Story By Carol A. Rice

Do you feel like you need to know more about how to take care of your type 2 diabetes? If you were recently diagnosed or you have had diabetes a long time, you can benefit from learning the latest things about taking care of yourself so you can reduce your risks for complications, such as reduced vision or nerve pain.
An important tool for managing your diabetes is your glucose meter. Some people avoid checking their blood glucose because pricking their fingers for a sample hurts too much. Some people were taught the best place to get a blood sample is the central part of their finger tip, which is actually the most sensitive part of the finger tip. Pricking your finger there is going to hurt more than the side of your fingertip. Learning how to test on the side of the fingertip instead significantly reduces pain. Furthermore, today, most meters and strips allow you to check your blood glucose in other sites, such as on your arm between your elbow and wrist. New lancet sets allow you to reduce the depth of the needle prick and to use a thinner needle because smaller drops of blood are required to get a good reading. Many people report their pain and discomfort are reduced to almost nothing once they get new equipment and learn how to use it properly.
Have you heard about insulin pens or new insulins that control your blood glucose with no peaks over a 24 hour period? Just what is rapid acting insulin, and why do so many people like to use it? There are many new oral medicines, too. Do you really have to use alcohol when you prick your finger or give your insulin injection?
Do you understand what your doctor is telling you when she says your hemoglobin A1C is too high? Is 8 percent too high when less than 7 percent is the recommendation by the American Diabetes Association?
While taking care of your diabetes is not easy, you might be surprised to learn that there are many new tools and methods to help you keep your blood glucose in the recommended ranges.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Explore Diabetes event will be on Monday, December 8th.   The event will take place at The Summit Club located at 3700 Judson Road in Longview with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.  A wonderful lunch will be prepared on-site while attendees can visit vendors, take health screenings and hear from some health professionals providing the latest information on how to better manage your type 2 diabetes.  Cost for the event is $20.00 per person and payment is to the Gregg Program Development Fund.  This cost includes:  lunch, materials, health screenings, goodie bags, and door prize chances.  The program starts at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m.
Reduce your chances for complications!  For more information contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service –Gregg County, Dee Lee Smith at 903-236-8428 or dc-smith@tamu.edu
Carol A. Rice, PhD, RN, Extension Health Spet, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service