Mediaplanet: What is your best piece of advice for a patient with diabetes struggling to manage his or her condition?

Jonathan Chapman: While true that diabetes management does require lifestyle modifications, you can still achieve healthy outcomes through small, simple changes rather than drastic ones. There are several free resources for people with diabetes like those from the American Diabetes Association.

Michael Greenfield: To realize that your blood glucose (BG) can’t be perfect all of the time and you can still maintain a full and healthy life. There is no good and bad when thinking about managing diabetes. Be patient and thoughtful and find a clinical team that is understanding and supportive.

MP: What is an example of a way you can prevent the onset and progression of diabetic complications?

JC: A healthy lifestyle and choices are crucial in the prevention or control of diabetic complications. Many people are unaware that their insurance may provide an hour of consultation with a diabetes educator to help lay the foundations for better diabetes management—check your insurance plan to see if this is covered.

"Many people are unaware that their insurance may provide an hour of consultation with a diabetes educator to help lay the foundations for better diabetes management."

MG: Manage your BG values as best as you can, aiming for an HbA1C goal as close to your goal as possible is the best way to prevent complications. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Pay attention to what you eat. Exercise as much as you can and think about ways to add exercise to your life (e.g., take the stairs versus the elevator!) and take your medications.

MP: What can patients look forward to in the future of your field?

JC: There are a number of new scientific and device-related advancements on the horizon. From an artificial pancreas to seamless glucose data transfers, this is an exciting time to be part of a field aimed at making the lives of people with diabetes simple and easier to manage.

MG: New medications, devices, the artificial pancreas and transplantation are in development. For now, some mobile technology already enables a person with diabetes to analyze and understand all the complicated data that is a part of diabetes. Understanding the information and being able to share it with your care team allows you to collaborate on strategies to improve your outcomes today.