Diabetes Forecast

What You Need to Know About Diabetes

A new book gives you answers fast

By Erin Paquette ,

Sometimes you need an instant answer to a diabetes question. That's what you'll get in the new American Diabetes Association book 50 Things You Need to Know About Diabetes by Kathleen Stanley, CDE, RD, LD, MSEd, BC-ADM. In it, Stanley condenses her 20 years of experience as a diabetes educator into an easy-reference manual that allows readers to find answers fast.

"You hear about daily testing and pricking your finger. But it's about so much more than that," says Stanley. "It starts when your feet hit the floor in the morning and you ask [yourself], 'What shoes do I wear? Because I have diabetes,' or 'What breakfast do I eat? Because I have diabetes.' "

Stanley wanted to give readers practical advice about conquering everyday diabetes challenges, including an important early step: finding a good doctor. While choosing what to eat and how to live are decisions that people ultimately make for themselves, Stanley says that managing diabetes successfully also depends on having a good working relationship with a physician. Unfortunately, she says, "most people aren't taught how to size up a doctor and get the most out of the relationship."

Getting the most out of your relationship with your doctor is one issue Stanley tackles in the book. Take a notepad with you to your doctor's appointment and jot down helpful information, she suggests. Find out when you can call or e-mail the doctor with questions. And make sure you understand different aspects of your care.
She cites blood glucose meters as an example. Doctors often mean well by giving away free meters, but Stanley says those things alone aren't enough. "A lot of times ... no one really teaches [patients] how to use a meter, when to use it, and why they need to use it," she adds. If people don't understand why they are doing something, says Stanley, it's unlikely that they'll continue the habit—no matter how good it is—for long.

Take the time to ask these questions, from "how" to "why," and make the most of each and every appointment, Stanley advises. "With a little planning, you can make a 10-minute visit be very valuable."

Diabetes at Work

Here is Kathleen Stanley's list of recommended supplies and resources to have on the job:
• A working blood glucose meter (plus an extra one, if possible)
• Lancet device
• Lancets
• Test strips
• Container to hold used lancets (an empty vitamin bottle, for example, or a small approved sharps container)
• Cotton balls or tissue
• Hypoglycemia treatments that store well (like glucose tablets or gels)
• Snack, if needed, for working late or stabilizing blood glucose
• Water bottle
• Medical ID/emergency phone numbers
• Medications, if needed



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