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"So, you have diabetes. That’s a tough hand to get dealt, but you can do something about it."

Diabetes can be managed. I am living proof of that, but I had to educate myself first. In managing diabetes, it helps to really know what diabetes is, so you can see how little decisions every day can make a difference.

Work with your diabetes care team to develop a plan, and then make sure you have people around you to support, encourage, and challenge you to follow through. Talk to your family and friends about what you’re going through, and how they can help. Get connected to the greater diabetes community online. Trust me, it’s worth it. Don’t try to do diabetes on your own!

Anthony Anderson is a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, Inc.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin, makes no insulin at all, or doesn’t respond to insulin properly. Insulin plays an important role in lowering your blood sugar level, so when you have type 2 diabetes, your body has a harder time managing your blood sugar.

Turning food into energy

Our bodies were designed to convert the food we eat into energy, and insulin is a key part of this process.

First, here's what happens with sugar:

  • When you eat, some of your food is broken down into sugar
  • Sugar enters your blood
  • Then it travels through your blood to all your body's cells. Your body needs the sugar for energy

Next, here's what happens with insulin:

  • Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in your pancreas
  • Insulin acts like a key to help unlock cells and let the sugar in to the cell to provide energy
  • When sugar moves out of the blood and into the cells, the amount of sugar in your blood goes down

Why it’s important to get diagnosed

Millions of people are undiagnosed and don’t know that they have diabetes. Finding out if you have diabetes is important because high blood sugar can damage your body and lead to other health problems if left untreated. When you know about the condition, you can take steps to help lower your risk of complications. Speak with your health care provider about getting tested if you are at risk for diabetes, and getting treated, if necessary.

Managing diabetes around your needs

All people managing diabetes have the goals of controlling blood sugar and living a healthy, active life. It is important that you work with your health care providers to build a personalized diabetes care plan that includes healthy eating, physical activity, tracking your blood sugar, and taking your medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.

If you feel frustrated by the details of coping with diabetes, you're not alone. It’s important to learn to recognize these feelings and find ways to manage them.

The emotional side of diabetes

Learn about the emotional side of diabetes—and what you can do about it.

Work with your care team to create a diabetes care plan

There are different types of health care providers ready to help. They are there to help you get the care you need to manage your diabetes. Together, they form your diabetes care team. Stay involved, especially with your primary health care provider, as you create a personalized diabetes care plan that can help get you to your goal and keep you there. The same goes for your family and friends, who are also part of your support team, and can provide support in many different ways.

Staying on track with your diabetes care plan

There’s a lot to consider with diabetes. You may find that you need to make some changes to your daily life. You will need a diabetes care plan that guides you through healthy eating, activity, and how to take medicine you may need. But you are not alone in managing your diabetes.

Remember, diabetes may change over time, even if you are doing everything right. As time goes on, your diabetes care plan may need to change, too. But it doesn’t mean that your diabetes is getting worse. It may mean your body is making less insulin or is becoming less effective in using the insulin it makes (also called insulin resistance).

Your health care provider may recommend you start, change, add, or increase a medicine if healthy eating and being active aren’t controlling your blood sugar. By adjusting to the changes that need to be made in your diabetes care plan over time, you may be better able to manage both your diabetes and your long-term health.

Take this first step to getting real about your diabetes

Anthony Anderson's diabetes story

Diabetes is diabetes, even if you’re a celebrity. Hear how Anthony got real about healthy eating, being active, and taking his medicine as discussed with his doctor.

Start your own story

Are you ready to put what you’ve learned into practice? Register for Cornerstones4Care® to get more content and resources to help you get started.

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