Learning About Your Health
Diabetes: Healthy CopingApart from the stress of being hospitalized, diabetes is a challenge. How you perceive the impact diabetes has on your body, and how you prepare your mind for your new journey, has an effect on your ability to manage your diabetes. With the right amount of information and support, you will have the tools to stay healthy.
This guide is a good place to start. If you have not had a formal diabetes education, consider attending a local program recognized by the American Diabetes Association (see Other Resources below).
The certified diabetes educators will work with you and your family to learn all about diabetes and the things you can do day-to-day to have a healthy life. The national standard of diabetes education includes 10 hours of comprehensive instruction with a referral from your health care provider and is often covered by insurance. This small investment of time can get you on the road to staying healthy and out of the hospital.
Once you recover from your hospitalization, you can start, restart, or continue your diabetes program. You choose how actively involved to be, given life’s everyday situations and distractions. Whenever the time is right, your diabetes care team is your ultimate go-to resource. You may find other helpful resources in your community, such as the diabetes support groups offered at CPMC and many other medical centers.
Make an Appointment to Learn More about Diabetes
Call the Center for Diabetes Services at 415-600-0506
3801 Sacramento Street, 7th Floor
- The American Diabetes AssociationOpens new window (1-800-232-6733).
- The American Association of Diabetes EducatorsOpens new window (call 1-800-832-6874 to find a local educator).
- National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)Opens new window (1-800-438-5383).
- For information about MedicareOpens new window’s coverage of diabetes supplies, contact the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Center for Beneficiary Services at
1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227 (in English and Spanish).
- dLifeOpens new window for information on how to live well with diabetes.
- MedicAlertOpens new window (1-800-432-5378).
- American Medical IDOpens new window (1-800-363-5985).
Home Care Instructions
Blood Glucose Testing
- Plan: When to check your blood glucose
- Before meals
- 2 hours after start of meal
- Target Blood Glucose Values
- Before meals
- 2 hours after start of meal
Remember to make sure you are using test strips that have not expired. Check that your meter is coded correctly when you open a new bottle of strips (if applicable). Write down your blood glucose values and bring the log to your medical appointments.
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- Avoid excess simple sugars.
- Eat regular meals. Do not skip meals or snacks.
- Eat the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal.
- If blood glucose at bedtime is less than ___ mg/dL, eat a bedtime snack.
- Make an appointment with a dietitian to find the meal plan that is best for you.
- Do not begin an exercise program until checking with your health care provider.
- Check your blood glucose before exercising. Eat a snack, if needed.
- Check your blood glucose before driving. Make sure it is over ___ mg/dL before driving.
- Keep a record of your Oral Medication by type and when you took it (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bedtime, other)
- Do not stop or change your medication without consulting your health care provider.
If you have symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose, if possible.
- If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL at any time, or 70 - 100 mg/dL with symptoms, or you are unable to check and you are having symptoms, drink 4 ounces of fruit juice, or 4 ounces of regular soda, or chew 3 square or 4 round glucose tabs.
- Wait 15 minutes and check your blood glucose again. If it is still less than 70 mg/dL with or without symptoms, or less than 100 mg/dL with symptoms, repeat the instructions above.
- If you are unable to bring your blood glucose over 70 mg/dL after two treatments, get medical attention.
- Once your blood glucose is over 70 mg/dL and your symptoms are gone, and if your next meal or snack is more than a half hour away, eat a snack.
- If you have ever been unconscious from hypoglycemia, make sure a friend or relative knows how to give glucagon.
When you are sick your blood glucose may be higher than usual. Test your blood glucose more often (every 2 - 4 hours). Continue to take your usual doses of diabetes medication or insulin and eat your usual meals at the usual times. If you can not eat due to an upset stomach, drink liquids or eat foods with carbohydrates containing one carbohydrate choice (15 gm) every 1 - 2 hours.
- To avoid dehydration, drink at least 8 ounces of calorie-free fluids (for example, water, broth, diet soda) every hour.
- If you take insulin and your blood glucose is over 250 mg/dL, check ketones every 4 - 6 hours.
- Frequent low blood glucose (less than 70 mg/dL twice in one week, or less than 60 mg/dL one time).
- Low blood glucose with loss of consciousness or requiring glucagon.
- Unexplained high blood glucose values over 250 mg/dL for several tests or several days in a row or over 300 mg/dL (one time).
- Moderate or large ketones (urine or blood).
- You can not keep fluids down, you vomit more than once, or you have frequent diarrhea.
- You feel very ill, have dizziness or shortness of breath.
- You have a fever over 100° F.
- You have any type of foot sore.
- Any sudden changes in your vision.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, there are resources that can help you to quit. Call 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887), or ask your health care provider for information.
- Be sure to dispose of lancets and syringe needles in a sharps container.
- Call the Center for Diabetes Services at (415) 600-0506 for more information.
Produced by the staff and physicians at California Pacific Medical Center in association with the Center for Patient and Community Education. Last updated: 12/11
Funded by: A generous donation from the Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Ciocca Foundation.
Note: This information is not meant to replace any information or personal medical advice which you get directly from your doctor(s). If you have any questions about this information, such as the risks or benefits of the treatment listed, please ask your doctor(s).