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Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual needs unique care. People with diabetes and their families can promote good health by learning as much as possible about the latest in medical treatments, as well as healthy lifestyle choices. Open communication with your health care team is a great way to make that possible.

Along with your primary care doctor or endocrinologist there are other health care team members you should communicate with openly, if you have diabetes or are at risk.

There are nurse educators - registered nurses who can help you learn the day-to-day aspects of diabetes self-care. A registered dietitian helps you figure out your food needs based on your desired weight, lifestyle, medication and other health goals you might have. Even if you've had diabetes for many years, a visit to the dietitian can help. For some, podiatrists and eye doctors are also part of the mix.

The most important member of the health care team is the patient themselves. You’re the first to notice any problems, and only you know how you feel and what you're willing and able to do. You check your blood sugar levels and track of the results. You do the exercise. You make and eat the foods on your meal plan. You take the medicine or inject the insulin. Your health care team depends on you to ask them questions, speak with them honestly and to tell them how you feel.

The best way to prevent diabetes complications is to prevent diabetes in the first place. Being aware of risk factors can help you take smart steps to lower your risk. You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or obese, are age 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, have high blood pressure, have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or a high level of triglycerides, not physically active, and have a history of heart disease or stroke.

You can take steps to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing weight if you’re overweight, eating fewer calories, overall good nutrition, and being more physically active. If you have diabetes you need to control your blood pressure, monitor your cholesterol, and monitor your blood sugars We urge you to consult with your physician.

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