Keeping Track of Blood Glucose Levels
When you have diabetes, you need to test your blood glucose regularly at home to make sure it is within a healthy range and that your diabetes management plan is working. Keeping your blood glucose at or near normal can help prevent or delay serious complications such as eye problems, kidney disease and nerve damage. By checking your blood glucose several times a day, you can adjust your diet, insulin or diabetes pills, or physical activity as needed to keep it under control. Regularly checking your blood glucose can help you understand how food, physical activity and medicine affect it. Talk with your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood glucose.
Keeping Track of Medications
To help you keep track of the medications you take, make a list and take it with you to your doctor or diabetes educator. To keep track of the medicines you use every day, use a diabetes medication log.
Keeping Track of What You Eat
It can be helpful — especially at first — to keep track of what you eat. Use a food diary to help you keep track of what you eat every day. Share your log with your dietitian or diabetes educator so that they can help make sure that you are getting the right balance of foods. They may also have ideas on how to make your meals more flavorful or how to eat to help you lose weight if you need to.
Keeping Track of Exercise
Some people find it motivational and helpful to track their exercise. Tracking can be particularly helpful to see how you react to exercise when you have started taking new medications. Use an exercise diary to help you keep track of your physical activity every day. Share your log with your diabetes educator or physical activity specialist so that they can help make sure that you are getting the appropriate amount of activity.
Keep Your Team Posted
Communicating with your doctor and other members of your healthcare team is what you have to do to get the most from your treatment. Tell them about the symptoms you are tracking. Tell them when there is a change for either better or worse. Discuss with them any problems you are having with taking the medicines the way you are supposed to take them. Ask them if there is something you don't understand about the medicines you take.
Here are other guidelines to follow to make sure you get the most benefit while working with your team:
- Don't be afraid to ask questions.
- Take part in the decisions about your treatment. It will help you feel more in control.
- Keep your appointments and be on time for them so that you get the benefits of a full-length appointment.
- Discuss with your doctor your concerns about any aspect of your treatment plan.
- Tell your doctor if you're not taking your medicine or following your meal plan as directed. Your doctor may be able to make adjustments that will help.
- Be honest and open. Don't try to hide what is going on in your life, such as your daily lifestyle and habits.
Written by Bobbie Hasselbring
Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008