February 2017

4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life

Each year, 1.7 million Americans, ages 20 and up, are diagnosed with diabetes. People with diabetes have high levels of blood glucose (also called blood sugar). If left undiag­nosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other health problems. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes ABCs: A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol. The 4 steps below are a good start.

Step 1: Learn about diabetes. If you’ve got diabetes, you need to make healthy food choices, move more every day, stay at a healthy weight, and take recommended medicines even when you feel good.

Step 2: Talk to your health care team about how to manage your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Know your ABC goals, and track your progress.

Step 3: Learn how to live with diabetes. Even if you know the steps you should take to stay healthy, you may have trouble sticking with these steps over time. Work with your health care team to make a plan that will work for you.

Step 4: Get routine care to stay healthy. See your health care team at least twice a year to find and treat any problems early. Once each year, be sure to get a dilated eye exam and a complete foot exam.

Get more details and inspiration for managing diabetes at this NIH web page: www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/manage-monitoring-diabetes.