Knowledge is Power Over Diabetes

diabetes word cloud

You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Don’t worry — you’re not alone. More than 1.5 million adults over 20 are diagnosed with diabetes each year in the United States.

That doesn’t make the news any more pleasant to hear. Despite the millions of other people who live with diabetes, this new urgency to monitor and control your blood sugar levels — and all that goes with it — can be a challenging addition to your life.

You’ll have to do things you may not be used to, like check blood glucose levels throughout the day, pay close attention to what you eat, manage your weight, plan meals, carefully read food labels, take care of your feet and learn how to monitor and avoid further complications.

A diabetes support system

The good news is there is now a vast support and education system in place for people living with diabetes. At diabetes centers, doctors, certified diabetes educators and dieticians will help you set up, and stick to, a plan to help you manage the disease.

They’ll also keep you current on the newest developments in diabetes self-management. “The techniques, tools and guidelines used are constantly changing,” says Shannon Knapp, a Certified Diabetes Educator from Cleveland Clinic’s Diabetes Center.

“Everything we do — diet, exercise, taking medications, checking blood sugar — is aimed at controlling blood sugars,” says Knapp. “Having blood sugars that are in our target range most of the time can significantly reduce the risk of getting long-term complications.”

Diabetes educators will work with you on:

  • Monitoring your blood sugar levels
  • Ways to control your weight
  • Planning meals
  • Reading food labels
  • Exercise tips and goals to set for yourself
  • Reducing risks and looking for early signs of complications
  • Current research findings
  • Travel tips
  • Community resources like diabetes classes

The most important thing to know about diabetes, emphasizes Knapp, is that it truly is manageable — though sometimes it may not feel that way. That’s where diabetes educators like her can help.

“If you feel like diabetes is controlling your life, meeting with a diabetes educator can help you learn how to get back in control,” Knapp says.

  • Marry

    I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2014. I started the ADA diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. On April 13th I found this book on
    w­j­e­5­9­2­.­com/Cure-Diabetes-Naturally.html . I read the book from end to end that night because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next morning my blood sugar was down to 100, the next day was in the 90’s and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just one week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 30 pounds in a month. I now work out twice a day and still have tons of energy. I have lost 6+ inches around my waist and I am off my high blood pressure medication too. I have about 20 more pounds to go till my body finds its ideal weight. The great news is, this is a lifestyle I can live with, it makes sense and it works. God Bless the writer. I wish the ADA would stop enabling consumers and tell them the truth. You can get off the drugs, you can help yourself, but you have to have a correct lifestyle and diet. No more processed foods.

    • Ez Acosta

      It pays to advocate for our own health. The standards of health in conventional medicine is atrocious. Im glad you found the path out of sickness. So much of this countries ills goes back to nutrition and clean living and food. The truth is out there.

  • Kimberly Ryan

    In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia, placed on narcotic therapy, extremely active, petite, until three years ago. Cannot take Lyrica or gabapentin due to severe allergies and Cymbalta doesn’t help. I was taken off these medications because of all the studies contraindicated their effectiveness. Now I’m not on anything. I’ve gained almost 50 pounds, due to decreased activity, in severe pain, have increased neuropathy and muscle weakness, all of which are not being addressed. To add fuel to the fire, I had a brain aneurysm in 4/2000 which left me with traumatic brain injury, as well as, physical side effects. I’ve kept these to a minimum by staying physically fit and active. Because my health has deteriorated and by not being as physical, these side effects are becoming more apparent again. There is no one treating fibromyalgia in my area and I also live in NYS with the strict regulations of narcotics. I don’t fit the “normal” treatment for this diagnosis, nor do I have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, yet I cannot get help. It’s unfortunate that someone who goes from being highly active all their life, athletic, loves the outdoors, lives alone, owns their own house, used to be an RN, becomes someone who struggles to get through the day. It’s not right.