You can manage your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control and in the normal range. For most people with diabetes, a normal blood sugar range is between 90 and 130 mg/dL, but you should talk to your doctor about your blood sugar numbers. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar to avoid problems.
Getting active and eating well
Physical activity and healthy eating are also important for managing your diabetes. Find resources on physical activity and healthy eating in the Eat More Fruits and Veggies section.
If you smoke, quitting will help you manage your diabetes. For help quitting, visit Make Smoking History or call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or (800) 784-8669.
Steps for managing your diabetes
- Eat healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity.
- Check your blood sugar daily.
- Take any medications that your health care team has prescribed for you. If you have questions about your medication call your pharmacist or doctor.
- Check your feet and skin for any sores or cuts.
At Every Visit with your Health Care Provider
- Get your blood pressure, weight, and feet checked. A healthy blood pressure for a person with diabetes is below 140/90.
- Review your blood sugar records and your nutrition and physical activity plan.
At Least Twice a Year
- Visit your doctor for an A1C test (blood sugar level test).
- Get a dental exam at least every 6 months.
At Least Once a Year
- Routine eye care, including a dilated eye exam by an eye doctor (an optometrist or an ophthalmologist).
- A complete foot exam.
- Visit your doctor for a urine and blood test to check your kidneys.
- Visit your doctor to have your cholesterol checked. A full lipid profile blood test should be checked once a year.
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Get a pneumonia vaccination – you should receive the pneumonia shot between the ages of 2-65. Once you reach age 65, if you have not received the pneumonia shot within 5 years of turning 65, you should receive a second pneumonia shot. Talk to your doctor about the pneumonia vaccine to find out what is right for you.
Helpful fact sheets
- If you have diabetes, these shots could save your life - PDF
- If you have diabetes, these shots could save your life - DOC
- Heart health for people with diabetes - PDF
- Heart health for people with diabetes - DOC
- Getting Started with Healthy Eating - PDF
- Getting started with healthy eating - DOC
- Moving More for Busy People - PDF
- Moving More for Busy People - DOC