The Dos and Don'ts of Diabetes Care

Learn how to live a healthy life with the condition.

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 20, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

If you recently found out you have diabetes, these tips will help you get a handle on caring for yourself.

Know the basics. It will help you a lot to have a firm grasp on what causes diabetes, what measures you should take to manage it, and what can help you avoid related health problems. Ask your doctor for a thorough overview of your condition, or schedule some one-on-one time with a certified diabetes educator.

Learn what affects your blood sugar levels. To do that, keep track of your levels in a journal or log. You'll also write down what you ate, when you exercised, how stressed you were that day, and so on.

Use these notes to spot patterns, and share them with your doctor. Do you notice a blood sugar surge in the mornings? Do you see a large spike at night after your evening snack? Do you eat at consistent times during the day or go long hours between meals?

These details can help you and your doctor better tailor your diabetes care plan without so much trial and error.

Get support. Family, friends, a health coach, or a behavioral health counselor can all drastically improve how well you keep your diabetes in check.

Also ask your doctor or diabetes educator about local support groups where you can find peers who may be able to relate to what you're going through. Or seek a mental health professional who can help you sort through the many emotions you may feel since your diagnosis.

Don't Do These Things

Get all of your information online. When you do look on the Web, stick with credible sites that have evidence-based research to back up claims.

Jump on a bandwagon diet. Extreme diets to lose weight or manage your blood sugar can be dangerous, particularly when they cut out entire nutrient groups like carbohydrates.

Bite off more than you can chew. Don't commit to too many changes at once. Take it slow so you don’t resort to bad habits.

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