Establish Personal Goals
With your team establish personal goals for the treatment of your diabetes. The first step may simply be to get your diabetes under control. After that you can work on other steps to a healthier lifestyle such as quitting smoking, losing weight, adjusting your diet or exercising regularly.
Develop and follow your diabetes food plan
If you do not have one, be sure to develop one with your health care team. This will include eating the right portions of healthy foods: fruits and vegetables (5 to 9 servings a day), fish, lean meats, dry beans, whole grains, and low-fat milk and cheese. It will also mean eliminating foods that have high salt and fat content. See Nutrition Basics
Get 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week. It can be any type of activity from walking to gardening. Start with a 5- to 10-minute walk three times a week. Then, walk longer and more often. See Fitness
Stay at a healthy weight
Yo-yoing your weight up and down with diets that don't work can be as bad for your body as maintaining a slightly higher weight that you know you can keep. Being physically active and eating the right amounts of healthy foods will help.
Seek help to quit.
Take your medication as prescribed
If for some reason you are having problems paying for the medications your doctor is prescribing you need to let them know right away. There are programs available to assist you cover the costs.
Look at your feet!
Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that won't heal. See Foot Care
See your dentist
See your dentist at least twice a year. Tell the dentist you have diabetes. See Dental Care. See Defeat Diabetes® Professional Services Plan for Dental Assistance
Check your blood glucose regularly
We can't emphasize enough how CRITICAL this part of your self-management program is to your long term health!!! You need to check your blood glucose multiple times each day. The key to avoiding the serious complications of diabetes is keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.
- Work with your health care team, friends, and family to reach your ABC goals.
- Set goals you can reach and break a big goal into small steps.
- Make changes that you can stick with for the rest of your life.
Tips for staying with your plan