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Diagnosed with Diabetes: Now What?

Man with diabetes checking his blood sugar

Controlling and Preventing Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 40,000 people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year, joining more than 1.25 million American’s with diabetes. Since November is American Diabetes and Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, here are some tips and resources for those who are affected by diabetes or prediabetes.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, working closely with your doctor to effectively manage it is crucial. Diabetes can affect your heart, circulation, kidneys, skin integrity and almost every other system in your body. Learning to live well with diabetes can improve your long-term independence and health.

How to manage diabetes and prediabetes

Effective diabetes management includes the following.

  1. Blood Testing – An annual Hemoglobin A1c test paints a picture of your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Your goal should be seven percent or less.
  2. Blood Pressure – Your personal doctor will ensure your blood pressure is controlled typically below 129 over 79.
  3. Annual Kidney Screening – Approximately one third of people with diabetes develop kidney disease. Routine screening is important as early detection and treatment of kidney disease may slow its progression.
  4. Annual Diabetic Eye Exam – It is important to have an annual dilated eye exam to detect retinopathy early.

Diabetes and your eyes – why management is crucial

The impact of diabetes on eye health may be significant and if left untreated may lead to diminished vision and blindness. Early detection through an annual dilated eye exam is the best way to preserve your vision. This includes verifying that your eye care provider sends a copy of your dilated eye exam to your personal doctor to include in your medical record. For more information regarding diabetic eye health, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation has free resources available.

Preventing diabetes is possible for people with a diagnosis of “prediabetes” or those “at-risk” for diabetes. Prediabetes is classified as having an elevated blood sugar above normal and just under the range for being diagnosed a diabetic. More than 84 million American’s have prediabetes and 90 percent of them are not aware. Prediabetes can progress into Type 2 diabetes if lifestyle changes aren’t made Visit the American Diabetes Association website and take the five-minute “Risk Test” to identify if you are at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Enjoy comprehensive diabetes prevention with the Hometown Advantage

Network Health offers a special prediabetes program called “PreventT2” developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program empowers participants to make healthier lifestyle choice to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. For more information, contact the Network Health Quality Health Integration Department at 920-720-1685 or

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