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What is needed for successful diabetes management?

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential that you receive comprehensive information -- whether from a primary healthcare professional, certified diabetes educator or endocrinologist -- on how to manage your condition and avoid complications.

Living with diabetes can be overwhelming at times. Like all chronic diseases, it affects every aspect of your daily routine. Diabetes management is not as simple as just taking a pill. It requires timing of meals, checking blood sugar and being vigilant about exercise, all in accordance with a personalized management plan developed in consultation with healthcare professionals.
 

Successful diabetes management is a team effort. Your health care providers form a support team dedicated to your good health. Learn as much as you possibly can about diabetes and how it affects you. Ask all the questions you need to have answered and become your own advocate. Your provider, diabetes educator, or dietitian can listen to your needs, help you meet your goals, and provide you with information, but it is up to you to make the day-to-day choices and decisions. Whether you have recently been diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for years, whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, your concerns are probably the same: to learn to live with diabetes, to maintain a high quality of life, and to mesh the day-to-day management of diabetes into your routine. At first, the idea of trying to “master” the disease may seem overwhelming. Diabetes management can often be frustrating, even if you’re an old hand at it. The trick to living with diabetes is to take it one step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Decide what goals are most important, and work on these first.

Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

It is important to have the will to want to learn, plan and take action to manage diabetes. Seek out diabetic specialists that you can relate to and trust. A diabetic clinic may offer access to several healthcare professionals in one visit. It is important to see regularly an endocrinologist, diabetic educator or registered nurse, dietitian, ophthalmologist, exercise specialist, podiatrist and pharmacist. Treatment to maintain optimal health includes diet, physical activity, medications, medical exams and tests. Support from your healthcare team, friends, family and other diabetic patients will help you to stay motivated and informed to maintain behaviors that will promote your health.

Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

Succesful diabetes management takes three major components: medication adherence, physical exercise if possible and healthy eating habits. It is also important to remember that carbohydrates found in starches, starchy vegetables, milk/yogurt, fruits and sweets have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels and they need to be consumed in moderation. For better blood sugar control, please visit a Registered dietitian www.eatright.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.