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How do I manage my diabetes on a daily basis?

Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, but you'll be able to cope more effectively by taking one day at a time. In most cases, you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels as part of your daily treatment. You'll also need to monitor your food intake, especially carbohydrates, every time you eat, as this affects blood sugar levels. Other factors, such as exercise, alcohol and stress affect your blood sugar levels, so you should be aware of how your daily habits affect your blood sugar levels and alter these habits accordingly. Not all people with diabetes require medication. However, if you do take insulin or other medications used to treat your diabetes, these will be administered anywhere from weekly to several times a week and can take the form of a pill, injection or pump.

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Speaking from decades of personal and professional experience, the single most effective "tool" for managing diabetes effectively is your own commitment, committing to learn how to effectively manage diabetes and committing to do effective diabetes management. Sounds simple, but it is not. Adopting effective self-management behaviors often means a significant lifestyle change; it means prioritizing your own health against other demands. There is an unlimited supply of information and support available (real tools), but without your uncompromising personal commitment to your own health your diabetes management team is missing its most important participant.

Your potential diabetes management tools are many. Included in your bag of tricks are insulin, oral diabetes medications, healthy eating habits, regular exercise habits and a take-charge attitude about your diabetes. Another big player in your diabetes management is self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). This is a tool that gives you an immediate reading of your blood glucose level. When you know your blood glucose level at a given moment, you can make informed diabetes management decisions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.