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    6 Ways to Control Type 2 Diabetes

    By Rachel Reiff Ellis
    WebMD Feature

    Last year during a physical, Lauren Crim of Richwood, TX, got a diagnosis she wasn’t expecting: type 2 diabetes. She had no symptoms, so the news threw her for a loop.

    “I was devastated,” she says. “My grandmother had diabetes, and I saw her go through major health struggles because of it.”

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    After seeking support from loved ones -- and shedding a few tears -- Crim got to work. With help from her health care team, she changed the way she ate and started exercising. Now, a year later, she’s 22 pounds lighter, and her blood sugar is normal.

    “My advice to anyone else facing type 2 diabetes is to stick to a plan, stay positive, and put your health first,” she says.

    A diabetes diagnosis might feel overwhelming, but living well with the condition doesn’t have to be. If you’re ready to take control of your blood sugar levels and get on the path to better health, here’s how to start.

    1. Build a Support Team

    “It takes a village to manage diabetes,” says Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, chair of the National Diabetes Education Program.

    Along with your doctor or nurse practitioner, you can get help from:

    • Diabetes educators
    • Dietitians or nutritionists
    • Pharmacists
    • Endocrinologists
    • Podiatrists
    • Dentists
    • Psychologists or Therapists

    Their services are often covered by insurance.

    2. Get Involved

    Having a health care team is key, but you're the most important member of it. “We want you to be informed and empowered,” Siminerio says.

    Take an active role in your care. Ask questions. Learn what your medications do and how to take them properly. Practice any other healthy habits your doctor recommends. And know what your A1c levels are and what they mean.

    3. Lose Weight

    “Being overweight is one of the major drivers of the epidemic of diabetes,” says Vivian Fonseca, MD, a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Tulane University.

    Fat can cling to muscle and important organs like your liver and pancreas, which can lead to serious complications.

    The good news: You don’t have to reach a certain target weight before seeing positive results.

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