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Prevention Planning for a Diabetic
March 2000

Q. What sort of preventive measures should a person with diabetes take?

A. Diabetes is a serious disease that is associated with high blood sugar levels. There are many ways to lower the blood sugar, including exercise, weight control, a variety of pills, and insulin injections. Until the last few years it was assumed but not proven that good control of the glucose would help decrease the side effects or complications of diabetes. Over the last few years it has been shown that in both people who are dependent on insulin and those who only use pills, good control of diabetes is associated with better outcomes. Since the complications of diabetes are potentially serious (amputation, renal failure, blindness, and heart disease), anything that can be done to decrease these risks is appreciated.

We also consider controlling hypertension (which is often associated with diabetes) to be of paramount importance. In addition, cholesterol should be treated more aggressively in a person who has diabetes than a person who is at lower risk. Many doctors put patient with diabetes on an ACE inhibitor ("angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor"), especially if their blood pressure is high in order to protect the kidneys.

More about diabetes can be found at the American Diabetes Association's Web site: http://www.diabetes.org/.

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