Frequently Asked Questions

15. How do I manage my diabetes every day?

People with type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar with insulin -- either with shots or an insulin pen. Many people with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone. Others require oral medications or insulin, and some people may need to take both, along with lifestyle modification.

(Watch the video to learn how one woman manages her type 2 diabetes. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

To manage your diabetes, here are things to do every day.

  • Take your medicines for diabetes and for any other health problems, even when you feel good.
  • Keep track of your blood glucose (blood sugar). You may want to check it one or more times a day. Be sure to talk about it with your health care team.
  • Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises and keep a record of it.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.
  • Stop smoking. Ask for help to quit. Call 1-800 QUIT NOW ( 1-800-784-8669)
  • Be active. Try to exercise almost every day for a total of about 30 minutes. If you haven't exercised lately, begin slowly. To learn more, see Exercise: How To Get Started, or visit Go4LifeĀ®, the exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging.