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Caring for Adults With Diabetes

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Individual results may vary.

Whether you are helping someone manage his or her diabetes full-time, or just offering emotional support, you are a caregiver. As a caregiver, you should get to know all you can about diabetes. You should also get to know how diabetes affects the person you care for. As you observe them, you'll see how factors such as having low or high blood sugar may affect their behavior, activity level, or appetite, among other things.

When caring for someone with diabetes, it's important to be firmly supportive. However, you should also avoid being too aggressive when enforcing diabetes-friendly habits. If your loved one starts to see you as the "diabetes police," it can lead to resentment. This may make it more difficult for you to assist with your loved one's diabetes care plan.

Testing blood sugar levels

Because blood sugar levels are constantly changing, it is important to monitor them often. If your loved one is not able to self-monitor, you should be checking it for them. You can then help adjust his or her diet or activity depending on the reading.

Diabetes meal planning

When preparing a meal plan for someone with diabetes, you should consider his or her personal eating habits. Determine likes and dislikes as well as the individual's regular eating schedule.

Among the important things to remember when preparing a diabetes meal plan are to

  • Include the main food groups—vegetables, whole grains, fruits, dairy, beans, lean meats, and fish
  • Balance carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
  • Bake or broil food rather than frying
  • Limit portion size

You may want to consult with a dietitian or nutritionist. These professionals can provide realistic goals, create shopping lists, and provide recipes. They can also answer many food-related questions you may have.

Talking to the doctor

There are many things you can do to help your loved one have productive visits with his or her physician. Here are some ideas:

  • If you can attend the doctor visit, do it. Your moral support will help, and you can also help by taking notes so your loved one can focus on what the doctor is saying
  • Print a Doctor Discussion Guide and take it along to the visit
  • Keep a list of questions that come up. You can bring it to your visit and ask the questions in order of importance
  • Keep a notebook about your loved one's condition to share with the doctor. You can also use it to record the doctor's instructions

Caring for you

Your role as a caregiver is important to the one you are caring for. They depend on you to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage their diabetes. That can be a lot of pressure.

Taking care of someone else can take up a lot of your time and energy. Keep in mind that if you are not taking good care of yourself, you can't take good care of anyone else. Be sure to give yourself the time you need to take care of yourself. You should spend time with friends and family, exercise, and do all the things you normally do to enjoy your life. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you may even want to take a vacation, if possible.

Indications and Usage

What is NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection)?

  • NovoLog® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Important Safety Information for NovoLog®

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Before taking NovoLog®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:

  • pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • taking new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including supplements.

Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

What should I avoid while taking NovoLog®?

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how NovoLog® affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Serious side effects can lead to death, including:

Low blood sugar. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache.

Your insulin dose may need to change because of:

  • weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, or change in diet or level of physical activity.

Other common side effects may include:

  • low potassium in your blood, injection site reactions, itching, rash, serious whole body allergic reactions, skin thickening or pits at the injection site, weight gain, and swelling of your hands and feet and if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure.

Get emergency medical help if you have:

  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.

For more information, please click here for complete NovoLog® Prescribing Information.

NovoLog® is a prescription medicine.

Talk to your doctor about the importance of diet and exercise in your treatment plan.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. Visit pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.

Selected Important Safety Information

Who should not take NovoLog®?

Do not take NovoLog® if:

  • your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

How should I take NovoLog®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • NovoLog® is fast-acting. Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking it.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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