Although diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause many different complications, with a good diabetes disease management program patients can avoid many of the disease's manifestations. Patients should keep a log of their blood glucose levels and their dietary intake. They should check their feet routinely for any sores or cuts. Regular appointments with primary care doctors, endocrinologists, podiatrists, and ophthalmologists are also important.
One tip for diabetes disease management is to keep a record of blood glucose levels. Many patients use a small notebook to record their glucose levels, and then bring this information with them to their doctors' appointments. Checking and recording glucose levels at different times throughout the day can be helpful. Often the blood glucose levels before meals, after meals, before going to bed at night, and after waking up in the morning yield the most useful information. Patients with hard-to-control diabetes might need to check their glucose levels up to four times a day, whereas patients with milder diabetes might only have to check a few times a week.
In addition to keeping a log of blood glucose levels, keeping a food log can also help with diabetes disease management. A notebook can be used to record the amount and type of foods eaten throughout the day. Patients should be advised to record their beverages as well as their foods, as drinks high in sugar such as soda or juice can affect blood glucose levels. A food log paired with a blood glucose log provides a wealth of information to patients and their health care providers, and allows for choosing the best diabetes treatment option.
Another critical piece of advice for diabetes disease management is taking good care of the feet. The disease process of diabetes affects the nerves that bring sensation to the hands and feet. With advanced diabetes, patients might not be able to feel their feet, and could obtain cuts or ulcers without realizing it. This poor sensation, combined with the decreased wound healing and poor circulation seen in diabetes, can lead to infections and gangrene that could require amputation. Patients with diabetes are therefore advised to check their feet daily for cuts, and to wear sturdy, close-toed shoes.
Good diabetes disease management requires regular appointments with doctors or other health care professionals. All patients with diabetes should get yearly eye exams, as the eyes are often damaged as a result of the disease process. Many patients visit podiatrists regularly in order to maintain healthy feet. Regular appointments with the doctor treating the diabetes, whether it is a primary care physician or an endocrinologist, are also important. The doctor can check laboratory results, measure the blood pressure, and make changes to the medication regimen as needed.