Over 20 million Americans have diabetes, and several million more people have it and don’t know it. If you or a loved one is managing diabetes, our members offer the following tips on what helped them.

Please note that the following tips from members do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. These tips are intended as general information only. Please consult your physician for specific advice.

Once I found out I was a diabetic (type 2), I had to make many life changes. Basically I had to choose life!

  • I stopped smoking cigarettes.
  • I stopped drinking alcohol.
  • I changed bread choices to whole wheat, multi grain and rye.
  • I cut out sugary snacks and drinks, including juices.
  • I started riding a bicycle on the trails by my home.

This caused me to lose around 70 pounds. Now with medicine, better diet and exercise, my numbers are almost non-diabetic level!

Sometimes to choose life, you must make changes. Instead of living hedonistically, you have to pause and take ownership of your health and do what’s best. Do I miss smoking and drinking and cake and cookies? YES, but I would rather live another 30 years without those than only a few more with them!


— Jason

My journey to a healthy lifestyle began at retirement. Prior to retirement I was working 70-plus hours per week, getting five hours of sleep each night and eating meals at odd hours. I was told I had prediabetes, was a candidate for sleep apnea and was overweight.

After retiring, I focused on a workout routine at the gym, getting the proper amount of rest at night and eating a balanced diet.

Move forward one year. I have lost 38 pounds (18 percent reduction in body weight), sleep an average of seven and a half hours each night, and do not have symptoms of sleep apnea. I am no longer considered to have prediabetes.

I’ve had people at the gym approach me and say that the transformation they have seen in me is a motivator for them. I have not felt this well since I was in my 30s.

— Doug

When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor told me I would have to get used to taking insulin and learn how to use the needles. I realized that if the doctor can’t control my blood sugars, who could?

You can take control of your life if you are ready with your mind, your spirit, your physical being. I engaged myself in a journey: I went running the first day, and committed to fasting and cleansing my body. My husband purchased me a juicer, and we bought groceries. My fridge was green, green, green.

Eventually, my sugar levels dropped from 400 to 275. I have lost 35 pounds, and I juice and exercise daily. I am free of insulin and other medications. Impressed with my progress, my doctor told me I had no reason to be in the office and should continue to do what I have been doing.

I want others to know that they can take control of their lives, their future, and be available for their family. The greatest of all is that I’m alive today, and I share a healthy life with my husband and children. I won the lottery of LIFE.

— Corina