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Three Steps to Better Diabetes Management

A diabetes diagnosis means more than just your health has changed; it means your lifestyle must change, too.

Diabetes is a condition that results when your body is unable to properly use glucose for energy. Not only does this leave you feeling fatigued, it also means glucose builds in your body, which can cause harmful results, such as nerve, kidney and eye damage.

Because diabetes management and your lifestyle go hand-inhand, proper diabetes care involves the following steps.

1. Balance your diet and medication. Those with diabetes should consume a diet that focuses on keeping blood sugar levels consistent. This means eating well-balanced meals
and monitoring carbohydrates, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels if too many are consumed at one time. Medications, including insulin, can also help to control blood
sugar levels.

2. Exercise with caution. Weight management is vital to managing diabetes well. Many types of physical activity can help control weight and improve blood sugar levels. Discuss with your physician or diabetes educator the best exercises and how activity can improve your health.

3. Attend a support group. “A diabetes support group is a great way for those with diabetes to learn the best practices for managing their disease,” says Laurie McGuyer, registered
dietitian at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. “Attending a support group also allows those with diabetes to share challenges and success stories -- helping attendees to know they are never alone.”

Texas Health Stephenville offers a free diabetes support group the second Thursday of every month from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Outreach Education Building. For more information, visit (Summer 2010)

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