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Saturday, November 17, 2007

A roller-coaster ride of highs and lows: Self-care for diabetes

I have had diabetes for nearly 45 years. That makes me one of the long-term survivors. I have dual perspectives: one as a patient with diabetes, the other as a doctor caring for people with diabetes.

I have experienced diabetes as a child, adolescent and adult. I cared for my diabetes before the advent of blood sugar testers, when only urine testing was available. I managed my insulin by boiling my glass syringes to sterilize them before disposable syringes (and long before insulin pumps) revolutionized care for people with diabetes. When I began my medical practice, only a few medications were available; most were not as effective as those we have today.

Dr. Beers' Advice: You cannot ignore your disease for even a moment, or it will take you on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows that will leave you exhausted and ill. Important factors are within your control. First is your weight. In close second place is your diet. And obviously exercise is a big part of the wellness picture, too. If you are willing to take control, there is very good news indeed: You can avoid the complications of diabetes and lead a healthy life.

Read a diabetes story of the rich and famous, or read the AARP guide source book, Living with Diabetes by Dr. Mark Beers.

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