Two Months to Success
How much time does it take to get your diabetes under control? Less than you might think, say Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Christine Tobin, RN, MBA, CDE, coauthors of the new American Diabetes Association book 8 Weeks to Maximizing Diabetes Control. "You actually begin to see an improvement in A1C in an 8-week setting," Hieronymus says. The book is written for people with type 2-both the newly diagnosed and those who have had diabetes for some time. "The chapters have an 8-week format, which helps people organize their thoughts around how they might want to make some changes," explains Hieronymus. "And 8 weeks feels manageable-it doesn't seem like it's going to take forever. "
The book discusses putting together your diabetes care team, managing medications, basic meal planning, exercise, coping with diabetes, and risk reduction. "A lot of times people don't even know what their numbers are supposed to be," she says. "This book reinforces the recommended goals for optimal blood glucose control." And knowing your numbers is only one aspect of risk reduction; the authors also describe strategies to help improve lipids and monitor microalbumin, and eye health. They cite specifics on how lifestyle factors like meal planning and exercise can assist with risk reduction. For instance, in order to control cholesterol, keeping your fat intake at no more than 30 percent of your total energy intake is a positive step toward reducing complications. "We talk about what kinds of things you can do to reduce your risks," says Hieronymus. "You can't get rid of diabetes, but you can stay healthy."