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Diabetes Care and Education

Persons Living with or at Risk for Diabetes

Steps to Managing Diabetes for Life


Step 1: Learn about diabetes.

  • Accredited/Recognized DSMES Programs
  • Diabetes Educators: Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) or BC-ADM (Board Certified- Advanced Diabetes Manager
  • NIDDK receives congressional authorization for information clearinghouses and activities to enhance public knowledge and understanding of the diseases and conditions within its mission. You can access legislative information about NIDDK Information Clearinghouses and related activities at section 285-c1 and section 285-c8.
  • Clearinghouses and Programs

Step 2: Know your diabetes ABCs

  • A1C – The A1C test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. The test provides an average of your blood sugar readings for the past three months. It is used to monitor blood sugar levels, as well as for diagnosis and screening of prediabetes and diabetes. People with diabetes should have an A1C test at least twice a year and more frequently in some cases
  • Blood Pressure – Readings vary, but most people with diabetes should have a blood pressure of no more than 130/80. The first, or top, number is the “systolic pressure,” or the pressure in your arteries when your heart squeezes and fills the vessels with blood.
  • Cholesterol – Although cholesterol breaks down into LDL and HDL types, your blood results will also include a total cholesterol reading. Your optimal total blood cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood). Your ideal LDL cholesterol level should be lower than 100 mg/dL if you do not have heart-related risk factors. If you already have heart disease or diabetes, this number should be below 70 mg/dL. Ideally, your HDL cholesterol level should be higher than 60 mg/dL.

Step 3: Learn how to live with diabetes

  • AADE7 Self Care Behaviors © 2020 Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists
    • Healthy Eating
    • Being Active
    • Monitoring
    • Taking Medication
    • Problem Solving
    • Reducing Risks
    • Healthy Coping

Step 4: Get routine care to stay healthy

See your health care team at least twice a year to find and treat any problems early.

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)

Diabetes Prevention Programs