If you’ve picked up this website, chances are that diabetes has touched your life or the life of someone close to you. Whatever the manifestation type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes can be a frightening and personally devastating diagnosis. Fortunately, patient knowledge and action are probably the two most important components to staying on top of this disease. A key phrase in the lexicon of diabetes care is good control. For those new to the topic, good control means keeping your blood glucose, or blood sugar, in a range at or close to normal through diet, exercise, and/or medication. Control is the key to managing diabetes mentally as well as physically. The power is in your hands to make a difference in how diabetes affects your life. Many people feel out of control of their diabetes. Some ignore it completely in a fog of denial. Others follow medical instructions to the letter yet never ask questions of their doctor or provide any feedback. The latter may get a handle on their blood glucose levels, but are so miserable it hardly matters.
Managing diabetes requires education, dedication, and a certain doggedness of character. Most important, it requires a commitment to being a leader, not a follower, in your own health care. Surrounding yourself with good people endocrinologists, internists, certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and more-is an excellent start. But it takes more than a crack medical team to control diabetes. Even the best team will falter without a coach, and that leader is you. Playing an active role in your own health care is essential to staying both healthy and happy.
Uncontrolled blood glucose levels wreck havoc on the body, short circuiting just about every system over time if not managed properly. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, retinopathy, kidney disease, and nerve damage are just a few of the complications that diabetes leaves in its wake. This is why educating yourself about the intricacies of glucose control through diet, exercise, medication, lifestyle, and more is so very essential. Medical breakthroughs like islet cell transplantation, advances in glucose monitoring technologies and new oral medications and insulin formulations have drastically improved the quality of life for all people with diabetes, but there is still no cure for the disease. Until there is, staying current on developments in diabetes management, communicating with your health care team, and staying on top of self care through positive lifestyle choices are absolutely essential to wellness. The Everything Diabetes Book was designed to be your reference partner in staying healthy with diabetes.