General Information and Tips For Those Newly Diagnosed With Diabetes
Certain foods we eat are turned 100% into glucose (more commonly known as sugar) in our body. This glucose is used as energy. In order for our body to use this energy, the pancreas must produce and use a hormone called insulin. Insulin is made in the beta cells of the pancreas. It is responsible for allowing glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter all body cells. Once glucose leaves the bloodstream and enters the body cells, it is being used for energy and is no longer measurable in the blood. There is a normal amount of glucose needed in the bloodstream at all times. If you have had nothing to eat or drink, not including water, for at least 8 hours, then the normal glucose would be 70-99 mg/dl. Two hours after you have eaten, the normal glucose would be less than 140 mg/dl1. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, glucose goals are 70-130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl 2 hours after meals. Ask your doctor about the possibility of talking with a Certified Diabetes Educator to learn more about diabetes and what you should do to take care of yourself.
1American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations, vol. 33; Supplement 1
- Do not skip meals. Eat three meals per day.
- Make sure your meals are moderate in portion size and evenly spaced out throughout the day.
- Include all food groups in your daily choices. The food groups are Starches/grains, fruit, milk/yogurt, protein/meat and fats. Talk with a Registered Dietitian to determine the amounts of food recommended to help you meet your individual goals.
- Checking your glucose is helpful to your doctor in evaluating how your glucose is at home. It may be beneficial for you to check your glucose once daily or up to 8 times daily, depending on the treatment you are receiving for your diabetes. Keep a written record of you glucose readings and identify whether they are taken before the meal or 2 hours after the meal.
- If your doctor has prescribed medicine for your diabetes, take it just as it is prescribed. If you feel the medicine is causing side effects, contact your doctor.
- Uncontrolled diabetes can cause problems with the nerves in your feet. Symptoms of this are numbness and tingling in the toes or feet. It is important you check your feet daily for signs of poor healing of a wound or sore area. If an area is not showing signs of healing within 2-3 days, you should report this to your doctor and possibly have it looked at for evaluation. (There are other conditions that may cause numbness or tingling in the toes and feet. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.)
- Always wear shoes. Do not go barefoot.
- Buy shoes in the late afternoon. Feet naturally swell during the day, therefore, it is better to purchase them when your feet will be at their largest. This will hopefully prevent tight shoes which may rub blisters on the skin.
- You may apply lotion on your feet but make sure you do not rub it between your toes. Consistent moistness between your toes may increase the risk of developing a fungal infection.
- A pedicure is not recommended. There is an increased risk of serious injury to the feet if the skin is accidentally cut during the pedicure.