Chapter 1: You Can Live Well With Diabetes!
You Can Live Well
You’ve been given this workbook because you have diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic (lifelong)
condition. Without treatment, it can result in serious health problems, including blindness,
lower-limb amputation, heart disease, and stroke. But you can learn to manage diabetes. This
workbook will help you understand what diabetes is and how it affects your health. It will also
help you make daily decisions to manage your diabetes. Read on to find tips and tools you can
use to live well with diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
When you have diabetes, the glucose (sugar) level in your blood can become too high.
(See page 8 to learn how this happens.) Over time, high blood glucose causes health problems,
including damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and feet.
There is a way to keep track of how you’re managing diabetes and its complications, however.
It’s called the ABC method: A for the A1C test, B for blood pressure, and C for cholesterol. By
controlling your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, you can better manage diabetes
and reduce the risk of complications.
Anyone can develop diabetes. It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. But there are
some common risk factors for diabetes. These include:
• Family history of diabetes
• Lack of physical activity
• Being overweight
• Being over age 45
• Being African-American, Native
American, Latino, Asian-American,
Asian, Indian, or Pacific Islander
• History of gestational diabetes