Self-care tips for managing diabetes

Happy couple in a kitchen

When you have diabetes, your body requires special care to stay healthy. This includes taking extra care with your feet, skin, teeth and eyes, as well as following your doctor’s guidance for follow-ups and lab work.

Skin and foot care

  • Bathe daily
  • Dry yourself well, especially between your toes
  • Moisturize your skin and feet with lotion, but not between your toes 
  • Avoid trauma or injury to your feet and toes 
  • Always wear correctly fitted shoes or slippers, even inside your home
  • Call your provider if your feet feel numb or painful in any way 
  • Call your provider if a cut, blister or sore does not heal in a few days
  • Call your provider right away if any sore is red and feels warm, itches, swells or has a bad smell or drainage
  • See a podiatrist if your primary care provider recommends it

Oral care

  • Brush your teeth gently twice daily
  • Floss daily 
  • If you smoke, quit 
  • Visit your dentist at least twice each year

Eye health

You can have problems with your eyes even if you don’t have trouble with your vision. At least once a year, an eye health care provider (ophthalmologist) or specially trained optometrist should give you a dilated eye exam. Tell your health care provider right away if you:
  • See dark spots
  • Can’t see well in dim light
  • Have eye pain or pressure
  • Have any other problems with your eyes

For optimal diabetic management, it’s important to follow these tips along with completing the regular follow-ups and lab work recommended by your provider. Follow-up care, labs, and wellness programs are covered by your plan at Sanford Health Plan. For benefit information, contact the Sanford Health Plan customer service team.