Diabetes is a serious disease that affects a staggering number of Americans. Newly diagnosed cases of diabetes increased by 90 percent from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, and the number of Americans with diabetes has tripled from 1980 to 2006. As many as 95 percent of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, the type that, in many cases, is a result of obesity. Type 1 is caused by an autoimmune disease.

If you're one of the people affected by diabetes, you might be feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, even fearful about what your diagnosis means for you. Fortunately, you have a lot of control over how well you fare. If you take your medications, monitor your blood sugar level and make a few important lifestyle changes, such as the ones I mention below (and which I discuss, along with my co-authors endocrinologist John J. "Jack" Merendino, Jr., MD, and Best Life lead nutritionist Janis Jibrin, MS, RD, in more detail in The Best Life Guide to Managing Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes), you can stay healthy, ward off complications of the disease and improve your quality of life.

Learn the types of diabetes

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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