12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures

12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures

When There's an Emergency or Natural Disaster

Everyone with diabetes should be prepared for emergencies and natural disasters, such as power outages or hurricanes. Always have your disaster kit ready. Include everything you need to take care of your diabetes, such as

  • a blood glucose meter, lancets, and testing strips

  • your diabetes medicines

  • a list of your prescription numbers

  • if you take insulin—some insulin, syringes, and an insulated bag to keep insulin cool

  • if you take insulin or if recommended by your doctor—a glucagon kit

  • glucose tablets and other foods or drinks to treat low blood glucose

  • antibiotic cream or ointment

  • a copy of your medical information, including a list of your conditions, medicines, and recent lab test results

  • phone numbers for the American Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations

You also might want to include some nonperishable food, such as canned or dried food, along with bottled water.

Check and update your kit at least twice a year.

When You're Planning a Pregnancy

Keeping your blood glucose near normal before and during pregnancy helps protect both you and your baby. Even before you become pregnant, your blood glucose should be close to the normal range.

Your health care team can work with you to get your blood glucose under control before you try to get pregnant. If you're already pregnant, see your doctor right away. It's not too late to bring your blood glucose close to normal so that you'll stay healthy during the rest of your pregnancy.

Your insulin needs may change when you're pregnant. Your doctor may want you to take more insulin and check your blood glucose more often. If you take diabetes pills, you'll take insulin instead when you're pregnant.

If you plan to have a baby,

  • work with your health care team to get your blood glucose as close to the normal range as possible before you get pregnant

  • see a doctor who has experience in taking care of pregnant women with diabetes

  • don't smoke, drink alcohol, or use harmful drugs

  • follow the meal plan you get from your dietitian or diabetes educator to make sure you and your unborn baby have a healthy diet

Be sure to have your eyes, heart and blood vessels, blood pressure, and kidneys checked. Your doctor should also check for nerve damage. Pregnancy can make some health problems worse.

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