Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Follow the health care professional's treatment recommendations.
Keep records of blood sugar levels as often as recommended by
the health care professional and the diabetes care team, including the times the levels were checked, when and how much insulin or medication
was taken, when and what was eaten, and when and for how long the patient exercised.
the health care professional if the patient has any problems with their treatment or symptoms that suggest poor glucose control.
Attend diabetes education classes at the local hospital. The more educated
the patient and their family are about the disease, the better they are likely to do.
If the patient takes insulin, they should see the health care
professional about every
3 months or more often. For other people with diabetes, every 3 to 6 months is generally adequate, unless
they are having complications.
Recognize low blood sugar levels and know how to treat them
The patient and their family should be taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar levels.
The patient should have a clear plan for treating low blood sugar levels and
know when to call 911. Mild symptoms include confusion and sweating. Moreover, these symptoms can progress to lethargy, agitation (sometimes with violent, jerking motions), or even seizures.
It is not yet known how to prevent type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, however, can be prevented in some cases.
Control weight to normal or
near-normal levels by eating a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet.
Regular exercise is crucial to the prevention of type
Keep alcohol consumption low.
If a person has high blood fat levels (such as high cholesterol) or high blood pressure, take
all medications as directed.
Lifestyle modifications and/or certain medications can be used in people with prediabetes to prevent progression to diabetes. Prediabetes can be diagnosed by checking fasting glucose and
2 hours after ingesting up to 75 grams of glucose (dosing is based on the weight
of the patient).
If you or someone you know already has diabetes, the focus should be on preventing the complications, which can cause serious disabilities such as blindness, kidney failure requiring dialysis, amputation, or even death.
Tight glucose control: The single best thing a person with diabetes can
do is to keep their blood sugar level within the suggested range every day. The
only way to do this is through a combination of regular blood sugar checks; a
balanced diet low in simple sugars and fat, and high in complex carbohydrates
and fiber; a high degree of personal motivation; and appropriate medical treatment.
Consult a nutritionist or
check with a doctor with questions in regard to diet.
Maintain a healthy weight
Increase physical activity levels. Aim for moderately
vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day.
Drink an adequate amount of water and avoid
consuming too much salt.
The skin should be taken care of; keep it supple and hydrated to
avoid sores and cracks that can become severely infected.
Brush and floss the teeth every day. See a dentist regularly to prevent gum disease.
The feet should be washed and examined daily, looking for small cuts, sores, or blisters that may cause problems later.
The toenails should be filed rather than cut to avoid damaging the surrounding skin.
A specialist in foot care (podiatrist) may be necessary to help care for the feet.