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Type 1 Diabetes: Living With Complications - Prevention

You can slow the progression of your complication from 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

You can:

  • Have regular eye exams by an ophthalmologist or 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 hypoglycemia unawareness.
  • 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 Quitting Smoking.
  • Keep your immunizations up to date. Diabetes affects your immune system, increasing your risk for having a serious case of the flu or pneumonia. Ask your doctor if you should have a flu vaccination. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 02, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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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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