There are several routine preventive measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing complications from diabetes:

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet can improve blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases
  • Exercise: Daily activity can improve blood glucose levels and increase energy, bolster your mood, and improve your overall sense of well-being.
  • Lose weight: Work with your doctor to set healthy weight loss goals.
  • Stop smoking: Many options are available to help you quit; talk to your doctor to find out more.
  • Test your blood glucose at home:  Health care providers recommend testing at least 3-4 times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. Persons with type 2 diabetes should talk to their doctor about how frequently to check.
  • Hemoglobin A1C levels: This will be checked by your health care provider every 3-6 months.
  • Yearly flu vaccines: Persons with diabetes are more likely than others to catch the flu and require yearly flu shots. Other vaccinations such as pneumonia and hepatitis B are also important.
  • Yearly eye exam: Patients with diabetes need to be checked with a dilated eye exam yearly for complications such as retinopathy.
  • Take recommended medications for blood pressure: Controlling blood pressure can reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
  • Have your cholesterol checked regularly: Ask your doctor if medications can help prevent complications of high cholesterol. Many people with diabetes benefit from taking statin medications even if they don’t have high cholesterol; talk to your health care provider to see if you may benefit from this therapy.
  • Aspirin therapy: Many persons with diabetes benefit from aspirin therapy; talk to your health care provider to see if you are one of them .
  • Ask about cancer screenings: Find out how often you should be screened for various types of cancer.

Scheduling Checkup

Persons with diabetes need to visit their health care provider every 3-6 months for a routine check-up. This can be spaced out longer if your disease is well controlled. Work with your health care provider to keep track of the recommended tests and screenings for patients with diabetes.


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