Is Your Diabetes Under Control?

Last Editorial Review: 10/31/2005

If you have diabetes, tight control is important. Why? Diabetes is a progressive, chronic illness (meaning it can't be cured). That's why it must be managed- or tightly controlled- to minimize the disease's harmful effects on your body. How well are you doing?

  1. I follow my diabetes food plan.
    • Every day
    • Most days
    • What food plan?
  2. I check my feet for cuts and sores.
    • Very often
    • Occasionally
    • Only when my doctor reminds me
  3. I exercise.
    • Regularly, checking my blood sugar levels before and after
    • I prefer spectator sports
  4. I check my blood sugar levels.
    • Per my doctor's instructions
    • When I feel like it
    • I rarely remember


  1. Follow your diabetes food plan. If you don't have one, ask your doctor about seeing a dietitian / nutritionist who specializes in diabetes.
  2. Check your feet every day and maintain proper foot care, including nails and skin care. Check for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling.
  3. Get 30-60 minutes of activity on most days of the week. Before changing your level of routine physical activity, check with your doctor.
  4. Check your blood glucose the way your doctor tells you to. High blood sugar can make you feel thirsty and tired, cause blurry vision or make you urinate often. Low blood sugar can make you feel weak, tired, confused or shaky.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What dietary and fitness changes do I need to make?
  • What other doctors and medical professionals should I see? How often?
  • Will I need to inject insulin or take medications?
  • How do I avoid complications with my diabetes?

Did You Know?

  • Type 1 diabetes means the body cannot make insulin because the immune system destroys the cells that make it. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day.
  • Type 2 diabetes means the body may make too much insulin but does not use insulin well. This is the most common form of diabetes. People with type 2 often need to take insulin or pills that help insulin work better.
  • Click on the following links to learn the full diabetes-related definitions: Hemoglobin A1c test, Retinopathy, Nephropathy, Neuropathy

Know Your Numbers

According to the American Diabetes Association, blood sugar levels should be:

  • between 80 and 120 before meals
  • between 100 and 140 at bedtime

These numbers are for blood glucose readings from monitors that read whole blood.

For more, please read the Diabetes article.

WebMD the Magazine - September/October 2005
© 2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


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