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Diabetes and Scheduling: Starting a Routine

Keeping a routine when you have diabetes can help ensure adherence to diabetes management, according to Maria Koen, CDE, Nurse Practitioner at Joslin Diabetes Center.  Routines help establish consistency in blood glucose levels and reduce the risk for severe blood glucose fluctuations.

Getting Started

To implement a successful routine when you have diabetes, gain a good understanding of what major factors influence blood glucose levels, so you can keep them in mind while building your routine. Some major factors that influence blood glucose levels include:

Illness, stress, hormone levels also have a significant effect on blood glucose levels.  However, these factors are not usually easy to control or incorporate into a routine.

The second step in establishing a routine when you have diabetes is to gain an appreciation for the timing and interaction among various factors, Koen says. For example, understanding the action and approximate onset of meal time insulin and digestion of various micronutrients may help guarantee optimal timing of insulin administration.

What to Include in your Routine

Key components of a diabetes management or lifestyle routine should include relatively consistent schedules for:

Depending on what type of diabetes medication or insulin you take, you might need to select a specific time for administration.  Some types of insulin and/or diabetes medications should be coordinated with meals, while others should not. Some regimens also allow for more meal time flexibility than others. When selecting a diabetes medication/insulin program, think about your own individual preferences and lifestyle, says Koen. Speak with your diabetes team about your preferences to find the most appropriate and effective diabetes medication treatment plan.

Starting a routine should facilitate your ability to manage your diabetes by allowing you some control in preventing erratic or severe high or low blood glucose patterns, and avoiding such patterns can be beneficial to your health.  For more information on starting a routine when you have diabetes, make an appointment with a Joslin diabetes educator by calling (617) 309-2400.

Page last updated: November 07, 2019