If you're reading this book, chances are you or someone close to you has diabetes or is at risk of getting the disease. You may not be sure what this means. Should you worry? Should you expect big changes in your life? Should you fear what your future holds?
Diabetes is a serious — and increasingly common — illness. But no longer is it a disease shrouded in uncertainty. Today, more than ever, doctors are aware of what it takes to control diabetes to help you live a healthy and productive life. However, your doctor can't do it alone. Successful management of diabetes requires teamwork and a lifelong commitment.
In this book, we provide practical advice to help you keep your health in check. This same advice also can prevent development of diabetes if you're at risk. We'll help you understand what diabetes is and how it can affect your health if it's not well controlled. We discuss factors that are essential for controlling the disease — monitoring your blood sugar, eating a healthy diet, getting daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. We review various medications available for controlling diabetes, as well as advances in drug management and experimental therapies that show promise. We'll also tell you what to expect from your health care team and how to play an active role in maintaining your health and well-being.
Think of your health as your most valuable asset. Just as you wouldn't take chances on your other assets — your money, property and family — why take a chance on your health? Along with the advice of your doctor, this book can help you feel assured that you're doing the right things to manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of serious complications.
Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.
Editor in Chief