Diabetes For Dummies
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Diabetes, which is excessive glucose in your blood, leads to serious health problems if left untreated.

You should follow the American Diabetes Association screening guidelines to get tested for diabetes at the earliest possible time. If you have diabetes, this Cheat Sheet is a handy reference to screening guidelines, rules for living with diabetes, and continuing your diabetes care to better control the disease.

Screening guidelines for diabetes

The American Diabetes Association created guidelines to screen for diabetes at the earliest possible appropriate time. Take a look at these guidelines to find out when to get tested for diabetes:

  • People with symptoms of thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss are tested immediately.

  • People older than age 45 should be tested every three years if normal.

  • People should be tested at a younger age and more often if:

    • They are obese.

    • They have a parent or sibling with diabetes.

    • They are from a high-risk group, such as African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.

    • They have delivered a baby more than 9 pounds or had gestational diabetes.

    • They have high blood pressure.

    • They have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides.

10 rules for diabetes control

Diabetes doesn’t have to rule your life. Be proactive! Follow these guidelines for controlling your diabetes, and your problems should be few and far between:

  • Major monitoring: Make sure your doctor orders the key tests at the right times.

  • Devout dieting: Work with a dietitian to develop a great eating plan.

  • Tenacious testing: Check your blood glucose at correct intervals.

  • Enthusiastic exercising: Burn off calories and help your heart.

  • Lifelong learning: New things are being discovered and you need to know about them.

  • Meticulous medicating: You can’t respond to medicines you don’t take.

  • Appropriate attitude: A positive attitude results in better control of your diabetes.

  • Preventive planning: Know the menu before you go.

  • Fastidious foot care: Check your feet with your eyes daily.

  • Essential eye care: Get an eye exam every year.

Standards for continuing your diabetes care

Managing diabetes requires regular doctor visits that include standard monitoring of various diabetic factors. Following are guidelines for your diabetes care — like when to see your doctor, what should happen at each visit, when to have lab tests done, and how often to self-monitor blood glucose.

Consistent diabetes management is key; if test results show any change from your history, then you and your doctor can address them before any problem worsens.

Frequency of visits:

  • Daily if starting insulin

  • Weekly if starting oral drugs

  • Monthly if not stable

  • Quarterly if stable

History at each visit:

  • Frequency of hypoglycemia

  • Results of blood glucose self-monitoring

  • Changes in treatment

  • Symptoms of complications

  • Psychosocial issues

  • New medications

Physical at each visit:

  • Blood pressure

  • Weight

  • Foot exam

Physical at least annually or every two years if eyes are stable:

  • Dilated eye exam by eye doctor

  • Filament test for foot sensation

Lab tests:

  • Hemoglobin A1c every three months

  • Fasting lipid profile yearly

  • Microalbumin measurement yearly if urine protein negative

Frequency of blood glucose self-monitoring:

  • Before meals and bedtime for person with type 1 diabetes

  • Before breakfast and supper for person with type 2 diabetes

  • Once daily for person with stable diabetes

  • Before and one hour after meals for pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes

Oral drugs for Type 2 diabetes

Insulin shots aren’’t the only drug treatment for diabetes. If your doctor prescribes oral drugs for your diabetes, use this chart to look up the medication names and dosage amounts. Then educate yourself on diabetes medications, their possible side effects, and drug interactions.

Class Brand Name Generic Name Average Dose Range
Sulfonylureas Glucotrol glipizide 10 mg 2.5–40 mg
DiaBeta, Glynase glyburide 7.5 mg 1.25–20 mg
Amaryl glimepiride 4 mg 1–8 mg
Meglitinides Prandin repaglinide 1 mg 0.5–4 mg
Starlix nateglinide 180 mg 180–360 mg
Biguanides Glucophage metformin 1,000 mg 500–2,000 mg
Thiazolidinediones Actos pioglitazone 30 mg 15–45 mg
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors Precose
Glyset acarbose
miglitol 150 mg 150–300 mg
DPP-4 iInhibitors Januvia sitagliptin 100 mg 25–100 mg
Onglyza saxagliptin 5 mg 2.5–5 mg
Tradjenta linagliptin 5 mg 5 mg

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Alan Rubin, MD, is the author of Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies, Type I Diabetes For Dummies, Prediabetes For Dummies, High Blood Pressure For Dummies, Thyroid For Dummies, and Vitamin D For Dummies. He is a professional member of the Endocrine Society and American Diabetes Association.

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