Banner Health Services  

Take control of your diabetes

 

Rosalie Leman is a certified diabetes educator for Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz.

Question: I recently was diagnosed with diabetes. What steps do I need to take to live well with this condition?

Answer: Diabetes is a condition caused by the body's inability to use sugar as a result of no insulin or because the insulin you make doesn't work. Those with diabetes who do not have good control of their blood sugar (glucose) have a high risk of developing complications such as blindness or heart disease.

To take care of your diabetes you must control your blood sugar level. Your health-care team, including diabetes educators, can help you design a personal health plan.

To remember the steps of your plan, think of them as your "N.E.E.D.S.S." of diabetes care:

  • Nutrition: Choose a variety of healthy foods including proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and use moderate portions. Stay hydrated.
     
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to control blood sugar and protect your overall health.
     
  • Education: The more you understand good diabetes care, the better your health will be. There are many resources available. Ask your health care team.
     
  • Diabetes medicine: Your doctor will work with you to determine if you need medicine and what type would be best for you. Be sure to take it as directed.
     
  • Self-monitor: Regularly check your blood sugar at home to know if your plan is working. Do daily foot care and have regular health checks with your doctor.
     
  • Solve problems: Learn to recognize and treat problems such as low blood sugar and prevent conditions such as foot problems or heart disease.

Reviewed January 2011

Page Last Modified: 01/31/2011
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