Sugar Diabetes Home Care
Home care for diabetes includes:
- Nutritional counseling from a registered dietician
- Avoid alcohol, or drink alcohol in moderation:
- For men: no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day
- For women: no more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
- Keep a diabetes diary:
- Check your blood sugar every day.
- Keep a log of your results.
- Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
- Follow your diabetes diet.
- If you have high blood pressure:
- Maintain good oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth after meals and at bedtime.
- Floss your teeth every day.
- Gargle with dilute saltwater three times per day.
- See your dentist every 6 months.
- Examine your feet every day:
- Report injuries to your doctor.
- Weight loss if you are overweight
- Patients with kidney impairment should be advised to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, and other medications that are metabolized by the kidney. Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever control because it is not metabolized by the kidneys.
- Wear a Medic Alert bracelet at all times.
- Take your diabetes medications as directed:
- Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
- Avoid running out of your medication. Refill your prescriptions early.
- Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
- If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
- Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
- Do not stop prescription medications without talking to your doctor.
- Learn everything you can about diabetes:
- The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be to participate with your doctor in making treatment decisions.
- Ask your doctor about good sources for information.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor
For more information:
Sugar Diabetes Diet
It is important to follow a healthy diet if you have diabetes.
Your daily intake of calories should allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Total calorie requirements vary according to your weight, height and activity. Your doctor and dietitian will recommend a total daily calorie requirement that is right for you.
Carbohydrates should account for 55-60% of your total calories. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber, are better sources of carbohydrate than sugars. Dietary fiber has been shown to prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. A healthy diet contains 20-35 grams of fiber per day.
Protein should account for 10-20% of your total calories. Those who have normal kidneys should consume about 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. Those who have kidney disease should consume no more than 45 grams of protein per day.
Fat should account for less than 30% of your total calories. Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol. About 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Cholesterol intake should be limited to less than 300 milligrams per day.
Diabetes puts you at risk for heart disease:
- Eat a healthy heart diet
- Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
- 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
- Low cholesterol diet.
- Low salt diet.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats
Consider replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), aspartame (Equal), and sucralose (Splenda) are acceptable alternatives.
Sodium intake should not exceed 3,000 mg per day. Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease should consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium per day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Diabetes does not require vitamin or mineral supplements.
Alcohol should be limited to two drinks per day.
Sugar Diabetes Hyperglycemia
Triggers for high blood sugar in diabetes include:
For more information:
Sugar Diabetes Hypoglycemia
Triggers for low blood sugar in diabetes include:
For more information:
Sugar Diabetes Taking Control
The successful treatment of diabetes requires your participation. Here are answers to some important questions.
Do you have control over your health and wellness?
Many people believe they have no control over their health and wellness. Many ignore personal health decisions or simply leave them to their doctors, relatives, or friends. In reality, you have the greatest potential to determine your relative health.
How is this possible? Do people really have control of their own health? The biggest killers are heart disease and cancer. Although many of these diseases seem to strike at random, our lifestyle choices greatly influence personal risk.
How can you participate in your health care?
To participate you must:
- Learn to take responsibility for your own health.
- Learn to partner with your doctor.
- Learn how to make active decisions about your health.
How can you learn what you need to know?
- Educate yourself.
- Be skeptical: Learn to separate fact from fiction.
- Billions of dollars are spent each year marketing dietary supplements, vitamins, and new medical treatments. Much of this is unnecessary and wasteful.
- Be careful about where you get your health information.
- Some of the best sources for health information on the web are professional societies and non-profit organizations.
- Ask your doctor what he or she recommends.
- Examine the credentials of the authors.
- If you are reading about symptoms and disease, your best source is a licensed physician.
- Pay attention to when the content was last updated.
- Make sure the person is not just trying to sell you something.
Important questions you need to answer:
- What things in your control can increase your risk for disease?
- What can you do to decrease this risk?
- What are vaccines and how can they help you?
- How do your lifestyle choices increase your risk for disease?
- How can you reduce stress?
- What minor health problems can you treat at home?
- When is a medical problem "serious"?
- When should you call the doctor?
How can you find the right doctor?
- Everyone should have a primary care physician or family doctor. A primary physician is usually a family practitioner, internist, or pediatrician.
- Establish a relationship in advance with your doctor.
- Make sure you are comfortable with your primary care physician.
- The internet contains many resources where you can do research to locate the doctor that is best for you.
- You may wish to schedule a brief visit with the doctor to see if he or she is right for you.
- Be open-minded, and allow your doctor to know you well. This will improve communication.
Important information you need to make your decision:
- Physician credentials:
- Internship and residency training is usually best from respected institutions, universities, and major hospitals.
- Look for board certification in the specialty.
- Ask about membership in medical societies.
- Community and professional reputation are also important.
- Are other patients happy with the doctor?
- Has the doctor been disciplined by hospitals or agencies?
- How long has the doctor been in practice?
- In general, more than a few malpractice suits over a 5-10 year period should trigger caution.
- Does the doctor communicate well? Are your questions answered during busy times?
- Does the doctor welcome you to help make decisions about your care?
- Is the doctor available when you need care?
- What is the doctor's after-hours coverage?
- Is he or she a member of a large group?
- Do the doctors' cross-cover one another?
- Where do they admit patients?
What is shared decision making?
You and your doctor must work together to jointly decide the best course of action to manage your health. This process is called "shared decision making". Your doctor becomes a guide and teacher and helps steer you toward the best treatment. Most doctors welcome this partnership. You must learn about your illnesses for shared decision-making to work.
For any recommended test, medication, or surgery, remember to ask:
- How will this help me?
- How much will it cost?
- Is it covered by your insurance?
- What are the potential side effects and risks?
- What are my alternatives?
For tests, remember to ask:
- Is it done in the office or at another facility?
- Is it painful?
- How will the results of this test influence my care?
For surgery or other procedures, remember to ask:
- How long will it take to heal?
- How many cases has the doctor done?
- What would your doctor do if he or she were the patient?
- Where is it done?
- Who will perform it?
- What are the doctor's qualifications?
What should you expect?
Shared decision making becomes impossible if you do not know what to expect from your doctor.
The American Hospital Association has published a "Patient's Bill of Rights" that is a good guide. It states that you have the right:
- To be spoken to in words that you understand
- To be told what's wrong with you
- To know the benefits of any treatment and any alternatives
- To know what a treatment or test will cost
- To share in treatment decisions
- To read your medical record
- To refuse any medical procedure
What should you do before an office visit?
- Bring all important medical information with you to the visit.
- Make sure you can answer questions about the following:
- Allergies and side effects to medicines
- Current medicines you are taking. This includes herbs and vitamins. Make a list if necessary.
- Insurance information
- Marital and sexual history
- Past injuries and hospital stays
- Past medical problems
- Past surgeries and operations
- Pre-visit questionnaires
- Use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs
- Work history
What should you expect from the visit?
- You should plan to wait if you go without an appointment. Emergencies or sick patients in the hospital may interrupt your doctor.
- Bring along a book or toys for the kids. You may also have to wait during busy times.
- Tell your doctor about your problem in a clear manner. Start from the beginning and go through each symptom as it appeared.
- Before the visit, think about what makes your problem better or worse. Your doctor will probably ask you questions about this.
- Most doctors ask many questions about unrelated symptoms. These questions help assure that there are no other problems that need attention.
- Be sure to answer all questions truthfully. This includes sensitive questions about smoking, drug use, sexual activity, and work. Your history is the most important part of deciding what is wrong with you.
- If you have any difficulty communicating your concerns, bring a family member or friend to assist in this task.
- Talk to your doctor and do not leave the office without asking necessary questions. Your doctor can make you more comfortable if he or she understands your concerns.
What should you know about your medications?
Every year many people become ill because of problems with medications.
Remember to ask:
- What side effects to expect.
- What drug interactions are possible.
- Find out if a new medicine reacts with those that you are taking now.
- Many over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements can also cause serious side effects and drug interactions.
- Some drugs interact with certain foods, vitamins, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Make sure you can drive or operate machines safely while taking a medicine.
- Ask your doctor how much a prescription costs.
- Is there a less expensive option or a generic version?
What is a treatment plan?
A treatment plan is what you and your doctor decide to do for an illness. A treatment plan cannot be effective without your participation.
Three simple questions can help you get the most from your treatment plan:
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do these things?
Other important points:
- Be sure you understand your treatment plan.
- Stick with the treatment plan and allow time for improvement.
- Don't stop medicines when you feel better; check with your doctor first.
- Call your doctor if your condition is becoming worse.
- Your doctor should tell you what to expect and when to follow-up or call the office.
Sugar Diabetes Vomiting
- Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
- Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
- Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
- Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
- If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
- Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.
Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:
Home treatment of vomiting in children includes hydration and dietary therapy. Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).
ORT fluids used in older children include:
- Sports drinks (Gatorade)
- Dilute fruit juices
- Flat soda
- Weak tea with sugar
Strategies for children:
- Provide as much ORT fluids as your child desires.
- If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids more frequently:
- Children 10-20 kg (22-44 lb): 15 ml (1 tablespoon) every 5 minutes
- Children 20-40 kg (44-88 lb): 22 ml (1 and 1/2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
- Children 40 kg (88 lb) and over: 30 ml (2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
- Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.
Most children with vomiting improve in a few hours and symptoms usually resolve in one day. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.
Foods that are easiest to tolerate include:
- Soft foods
Foods to avoid include:
- Concentrated fruit juices
- Junk foods
- Milk products
- Recently introduced foods
- Spicy foods
Nonprescription medicines for vomiting should only be used under the direction of your doctor.
Sugar Diabetes Warning Signs
Notify your doctor if you have diabetes and any of the following:
- Constant hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent urination
- Glucose and ketones are present in the urine
- Glucose reading over 300 mg/dl
- Repeated blood glucose readings over 160 mg/dl during pregnancy
- Repeated blood glucose readings over 200 mg/dl
- Repeated vomiting
- Severe fatigue
- Sudden weight loss
- Fever over 101 degrees F (38.3 C)
- Weight gain of more than 10 lbs
- Worsening abdominal pain
Continue to Sugar Diabetes Prevention
- Lebovitz HE. Type 2 diabetes: an overview. Clin Chem. 1999 Aug;45(8 Pt 2):1339-45. 
- Monnier L, Benichou M, Charra-Ebrard S, Boegner C, Colette C. An overview of the rationale for pharmacological strategies in type 2 diabetes: from the evidence to new perspectives. Diabetes Metab. 2005 Apr;31(2):101-9. 
- Olson DE, Norris SL. Diabetes in older adults. Overview of AGS guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in geriatric populations. Geriatrics. 2004 Apr;59(4):18-24. 
- Ratner RE. Type 2 diabetes mellitus: the grand overview. Diabet Med. 1998;15 Suppl 4:S4-7. 
- Ulbrecht JS, Cavanagh PR, Caputo GM. Foot problems in diabetes: an overview. Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;39 Suppl 2:S73-82.