Managing Diabetes Today and in the Future

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Managing DiabetesSELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS are essential to staying well and slowing the progress of diabetes.

Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes

  • Learn all you can. Diabetes is a life-long diagnosis for most people.
  • Manage your emotions. Being diagnosed can trigger feelings of guilt, stress, or panic.
  • Build a support system. Your doctors, loved ones, and counselors can help.
  • Make gradual changes. Doing too much too quickly is a recipe for failure.
  • Move more. Regular physical activity helps lower blood sugar AND prevent diabetes-related health problems.
  • Learn how foods affect your blood sugar. Everyone’s digestive system is different.

Living With Diabetes Long-term

  • Never stop learning. Research into diabetes continues, and guidelines change.
  • Embrace change. Diabetes is a progressive disease. How you manage it will change over time.
  • Find your dream team. Support is important at every phase. That can include your doctor, counselor, diabetes education expert, friends, and family.

  • Have regular checkups:
  • Primary diabetes doctor every 2–6 months
  • Dentist every 6 months
  • Eye doctor every 1–2 years
  • Foot exams once a year (minimum)
  • Kidney test once a year
  • Cholesterol once a year

  • Maintain intelligent eating. Your diet should include refined grains, low-starch vegetables, low-fat proteins, and Omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish.

Diabetes Eating Tips

  • Complex carbohydrates

A carb is a carb, but complex carbohydrates take longer to digest. That means that your blood sugar rises more gradually, giving the body time to react and process that sugar even with reduced insulin function.

  • Non-starchy vegetables

Vegetables that are low in starch are also typically low in calories and carbohydrates. That’s a winning combination that results in fewer blood sugar spikes and introduces more nutrients to your diet.

  • Water

Sugary beverages such as soda and juice can be big trouble because they cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. Skip the sweetened drinks and instead opt for water or unsweetened tea or coffee.


“There may be trial and error in the beginning to find out what foods spike your blood sugar and which ones don’t,” says Debby Finch, BSN, RN, CDE, Diabetes Education Program Coordinator, Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center. “Monitor yourself carefully, and eat in moderation.”

  • Learn more about diabetes management at the Summit Healthcare Diabetes Self-management Training Program. Call 928.537.6984 for more information.

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