Monitoring your blood sugar. Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar as many as four times a day or more often if you're taking insulin. Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range. People with type 2 diabetes who aren't taking insulin generally check their blood sugar much less frequently.
Ellis was diagnosed with a type of diabetic retinopathy called macular edema. It causes the leaky blood vessels that lead to swelling and blurred vision. His condition was so advanced that his eye doctor could see the bleeding in his retina without even dilating his eyes. Now he gets his eyes dilated and tested every 3 months. He also gets bi-monthly injections of a drug that blocks the leaks. He'll have to do it for the rest of his life. But it's a small price to pay.
How it works: Helps insulin work better in muscle and fat. It lowers the amount of sugar the liver releases and makes fat cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects. It may take a few weeks for these drugs to lower blood sugar. Your doctor should talk with you about heart risks with this type of drug, which he may call “thiazolidinediones.” Side effects from this type of drug are rare but may include:
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"Diabetes damages every blood vessel in your body, including the ones in your eyes," says Robert Rizza, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. "Similar damage can also occur in your heart, your head, and your kidneys. But if you take care of yourself -- if you control your blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure -- the chances of bad things happening to you are very low."
Many people, and even many doctors, have not heard of antibody tests, which can aid in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The blood tests measure your body’s specific antibodies related to autoimmune activity that attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, says Lori Laffel, MD, chief of the section on Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
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Unlike many health conditions, diabetes is managed mostly by you, with support from your health care team (including your primary care doctor, foot doctor, dentist, eye doctor, registered dietitian nutritionist, diabetes educator, and pharmacist), family, and other important people in your life. Managing diabetes can be challenging, but everything you do to improve your health is worth it!
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Portion control comes naturally when you choose the right grains, proteins and fats. You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight if you’re eating the right kind of food. However, eating in moderation never hurt anyone, even if they have to make a conscious effort at it in the beginning. Eat the right foods to regulate satiety, but eat slowly and chew your food well. That way, your brain has a chance to let you know when you’re full. If you gobble your food in no time, you mess up your digestion and eat a lot more than you need to.
It’s what we all did naturally, even until thirty to forty years ago. Your mom knew what she was taking about when she asked you to stay away from that evening snack. She said it so that you didn’t spoil your appetite for dinner! Sadly, with increased affluence and easy availability of processed foods, the fad of eating six small meals a day to stave off cravings has become popular. Eating frequent meals keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels consistently high. If you keep giving your body food, it has no incentive to burn fat. Stick to three meals a day at the most, with a clear 10-12 hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast. Intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity and helps you reverse your prediabetes really quickly.
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People who receive insulin therapy also may choose to monitor their blood sugar levels with a continuous glucose monitor. Although this technology hasn't yet completely replaced the glucose meter, it can significantly reduce the number of fingersticks necessary to check blood sugar and provide important information about trends in blood sugar levels.
When repeated, the A1C test result can be slightly higher or lower than the first measurement. This means, for example, an A1C reported as 6.8 percent on one test could be reported in a range from 6.4 to 7.2 percent on a repeat test from the same blood sample.3 In the past, this range was larger but new, stricter quality-control standards mean more precise A1C test results.