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What You and Your Health Care Provider Can Do for Diabetes

Good health comes from teamwork. Your health care provider can order tests, but it's up to you to get them done. Your provider can suggest healthy habits, but it's up to you to follow them. Finding diabetes early is important. Managing your diabetes can help prevent serious health problems.

Your provider should let you know any test results and what they mean. If your blood sugar or cholesterol is too high, ask what you can do to lower it. This may include changing your diet, getting more exercise or taking medicine.

Tell your provider if you have any of these signs of diabetes:

  • Feeling thirsty most of the time
  • Changes in how much or how often you pee (urinate)
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or bruises that heal very slowly
  • Feeling very tired (fatigue) and grouchy (irritable)

Also, talk with your provider if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Diabetes while you were pregnant
  • High "bad" cholesterol (LDL)
  • Low "good" cholesterol (HDL)
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight

If you already have diabetes...

Most people with diabetes need an A1C test every 2 to 4 months. How often you need the test depends on how well your blood sugar is controlled. Talk to your provider about how often to get this test. Keeping your blood sugar close to normal helps prevent problems like heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

Talk to your health care provider about how often to check your cholesterol. When your provider orders the blood test for cholesterol, get it done as soon as you can.

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is key to diabetes care. The ADA says blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg is best. Talk with your provider about your blood pressure and how it affects your diabetes.

If you have diabetes, there are many other things that you will need to keep an eye on. Examples are getting your eyes, feet and kidneys checked regularly.

Test How Often You Need It
A1C (Average Blood Sugar) 2 to 4 times a year. Ask your provider.
LDL ("bad" cholesterol) At least once a year. Ask your provider.
Blood Pressure Every time you see your provider. Ask your provider.

Based on the New Mexico Health Care Takes On Diabetes 2013 New Mexico Diabetes Care Guidelines
and the 2011 New Mexico Adult Diabetes Practice Guidelines


The information on this page was compiled by the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality from a variety of sources, including (but not limited to) New Mexico Health Care Takes On Diabetes, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico Department of Health, and New Mexico Diabetes Council. This information summarizes core care elements appropriate to most adults with diabetes. This information should not be construed as representing standards of care nor as a substitute for individualized evaluation and treatment based on clinical circumstances by a qualified health care professional. Please see our disclaimer.

Detailed recommendations and information on this complex issue can be found at or at many websites listed on the Diabetes Links page.

An initiative of the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with additional funding provided by HealthInsight New Mexico