Do your diabetes homework
When you were in school, homework might have seemed like a chore, but it was necessary to build and maintain your knowledge of the materials. The same can be said for learning about a chronic condition such as diabetes, with the payoff being a better quality of life.
Mike Hyland, a Colorado member whose diabetes was diagnosed last November, stands at the head of the class. Within 3 months of his diagnosis, Hyland was able to dramatically drop his A1c number — a measure of blood sugar over a 2- to 3-month period — into his target range. “He’s really an inspiration,” says Kaiser Permanente nurse Laura St. Germain, RN.
For example, it’s important to take your diagnosis seriously, as Mike did. If you aren’t sick, there’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. Although you may not feel any differently today than before your diagnosis, type 2 diabetes can wreak havoc on your health.
“Diabetes is a multisystem condition. It can cause peripheral vascular diseases, eye and foot complications, nerve damage, and kidney disease,” says Stuart Prins, MD, a Kaiser Permanente physician and medical office chief at our Castle Rock Medical Offices.
Concerned about his weight, Mike, who is 6’4”, went from 311 pounds to 261 with elliptical workouts and a healthier diet most days of the week. “For me,” he says, “it was 3 to 4 sodas a day and bagels every morning. I started by scaling back on that.”
In the Spotlight – Find out what’s happening in your area: