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What to Expect

Living with Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are long-term conditions. Your partnership with your health care providers should be long term, too. At Banner Health, we'll work as hard as you do to manage your diabetes so you can control your diabetes and your life.

Controlling Diabetes

There are many ways you can help control your diabetes.

What Changes Can Help Manage My Diabetes?

Lifestyle choices go a long way toward successfully managing diabetes. Here are 4 activities that will help you:

Eat Healthy

Cut down on processed and sugary foods and eat more vegetables, protein and whole grains. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist, and join our diabetes self-management classes to learn how to use food to help control your diabetes.

Stay Active

Regular activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently. You can improve your blood sugar levels with just 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking or biking, 5 times a week. Talk to your doctor to create an exercise plan that’s right for you.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Weight loss if you are overweight may help your diabetes. By losing even a small amount of extra weight, you may be able to lower your blood sugar levels.

Take Medication Properly

Your doctor may prescribe medication or insulin injections to help control your diabetes. If so, it’s important to exactly follow your doctor’s directions.

Why are Blood Sugar Levels Important?

Blood sugar levels, also called blood glucose levels, let you know if your diabetes is under control. Blood sugar levels can be too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). If you keep your blood sugar level in a healthy range, you can reduce your risk for diabetes-related complications. You may even prevent type 2 diabetes, if you’re diagnosed as prediabetic.

How Do I Monitor My Blood Sugar and Ketone Levels?

Closely monitoring your blood sugar and ketone levels is easiest way to manage your diabetes. You may need to monitor your levels several times a day. Your doctor will talk to you about your specific needs.

How Do I Test My Blood Sugar?

Self-monitoring blood glucose is important to keep track of how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood. To test your blood sugar:

  • Prick your finger with a special needle or device
  • Put a drop of blood on a testing strip
  • Place the strip in a blood glucose monitor to measure your blood sugar levels
  • Keep a record of your testing results

There are many types of monitors available and instructions on their use vary. Check with your insurance company to see if blood glucose monitoring equipment and testing supplies are covered under your plan.

How Do I Test My Ketones?

When your blood sugar gets too high, you may produce ketones. Ketones are the chemical result of the breakdown of fat so your body can use it for energy. This happens when the body is not using insulin the right way. It’s normal to have some ketones in your blood and urine, but too many can be dangerous. To test your ketone level, collect your urine in a clean container and put a test strip in it. The strip will change color as it reacts to the ketones. Be sure to keep a record of your test results.

Check with your insurance company to see if ketone testing supplies are covered under your plan.

Does Diabetes Put Me at Risk for Other Conditions?

Diabetes can increase your risk for some other health problems. If you have diabetes, pay very close attention to your heart, kidneys, eyes, feet, and any sores or wounds you have. Talk with your physician if you have any questions.