Tips: Diabetes

Blood glucose control and foot care are two important subjects for people with diabetes. Read on to learn more about accurately monitoring your blood glucose and properly caring for your feet.

Testing blood glucose (1)

The best way to know how well you are managing your diabetes is to test your blood glucose level regularly, as recommended by your healthcare team.
 
Here are some practical tips for self-monitoring blood glucose (“SMBG”):
1. Before you start, ensure that your strips are not expired and your meter has been properly coded (if required).
 
2. Use a blood glucose meter at home to test your blood glucose. Be sure you have chosen a meter that meets your needs.
 

Testing blood glucose (2)

3. To get a good reading be sure to:
  • Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
  • Use an alcohol pad to clean the area you are going to prick and allow to dry. Usually this will be your fingertip, but with some meters you may use your forearm or thigh. When pricking your fingertip, it may be less painful to prick the side of your fingertip and not the pad.
  • Prick yourself with the sterile lancet to a get a drop of blood.
  • Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
  • Follow the instructions for inserting the strip into the meter, unless it is already integrated in the meter.
 

Testing blood glucose (3)

4. The meter will display the number that tells you your level.
 
5. Record your results in a log book or use the options available for recording on your meter/computer.
 
6. Take your log book or other blood glucose record with you to every healthcare appointment.
 
In addition to SMBG, it is recommended that you have an A1C test done regularly, every 3 to 6 months, as recommended by your doctor. A1C is a blood test that indicates an average of your overall blood glucose levels over the past 120 days.  This test may be available at the Walmart Pharmacy. Ask your Pharmacist for details.

 
 

Blood glucose targets

Recommended blood glucose targets for most people with diabetes are*
 
  • Fasting blood glucose/Blood glucose before meals (mmol/L):
    • Target for most people with diabetes: 4.0 to 7.0
    • Normal range: 4.0 to 6.0
 
  • Blood glucose two hours after eating (mmol/L):
    • Target for most people with diabetes: 5.0 to 10.0
    • Normal range: 5.0 to 8.0
 
  • A1C**:
    • Target for most people with diabetes: ≤ 7%
    • Normal range: ≤ 6%
 
* This information is based on the Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines. Talk to your doctor about YOUR blood glucose target ranges.
** A1C targets for pregnant women and children 12 years of age and under are different.

 
 

Diabetes foot care (1)

If you have diabetes, it is very important to take good care of your feet, in order to avoid injuries that may result in infections or other serious complications.
 
Here are some tips for proper foot care:
 
1. Try to keep your blood glucose level in your target range.
 
2. If you smoke, quit.
 
3. Wash your feet daily in mild soap and warm water. Dry them carefully, especially between your toes.
 
4. If you use a moisturizer on your feet, be sure to avoid getting cream between your toes.
 
 

Diabetes foot care (2)

5. Inspect your feet and toes every day. Look for cuts, bruises, cracks, sores, and changes in your toenails such as thickening or discolouration, and ingrown toenails. If you cannot do this yourself, ask for help.
 
6. Wear socks that are comfortable and try to avoid socks with seams that could rub and cause blisters.
 
7. Cut your toenails straight across. If your nails are hard to trim, visit your podiatrist and ask for help.
 
8. Always wear properly fitted shoes and never go barefoot.
 

Diabetes foot care (3)

9. Do not try to remove calluses, corns or warts by yourself. Products available over-the-counter to treat these conditions should NOT be used. See you healthcare provider right away if you have any of these foot problems.
 
10. Have your feet examined by your healthcare professional at least once a year.
 

Care for foot wounds

If you do develop a foot “wound,” it is important to prevent infection, so see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will likely remove any dead skin and tissue, apply medication or dress the wound, and show you how to manage the treatment of the wound on your own. The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you with any questions/concerns you may have about dressing and caring for the wound.

 
 

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you choose the right blood glucose meter for your needs and can help you understand how your diet, exercise or illness may affect your blood glucose level, so be sure to bring your Blood Glucose Log Book or other record to your Walmart Pharmacy whenever you visit your Pharmacist.

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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