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Diabetes: Ten Tips for Self-Management

If you have diabetes, your healthcare team will work closely with you to help keep your diabetes under control. They will provide you with information and teach you about diabetes care. They will also check your A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other measures.  But most of your day-to-day care of diabetes is up to you. You can make choices that will have a positive effect on your diabetes. Here are ten important choices you can make!

  • Make healthy food choices. You can choose what, when, and how much to eat.  Healthy meal planning is an important part of your diabetes treatment plan.
  • Decide to be physically active. This helps you keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar under control.
  • Take your medications. You can all take your medications as instructed by your healthcare team, and keep track of your blood sugar levels on your own.
  • Keep a log book. You can learn which numbers are important for telling you how well you are doing and then watch them improve over time by keeping a log book of your A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, and so on. Take the book along to your appointments so you can discuss changes or new instructions with your healthcare team.
  • Watch for symptoms or changes in your health. You can learn which symptoms or changes are important for you to watch out for and tell your doctor about.
  • Talk with your healthcare team if you feel overwhelmed or unable to manage one or more aspects of your diabetes management.
  • Ask questions when you are not sure about something.
  • Talk with others who are living well with diabetes and kidney disease.  They can understand your situation in a special way and give you support.
  • Get tested for kidney disease.  Having diabetes puts you at risk for developing kidney disease.  Ask your healthcare team to be tested for kidney disease.  You should be tested for kidney disease at least once a year.
  • Learn more.  Learn all you can about keeping your diabetes under control, and be sure to learn about your risk for kidney disease.  Stay informed, take charge of your health, and always be an active member of your healthcare team. 

33% of adults in the U.S. are at risk for kidney disease.

Find out if you're at risk.

Where can I get more information?

The National Kidney Foundation has free booklets that provide more information about diabetes. Call the national toll-free number 855.653.2273 and ask for free booklets on diabetes. You can see these and other titles at

Date Reviewed: November 2014

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