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Controlling diabetes topic of SCCC talk

She believes that she has now controlled her condition, which was caused by her own bad habits.

Exercise is also part of Gemmette's daily schedule. She does works out for 30 minutes a day on a stationary bike, five leg machines, one stomach exercise on an exercise ball and weights for arms.

Through "eating well," she met with a dietitian and eliminated harmful foods from her diet. She controls her portions and invested in two books on Glycemic Index to help her refine her diet. The books helped her determine which foods raise blood glucose rapidly and which foods are slow-acting. She tests her blood-glucose as directed by her doctor and only as often as recommended " she said that while it's easy to get compulsive about it, there's no need to. She completely eliminated sugar and sugar substitutes from her diet and stuck with the mantra, "I can do this," as she got healthy.

"You have to be so careful because someone in there was saying I can't do this and that and the other," said Gemmette.

Dr. Sarah Clark, an endocrinologist at Albany Medical Center, said diabetes is different for everyone who is diagnosed.

"We've all seen people who have been able to make lifestyle changes and commit to them and not require any medications for their diabetes," said Clark.

However, she said that the disease often progresses, and it's hard to predict what it will be like in 10 years.

"I am certainly not a dietitian, but in a world of diabetes management, what we consider a good healthy diet is very similar to what someone with heart disease considers a good healthy diet," said Clark.

She said that people want to get in the appropriate number of vitamins and minerals, and despite the notion that all carbohydrates should be eliminated, they shouldn't be. Instead, people should avoid taking in copious amounts of processed white carbohydrates.

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