Establishing a routine for year-round diabetes care

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What are some things you need to know about routine care when you have diabetes and take insulin? How often do you need to see your doctor? What tests and checks are usually done? 

Let's take a look at healthful routines to help you care for your diabetes throughout the year.


  • Check your blood glucose (BG) at least 3 times a dayDoctor with young patient
  • Count your carbs before meals and snacks
  • Take insulin
  • Exercise (150 minutes per week) to help improve your cholesterol, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, help you sleep, boost your immune system, control high blood glucose, improve your mood, and give you more energy. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise plan.
  • Floss – according to Diabetes Forecast, research links bacterial gum disease with poor glucose control and an increased risk of diabetes complications

Every 2-3 days:


  • Review your logbook or CareLinkTM reports for patterns or trends you may need to address with your healthcare team


  • Order insulin pump and diabetes supplies and/or medication from Medtronic, distributor, and/or pharmacy

Every Three Months:

It is important to see your doctor regularly when you have diabetes to find and treat problems early. Here’s what you should have checked during these visits.

  • Blood pressure check
  • Weight check
  • Discussion/review of self-care plan, such as your diet, exercise routine, or carb-counting methods
  • Foot exam
  • A1C test – this may be less often (twice yearly) if A1C is at goal and there have been no therapy changes
  • Examination of infusion and sensor sites
  • Upload of devices and review of data

Every Six Months:

  • Dental exam to check teeth and gums – be sure your dentist knows you have diabetes


  • Cholesterol test
  • Triglyceride (type of blood fat) test
  • Complete foot exam
  • Dilated eye exam to check for eye problems related to your diabetes. This may need to be done more often if eye disease already present
  • Flu shot
  • Urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems
  • Prescription refills (insulin, glucagon, test strips, lancets, pump and sensor supplies) for the next year. If you use a mail-order pharmacy, you might want to keep a prescription to use at a local pharmacy for an emergency.
  • Backup plan to use if needed (out of or away from pump supplies, pump failure)
  • Well care exam at primary care provider or gynecologist

At Least One Time:

  • Pneumonia vaccine. Check with your healthcare team if you need a second pneumonia shot
  • Hepatitis B series if you are between 19 and 59, and not yet vaccinated

Ask your healthcare team about any other tests you may need and any questions you may have about your diabetes. Write down the date and time of your next visit after each appointment so you don’t forget. It may be helpful to share this information with your family and friends, so they have a better understanding of your diabetes care routine and how they can help.


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Blog comments

Submitted by Lisa shaw (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

These are great tips to use and keep you on track to keep you in the range.

Submitted by Jeanne Embry (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Please help...’my sugar levels keep going low. What should I do? I got in a car accident, due to my sugar level going down to 29. I didn’t hit another car - and I am ok.

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Jeanne Embry (not verified)

Jeanne, I am sorry to hear this. If you are currently using a Medtronic device, please reach out to our 24-Hour Technical Support team at 800.646.4633, option 1. In addition, I encourage you to speak with your healthcare team about your options and any adjustments to your treatment that may need to be made.

So what do I need to buy, and will this be different from our regular calendar?
Can I s e a sample page, I so need this. Is there anything, anyone has made and has on-line? Will to share. I’m crafty I could sew something for you.
Thank you, debbie
I’m a pump user from almost day one, when I found out.10/ 1981

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by debbie (not verified)

Hi there, Debbie. There is nothing you need to purchase. This blog post is more of a reference for important diabetes-related activities throughout the year. You can add updates to any calendar of your choice.

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