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Diabetes

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Diseases & Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Am I at risk for developing diabetes?
2.  How can I achieve and maintain good blood glucose control?
3.  How can I reduce the risk of complications?
4.  What are the health risks of poorly controlled diabetes?

1.  Am I at risk for developing diabetes?

The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk for developing diabetes.  Risk factors include:

  • Overweight

  • Over 40 years of age

  • Have family members with diabetes

  • Get little exercise

  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol

  • Had diabetes with a pregnancy

  • Delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

  • African American, Latino, Asian or Native American heritage

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2.  How can I achieve and maintain good blood glucose control?

  • Take all of your medications as instructed.

  • Monitor your blood glucose daily and try to identify patterns. Your blood sugar meter  can help you learn your daily level of control.

  • Eat 3 meals per day, control carbohydrate portions and decrease your fat intake.

  • Get your body in motion - walk, dance, garden, clean! The gym is not the only way to get active.

  • Stay motivated, learn as much as you can about diabetes, talk with friends and family about diabetes, keep yourself informed and stay on track.

  • Control your weight by staying active and eating healthy foods.

  • Take charge of your diabetes, small changes will have an impact on your control.

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3.  How can I reduce the risk of complications?

  • Target an A1C (90 day glucose average) of 7% or less

  • Target blood pressure below 130/ 80

  • Target cholesterol LDL below 100 (below 70 with heart disease)

  • Quit smoking

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Keep regular visits with your health care team and keep up-to-date with eye, foot, kidney and dental care.

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4.  What are the health risks of poorly controlled diabetes?

Studies have shown that the risk of diabetes complications is reduced greatly with even small lifestyle improvements. Poorly controlled diabetes can have many adverse effects:

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

  • Adults with diabetes have 2-4 times higher rate of heart disease and strokes.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease which leads to dialysis or kidney transplant.

  • More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur among people with diabetes.

  • About 60-70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.

  • Gum disease is more common among people with diabetes.

  • People with diabetes are more susceptible to other illness.

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Remember: You can control your diabetes, don't let your diabetes control you! Stay on track and reduce your risk for diabetes related complications.

More Patient Information

About Diabetes
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Español: Vídeos de Educación del Paciente

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Call: 617.638.7470
Fax: 617.638.7449


Boston Medical Center
Endocrinology,Diabetes,
Nutrition & Weight Management
Preston Building
2nd Floor
732 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118


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