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diabetes care

Looking for ways to manage your or a loved one’s diabetes? Early prevention and management begins at home. That’s why we’re with you every step of the way with education, tools, products and services to help you stay on track.

Diabetes overview

Living your best life

If you’re living with diabetes, you’re not alone. Nearly 37.3 million people in the U.S. are living with the condition, but new treatments, tools and lifestyle changes can help you manage diabetes and live life to the fullest.

  • Diabetes opens in a new tab refers to a group of conditions that affects how the body uses sugar in your blood (glucose) and causes it to rise to higher-than-normal levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar from the blood into the cells, where it’s used for energy. Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or when it can’t use insulin properly. Without enough Insulin, sugar stays in the blood and rises to unsafe levels, which can lead to serious health complications if not controlled.

  • There are four different types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes opens in a new tab and gestational diabetes opens in a new tab.

  • The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it’s believed to arise when a problem in the immune system causes immune cells to attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Having a family history of type 1 diabetes puts people at higher risk of developing the disease. Environmental factors, such as viruses, also might trigger the immune system response.

    Several factors seem to contribute to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes opens in a new tab, including: having prediabetes, being overweight, being 45 years or older, having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, being physically active less than three times a week, having had gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 lb., having polycystic ovary syndrome, and being African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk).

  • General blood glucose (sugar) targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes are listed below. You should always consult with your healthcare provider for your individualized blood glucose (sugar) target opens in a new tab as they may differ based on your age, overall health, and other factors.

  • People living with diabetes may find it harder for their immune systems to fight infections. The safest way to protect yourself is to get the right vaccines. According to the CDC, you should stay up to date with your: yearly flu shot opens in a new tab, Pneumonia (pneumococcal) vaccine opens in a new tab, Tdap vaccine opens in a new tab (to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough), Hepatitis B vaccine opens in a new tab, Shingles (herpes zoster) opens in a new tab vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine.

    There may be other vaccines you should get depending on your lifestyle, travel habits and other factors. Your pharmacist can guide you on which vaccines are right for you.

Why are diabetes screenings and tests important?

People living with diabetes should undergo routine tests that help monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enhanced screenings and tests should also be a part of a routine preventive care plan to monitor your A1C, kidney, eye and foot health.

Kidney screenings

Individuals with diabetes are at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. That’s why routine screening is so important in the early detection and treatment of kidney disease, as it masy slow progression of kidney failure.

Additional testing for kidney disease involves:

A1C tests

Diabetes eye & foot exams

Patients with diabetes are at high risk of retinal and foot problems and need regular screening to ensure they don’t develop problems related to these complications.

Additional essential screenings

Don’t forget to include the following standard screenings for overall health:

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

There are differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes when symptoms first start. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms often come on quickly over a short time. In type 2 diabetes, symptoms may come on slowly over the course of many years and be mild, making them difficult to notice.

  • Frequent urination

  • Increased thirst

  • Feeling more tired

  • Blurry vision

  • Unexplained weight loss
    (More often in type 1 diabetes)

  • Tingling, pain or numbness
    (More often in type 2 diabetes)

  • Fruity smelling breath

  • Moodiness/

How is diabetes managed and treated?

You and your healthcare provider can work on a treatment plan to help manage your diabetes. Treatment plans often include lifestyle adjustments, self-care measures and medications to help you maintain healthy blood glucose (sugar) levels & minimize the risk of diabetes and heart-related complications. Diabetes can be monitored and managed effectively over the course of a patient’s lifetime.

  • Injectable medications

  • Diet

  • Exercise

  • Oral medications

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM):

All-day glucose tracking

  • What is CGM?

    Continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, helps you track your blood glucose levels throughout the day with fewer fingerstick tests. Unlike a traditional glucose meter, which only gives you a blood sugar reading when you do a fingerstick test, a CGM is a wearable glucose monitor that measures your blood sugar levels every few minutes.

    You can connect a CGM to your smartphone, a wearable device like a fitness tracker or smart watch, or an insulin pump, which allows you to track your current glucose levels, trends and history over time. You can also download CGM data to a computer. This information can be shared with your healthcare provider to help manage your diabetes more effectively.

  • Real-time feedback on how your blood sugar changes throughout the day can help you better manage your diabetes over the long term:

    24/7 monitoring
    Steady monitoring builds data, giving you hundreds of readings every day, so you can see the effect of food, beverages, exercise and other activities on your blood sugar levels in real time.

    Trend tracking and alerts
    Features that track your blood glucose trends over several hours can help you take action to keep your blood sugar within your target range, and alert you if your blood sugar levels become dangerously high or low.

    Fewer fingerstick tests
    You won’t need to measure your blood sugar with fingerstick tests as often, giving CGM a real edge in convenience compared to traditional blood glucose monitoring systems.

How does a CGM work & does it hurt?

  • How does a CGM work?
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  • Does it hurt to insert the sensor?
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CGM vs BGM (Blood Glucose Meters)

How they workFingersticksReadings
CGMContinually checks glucose levels day and night and alerts you if your glucose levels go too high or too lowRequires fewer daily fingerstick tests (check blood sugar if current symptoms don’t align with CGM readings)Uses data gathered 24/7 to show how foods, exercise and medications impact glucose levels throughout the day
BGMMeasures glucose levels at a single moment in timeRequires a fingerstickOnly generates a single glucose level reading

CGM vs BGM (Blood Glucose Meters)


How they work

Continually checks glucose levels day and night and alerts you if your glucose levels go too high or too low


Requires fewer daily fingerstick tests (check blood sugar if current symptoms don’t align with CGM readings)


Uses data gathered 24/7 to show how foods, exercise and medications impact glucose levels throughout the day


How they work

Measures glucose levels at a single moment in time


Requires a fingerstick


Only generates a single glucose level reading

Should I use a CGM?

CGMs are most helpful if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and:

When should I speak to a provider?

If you’re interested in learning more about how a CGM system can make it easier for you to manage your diabetes, talk with your healthcare provider or ask your local Walgreens pharmacist.

Pharmacy Chat opens in a new tab makes it easy to connect with Walgreens pharmacy experts 24/7.

Your healthcare provider can help you decide whether a CGM is right for you and can write you a prescription.
Connect with a healthcare provider opens in a new tab using our Walgreens Find Care® service.*

Need more information about CGM costs & health insurance coverage?

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Helpful Resources

Our pharmacists

are specially trained in diabetes care

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Risk assessment for diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association® (ADA), over 7 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed, and 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. To learn your risk for diabetes, visit the ADA to take the type 2 diabetes risk assessment. Certain factors make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Learning your risk level gives you the opportunity to take action and prevent it. Please note: this test is not a prescreening tool for diabetes.

Take the testOpens a simulated dialog.American Diabetes Association Connected for life
labcorp OnDemand - Discover your diabetes risk at home. More than 130 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.1 Are you at risk? Get started with a Labcorp OnDemand Diabetes At-Home Collection Test. Get an A1C testlabcorp OnDemand - Discover your diabetes risk at home. More than 130 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.1 Are you at risk? Get started with a Labcorp OnDemand Diabetes At-Home Collection Test. Get an A1C test

Related articles & videos

  • Managing Diabetes with Insulin & Blood Sugar Testing
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  • Managing Diabetes - Patients Discuss Their Stories
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  • Managing Diabetes - Patient Discussion
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Eating right

Balancing meals and eating the right amount of food can help you manage your blood sugar and weight. You can enjoy a variety of wholesome foods, from vegetables, fruits and whole grains to lean proteins and low-fat/nonfat dairy products. No foods are off limits, but try to avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats, added sugars and sodium (salt).

How do carbohydrates affect my blood sugar levels?

View infographic (accessible version)


View infographic (accessible version)

Recipes for eating healthy with diabetes

Enjoy these recipes for a delicious way to manage your diabetes.

  • Healthier Swaps: Smarter Salad
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  • Healthier Swaps: Energizing Egg Sandwich
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The brand you trust to support your needs

Save with Walgreens branded supplies to help you manage your diabetes.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Medicare Part B

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report website. Accessed October 10, 2022.

2 When purchased in store and billed to Medicare Part B and full coverage supplemental insurance.

3 Walgreens Rx Savings Finder is powered by RxSense. RxSense is solely responsible for finding prescription discount card pricing to use strictly at Walgreens for eligible prescriptions. Prescription discount cards are NOT insurance. Any drug-specific exclusions are determined by each prescription discount card vendor and not Rx Savings Finder, RxSense or Walgreens. See applicable prescription discount card vendor site for specific terms and conditions of that discount card. Pricing will vary depending on the prescription discount card, drug and participating Walgreens pharmacy location (“participating Pharmacy”). Prices may change at any time.

4 Patient needs a valid prescription, along with the printed offer, to take advantage of the offer.