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Get Proactive with our Diabetes Management Guide 

Managing diabetes means taking many steps to stay healthy and prevent other health problems. Diabetes is a long-lasting condition that can impact your overall well-being. 

With November being diabetes awareness month, we put together this guide to help you manage diabetes and avoid potential complications.

Diabetes Management Guide

  1. Blood Sugar Management. Effective diabetes management begins with keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range of 80-180mg/dL . To achieve this, you can focus on:
    • Regular blood sugar monitoring: This is the best way to know how your body is responding to your treatment plan and lifestyle choices. Some medications may require more frequent monitoring. You can monitor your blood sugar with various devices.
    • Medication and insulin: Taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor can help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
    • A balanced diet: Focus on complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit sugary and starchy foods and avoid sweetened beverages.
    • Getting physical activity: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week, including a variety of resistance training, cardio, stretching and balance exercises. Regular exercise helps your body to use insulin more effectively.
  1. Preventing Cardiovascular Complications. Heart disease is a significant risk for those living with diabetes. To protect your heart and blood vessels, consider the following:
    • Blood pressure control: It’s important to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. That would be less than 120 for your ‘higher number’ (known as systolic) and less than 80 for your lower number (known as diastolic). Always follow a doctor’s recommendation for prescribed medications, as well.
    • Cholesterol management: Manage your cholesterol levels with a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and, when needed, medications.
    • Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, and quitting can significantly reduce your risk.
  1. Neuropathy Prevention. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that may occur over time due to high blood sugar and high levels of lipids in the blood from diabetes. It can affect nerves throughout your body. To reduce your risk:
    • Keep your blood sugar levels as close to your target range as possible: This is the most important thing you can do to prevent neuropathy. Rapid spikes in blood glucose can aggravate neuropathy. You can do this by taking your medication as prescribed.
    • Take care of your feet: Examine your feet daily for any signs of ulcers, infections, or neuropathy-related issues. Consult with a podiatrist for specialized foot care.
    • Manage your pain: If you experience neuropathic pain, consult your doctor for pain management strategies.
  1. Kidney Health. Diabetes can impair kidney function, leading to a condition known as diabetic nephropathy, also referred to as Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD). Protect your kidneys by:
    • Having regular checkups: Monitor your kidney function with regular tests, as recommended by your doctor
    • Controlling your blood pressure: Maintaining optimal blood pressure is important to prevent kidney damage. To keep blood pressure down, get regular exercise, eat healthy, and reduce your stress.
    • Limiting your protein intake: If you have any kidney issues, you may need to reduce your protein consumption. Consult your doctor or a dietitian for guidance.
    • Hydration: High blood glucose levels can lead to dehydration, which can further damage the kidneys. You may need to monitor your hydration levels more closely to make sure you are getting enough hydration.
  1. Eye Care. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes that can lead to vision impairment or blindness. Protect your eye health by:
    • Having regular eye exams: Schedule annual eyes exams to detect and address any diabetic eye complications promptly.
    • Controlling your blood sugar: Maintain stable blood sugar levels to minimize the risk of eye complications.
  1. Emotional Well-Being. Living with diabetes can be emotionally challenging. Mental health support is essential.
    • Consider counseling or therapy: You can talk to a counselor or therapist to learn how to handle stress, anxiety, and depression. They can give you tools and support.
    • Build a support system: Talking to your family, friends, or local support groups and let them know how they can support you.
    • Diet and exercise: Having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can all help to improve your emotional well-being.

Managing diabetes can be a challenge, but by taking a proactive approach to your care, you can protect your overall health and reduce the risk of complications. Work closely with your healthcare team to develop a personalized diabetes management plan that helps you stay healthy and prevents your risk of complications

Author: Kelley Soucy RN, CDCES | CCS Health   

This site is for educational purposes only. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health.  


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Diabetic neuropathy – NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

Understanding blood pressure readings. (2023, October 17).