Type 1 Diabetes: Living With Complications - Prevention
You can slow the progression of your
type 1 diabetes and prevent or delay other
complications by keeping your
blood sugar within a target range.
Keeping your blood sugar in a target range (tight
control) may prevent the development and progression of small blood vessel
disease and nerve disease (neuropathy).
Tight control of blood sugar may reduce your risk of heart and
large blood vessel disease from diabetes.10
Have regular eye exams by an
optometrist, even if you do not have symptoms.
Immediately report any symptoms, such as blurred vision,
floaters, or flashes of light. Early treatment can
prevent vision loss.
Detect kidney disease early by having your urine tested for small
amounts of protein (microalbuminuria). At the first sign of microalbuminuria,
talk with your doctor about whether you can take a
high blood pressure medicine. Angiotensin-converting
enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are the preferred medicines for people with type 1
diabetes who have microalbuminuria, even if their blood pressure is normal. If
you cannot take an ACE inhibitor, your doctor may prescribe an angiotensin II
receptor blocker (ARB) to prevent further kidney damage.
Prevent heart and blood vessel problems by getting effective
treatment for high blood pressure and
high cholesterol.10 Talk to your doctor about whether you should take low-dose aspirin. Daily low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams) may help prevent heart problems if you are at risk for heart attack or stroke.5
Detect nerve problems through yearly exams that check sensations
in your feet and legs. As soon as you notice them, report any symptoms of
digestive, sexual, or urinary problems or signs of
Prevent foot problems by inspecting your feet daily, wearing
shoes that fit well, not going barefoot, not using home remedies, and having
yearly foot examinations. Talk with your doctor about treatment for even minor
problems, such as corns or calluses. Catching problems early prevents minor
injuries from turning into major problems.
Diabetes: Taking Care of Your Feet
Other preventive measures
Quit smoking. If you quit smoking, you decrease your risk for
developing early damage to the blood vessels caused by diabetes.9
For more information, see the topic
Keep your immunizations up to date. Diabetes affects your
immune system, increasing your risk for having a
serious case of the
pneumonia. Ask your doctor if you should have a flu
vaccination. For more information, see the topic
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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