Dietitian: tackle diabetes as a team

Emily Aughtman said what's healthy for someone diagnosed with diabetes is also good for the whole family. (FILE).

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and experts say having the right support system is key for people who have diabetes.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Dietitian Emily Aughtman about why it's crucial for families to deal with a diabetes diagnosis as a team.

"It's not something that you can take a vacation from, it's something that you have to live with day in and day out," she said. "You need to have people around that are not judgmental. People who appreciate that managing diabetes is hard work."

Aughtman said managing diabetes can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be impossible. She said learning how to handle diabetes can actually help everyone in the family, not just the person with the diagnosis. "What we tell people to do, in terms of physical activity and eating habits, is good for everybody, not just people with diabetes," she said. "So that's what we emphasize to family members who come in with the person for diabetes education also. These are good things for everybody to do."

In other words, Aughtman said eating a protein- and fiber-rich diet and exercising regularly is good for you. no matter who you are. "What's good for people with diabetes is good for everybody to do, and what's good for everybody to do is what's good for people with diabetes to do," she said.

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for our next Family First topic. We'll talk to a sleep specialist about the importance of making time for rest by not over-scheduling events this holiday season.

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