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Healthy Living

By David Mendosa

Last Update: January 16, 2001

The supreme irony for many people with diabetes has to be that they never were so healthy before they were diagnosed with this dreadful disease. For many of us, myself included, the diagnosis was a wake-up call that we had to practice healthier habits or face the consequences of complications.

Taking off weight, eating better, and exercising more are not only the keys to healthy living but also are crucial to the management of most diabetes. Only when they don't bring your diabetes under control will your healthcare provider turn to oral agents or insulin to bring down your blood glucose.

Leveraging your wake-up call.

Even before the explosive growth of the Internet in the '90s you could, of course, read in countless books and magazine articles how to diet, cook healthier food, and work out. But this new medium of the World Wide Web has now opened many channels with literally worldwide availability.

Some of the best diabetes Web sites focus on providing information and resources to people with diabetes who are searching for a healthier lifestyle. A new phenomenon, the two best such sites are each less than a year old.

The focus is on content and lots of it at [no longer online November 2000]. This comprehensive site features two of the most accessible and most prolific authors who write for people with diabetes, June Biermann and Barbara Toohey. As the joint authors of nine books about diabetes, they pioneered in encouraging people to manage their own diabetes. Steven Edelman, M.D., the founder of the Take Charge of Your Diabetes conferences and an endocrinologist with diabetes himself, is another major contributor to the site.

And behind the friendly faces of June, Barbara, and Steve, the site is powered by proprietary technology that personalizes and summarizes the site's content for individual needs. Based on the preferences that you tell the site you have, this technology integrates data from many sources, analyzes it, and translates it into meaningful information.

The focus of MyDiabetes ( is on helping self-motivated patients lower their blood glucose levels through charting their tight control. MyDiabetes offers what it calls a Daily Diary to track blood glucose levels, what you eat, and exercise, all of which are essential for being in charge of your diabetes.

These sites have diverse and complementary approaches. The combination of rich content and personalized information with outstanding tools to manage your diabetes go a long way toward healthier living. 

This article appeared in Diabetes Voice, Bulletin of the International Diabetes Federation, June 2000, page 34.

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