Caregivers can be active partners in managing diabetes
Consider meal plans
Preparing a diabetes-friendly meal can be hard for some people with diabetes. Help your loved one make food choices that include a balanced mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Assist them with carefully measuring out their portion sizes, based on food exchange rates. And have them go with you to talk to a nutritionist or dietician if their meals are leaving them hungry or unsatisfied.
Keep a travel checklist handy
Your loved one may forget important supplies on overnight or vacation trips. Remind them or help them to pack:
- Blood glucose meter
- Test strips
- Lancing device and lancets
- Alcohol swabs
- Pen needles
- Levemir® FlexTouch®
- Glucose tablets
- Other diabetes medicine
Help communicate with doctors
Visits to the doctor can be stressful for your loved one. When you go along you can help your loved one feel more at ease and make the appointment more productive.
Ask the doctor to repeat anything that seems unclear to either of you. Remember beforehand to write down questions and concerns that you have about your loved one’s health problems or their treatment with Levemir®.Use one of our Doctor Discussion Guides
Other ways you can help
- Gently remind your loved one to check his or her blood sugar from time to time and to take his or her diabetes medicine
- Stay active with your loved one. This may mean taking evening walks, engaging in sports, or finding other activities that you both enjoy. When you become active, that can encourage your loved one to do the same, especially if you’re staying fit together
- Carry glucose tablets when you go out. The tablets are available at most pharmacies and are inexpensive. It’s better to be safe than sorry if your loved one has low blood sugar
- Recognize low blood sugar and be prepared to help. If your loved one starts becoming noticeably irritable, suddenly has cold, clammy skin, or starts shaking, he or she may be suffering from low blood sugar
- A glass of juice, regular (non-diet) soda, or another sugary drink
- Some glucose tablets or hard candies (not sugar free)
- A spoonful of sugar
Have one of the following sugary items on hand to give him or her to help raise blood sugar:
- Have a glucagon kit available in case of emergencies. If low blood sugar is left untreated or not recognized, it can get bad very quickly. Your loved one could pass out or have a seizure. If that happens, he or she will need a glucagon injection or hospital treatment right away. Talk with your doctor about getting and using an emergency glucagon kit
- Encourage your loved one to wear a Medical Alert ID bracelet. These will let medical first-responders know that your loved one has diabetes and provide important contact information in the event of an emergency. Your loved one can also keep a Medical Alert card in a purse or wallet
Get more tools and tips to help a loved one manage their diabetesLearn about the free resources available from Cornerstones4Care®
What is Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection)?
- Levemir® is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.
- Levemir® is not meant for use to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Important Safety Information
Who should not take Levemir®?
Do not take Levemir® if:
- you have an allergy to Levemir® or any of the ingredients in Levemir®
Before taking Levemir®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:
Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.
How should I take Levemir®?
- Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
- 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.
- Never inject Levemir® into a vein or muscle.
What should I avoid while taking Levemir®?
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how it affects you.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that contain alcohol.
What are the possible side effects of Levemir®?
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:
- change in level of physical activity, weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness, or change in diet.
Other common side effects may include:
- reactions at the injection site, itching, rash, serious allergic reactions (whole body reactions), skin thickening or pits at the injection site (lipodystrophy), weight gain, 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.
Please click here for Levemir® Prescribing Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Levemir® is a prescription medication.
If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, help may be available. Visit pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.