Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Time (cont.)
People Who Can Help You
- Your doctor. You may see your regular doctor for diabetes care or someone who has special training in caring for people with diabetes. A doctor with special training in diabetes is called an endocrinologist or diabetologist.
You'll talk with your doctor about what kind of medicines you need and how much you should take. You'll also agree on a target blood glucose range and blood pressure and cholesterol targets. Your doctor will do tests to be sure your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol are staying on track and you're staying healthy. Ask your doctor if you should take aspirin every day to help prevent heart disease.
- Your diabetes educator. A diabetes educator may be a nurse, a dietitian, or another kind of health care worker. Diabetes educators teach you about meal planning, diabetes medicines, physical activity, how to check your blood glucose, and how to fit diabetes care into your everyday life. Be sure to ask questions if you don't understand something.
- Your family and friends. Taking care of your diabetes is a daily job. You may need help or support from your family or friends. You may want to bring a family member or close friend with you when you visit your doctor or diabetes educator. Taking good care of your diabetes can be a family affair!
- A counselor or mental health worker. You might feel sad about having diabetes or get tired of taking care of yourself. Or you might be having problems because of work, school, or family. If diabetes makes you feel sad or angry, or if you have other problems that worry you, you can talk with a counselor or mental health worker. Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you find a counselor.
Other Helpful Tips to Control Your Diabetes
- Follow your meal plan.
- Don't skip meals, especially if you've already taken your insulin, because your blood glucose may go too low.
- See your doctor before starting a physical activity program.
- Check your blood glucose before, during, and after exercising. Don't exercise when your blood glucose is high and you have ketones in your blood or urine.
- Don't exercise right before you go to sleep because it could cause low blood glucose during the night.
Keep a daily record of
- your blood glucose numbers
- the times of the day you took your insulin
- the amount and type of insulin you took
- whether you had ketones in your urine
- Tell your doctor if you have low blood glucose often, especially at the same time of the day or night several times in a row.
- Tell your doctor if you've passed out from low blood glucose.
- Ask your doctor about glucagon. Glucagon is a medicine that raises blood glucose. If you pass out from low blood glucose, someone should call 911 and give you a glucagon shot.
- Take your insulin, even if you are sick and have been throwing up. Ask your doctor about how to adjust your insulin dose based on your blood glucose test results.
When you travel
- take a special insulated bag to carry your insulin to keep it from freezing or getting too hot
- bring extra supplies for taking insulin and testing your blood glucose in case of loss or breakage
- ask your doctor for a letter saying that you have diabetes and need to carry supplies for taking insulin and testing blood glucose
Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism
Last Editorial Review: 5/31/2011
SOURCE: National Diabetes Clearinghouse; NIDDK. Taking Care of Your Diabetes at Special Times.
Last update: 5/31/2011
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