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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

Who should not use NovoLog®?

Do not use NovoLog® if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking NovoLog®?

About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to do either.
About all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take, including supplements, as your dose may need to change.

How should I take NovoLog®?

Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after using NovoLog®, a fast-acting insulin, to avoid low blood sugar. Do not inject NovoLog® if you do not plan to eat right after your injection or bolus pump infusion.
Do not mix NovoLog® with any other insulin when used in a pump or with any insulin other than NPH when used with injections by syringe.
Do not change your dose or type of insulin unless you are told to by your health care provider.
Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes.
Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your health care provider.

What should I consider while using NovoLog®?

Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar.
Be careful when driving a car or operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Talk to your health care provider if you often have low blood sugar or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
Serious allergic reactions may occur. Get medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, or sweating.
Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

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

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog®?

• Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.

• Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

Please click here for additional Important Safety Information

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