Resources offer diabetics help managing disease

Published 8:44 pm Saturday, November 5, 2011

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be frustrating, and it might seem like there’s nowhere to turn, but there are a variety of resources for people living with diabetes.

In honor of American Diabetes Month in November,, an online community for people with diabetes, has compiled its most useful sources to help spread knowledge about the disease.

Topping the resource list is a strong personal support network, made up of family, friends and other people with diabetes.

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Support from loved ones can help people with diabetes move forward during the most stressful times while dealing with diabetes.

It’s a good idea to stay connected with your network whether through email, phone or in person to express your problems and victories.

Another useful resource is online diabetes communities. Support websites, which include blogs, informational sites and social networking sites, offer people with diabetes the chance to connect with other people experiencing the same battles.

On the websites, they can seek advice and information from others, whether they are newly diagnosed or have managed the disease for a long time.

In addition to websites, the more traditional method of learning about the disease — seeking out formal diabetes education — can also be helpful.

Medicare covers 10 free hours of education every year, although the average patient uses fewer than three. Private insurance often covers education, also.

Doctors and local diabetes associations can usually recommend a good educator.

Another method is reading information in books, such as “50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It.”

Additionally, meal-planning tools can also be a great resource. Because there isn’t a list of specific foods people with diabetes can eat, they have to watch how many carbohydrates they eat.

To get enjoyment out of a new diet and stay healthy at the same time, trying new lower carbohydrate meals and variations on old favorites can be helpful.

There are a variety of websites that offer recipes, including the American Diabetes Association’s site. There also are tools that help track the carbs in food, like CalorieKing.

Aside from meal planning, blood glucose meters are essential to living healthily with diabetes.

By checking blood sugar before a meal and after a meal, people with diabetes can gauge whether the meal works for them.

Having knowledge about how certain foods affect blood sugar makes it easier to adjust if the routine varies.

Along with getting information on diet, getting knowledge about exercise can be just as helpful.

Fitness instructors can provide exercises and information that can help control weight as well as benefit diabetes management.

Finally, people with diabetes can be their own best resource by objectively examining choices and actions, understand what works for them and what doesn’t, and following their doctor’s instructions.

For more information, visit the American Diabetes Association at