If you've picked up this book, chances are that diabetes has touched your life or the life of someone close to you. Whatever the diagnosis — type 1, type 2, or gestational — diabetes can be a frightening and personally devastating diagnosis. Fortunately, learning all you can about diabetes and seeking support 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 diabetes, good control means keeping your blood glucose, or blood sugar, in a range at or close to normal through diet, exercise, and/or medication (which can include pills, insulin, and/or other injectable drugs). Control is the answer to managing diabetes physically as well as emotionally. Always remember that the power is in your hands to determine how diabetes affects your life.
Unfortunately, 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 knowledge, dedication, and a certain doggedness of character. Most importantly, it requires a commitment to being a leader, not a follower, in your own health care. Surrounding yourself with good people — endocrinologists and diabetologists, certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and more — is an excellent start. But it takes more than a crack medical team to control diabetes. Playing an active role in your own health care — as coach of your health care team — is essential for staying both healthy and happy. So is surrounding yourself with people who care about you and are willing to support you in your pursuit of wellness.
High blood glucose levels can affect every system of the body over time if not managed properly. Heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, and nerve damage are just a few of the complications that uncontrolled diabetes leaves in its wake. This is why educating yourself about good diabetes management — through diet, exercise, medication, lifestyle, and more — is so very essential.
Medical breakthroughs like continuous glucose monitoring technologies, new oral and injectable medications and insulin formulations, insulin pumps, and others 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 healthy lifestyle choices are absolutely essential to wellness. The Everything® Health Guide to Diabetes, 2nd Edition was designed to be your reference partner in staying healthy with diabetes.