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Basic Skills for Living With Diabetes
Living with diabetes can be a challenge. Whether you have just been told that you have diabetes or you've had the disease for years, we can help you manage your diabetes.
This manual by the Allina Diabetes Education Council includes information that people with diabetes need to know about. Ask your diabetes educator or nurse about which topics apply the most to you now.
Tools for managing your diabetes
Your body needs food to make glucose that
is used for energy. Food makes blood glucose go up, so controlling how
much, what kind and when you eat can make a difference.
- Eat three well-balanced meals a day.
- If meals are more than 4 to 5 hours apart, eat a small snack.
- Eat a bedtime snack so that your body has enough energy while you sleep.
- Do not skip meals or snacks. Your body will make up for the
lack of glucose by asking the liver to produce extra glucose. This can
make controlling your blood glucose even harder.
- Ask for help if you have questions or need advice about your food choices.
Exercise is important for
everyone. When you have diabetes, it helps to use up blood glucose.
Physical activity also makes your insulin work better.
- Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Start slowly to avoid injury.
- Choose activities that you will enjoy.
- Get physical activity every day.
Stress increases blood glucose and can cause problems with your blood glucose control.
- Think about what causes stress for you.
- Find healthy ways that help you cope with stress. Try them.
- Seek help if you need it.
Many medications help control blood
glucose. Your doctor will choose the best medications for you if you
need them. It is not unusual for your medication needs to change.
Monitoring blood glucose
Regular testing will
tell you how your food, physical activity and medication are working.
Controlling blood glucose is how you avoid the problems that go along
Forms and worksheets
Behavior change goals
Blood glucose scale for type 2 diabetes
Effects of diabetes on your life
Examples of one carbohydrate choice (15 grams)
Food and exercise diary
Food and exercise diary example
My diabetes management plan
My eating guide
My insulin plan
Physical activity log