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Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes

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Diabetes health tip

Diabetes: Sorting fact from fiction
Diabetes is a serious illness. To help contain this leading cause of disability and death, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.

More diabetes health tips...

Diabetes Lipids Class
Gain practical information and plan how to lower your cholesterol in 6 to 12 weeks.

Where can I get help in managing my diabetes?

Allina Health diabetes education is designed to help patients manage diabetes every step of the way. For more about this program accredited by the American Diabetes Association...

Diabetes center staff at these Allina Health hospitals also can help you manage your diabetes:

New Ulm Medical Center
New Ulm, Minnesota

St. Francis Regional Medical Center
Shakopee, Minnesota

United Hospital
St. Paul, Minnesota

Hutchinson Area Health Care
Hutchinson, Minnesota

Diabetes support groups

Online community

Allina Health diabetes education facilitates The online community is a safe place to connect with other people with diabetes. Get the encouragement you need to achieve your diabetes goals.

To join, call 612-262-4534. Please leave a message that includes your name and email address, and then we'll send you an invitation. For more details, talk to your diabetes educator.

Ongoing support groups

Diabetes support groups regularly meet at Allina Health locations. Find upcoming diabetes support group times and locations.

Is there a local organization of the American Diabetes Association (ADA)?

Yes. The phone number for the American Diabetes Association's Minnesota chapter is 763-593-5333 or 1-800-DIABETES.

American Diabetes Association representatives can give you answers to some of your questions about diabetes. They offer information and referral for health care, financial aid insurance, discrimination for people with diabetes. Other services include Camp Needlepoint/Daypoint, newsletters, TV, health fairs, speakers bureau, fund raising for research and education, support groups, professional education, literature, films, videos/and education workshops.

From the American Diabetes Association, you also may order books on various diabetes topics at or by calling toll free 1-800-232-6733.

What are other sources of information about my diabetes?

Magazines and newspapers

Allina Health publishes Healthy Communities eMagazine, a free email newsletter that includes the latest health news you choose. When you sign up, be sure to select diabetes as a topic of interest.

The American Diabetes Association publishes Diabetes Forecast magazine. For subscription rates, call 1-800-232-6733 or go to

The American Diabetes Association also offers a number of free email newsletters.

We also recommend these publications:

Senior drug program

Minnesota has a program that may cover some of your prescription costs.

Call the Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433 for more information.


American Diabetes Association -

Diabetes Health -

National Diabetes Education Program -

Diabetes information from Joslin Diabetes Center -

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation -

Islet transplant information from the Islet foundation -

Where can I get the meter and other supplies I need for managing my diabetes?

You may want to ask at your clinic if there is someone who can help you get supplies and train you to use the equipment. All of the diabetes centers listed above can help you. You can purchase supplies at your pharmacy, but you should check with your diabetes educator first before purchasing equipment. Get his or her recommendation about the best equipment for you.

How do I pay for my diabetes supplies?

Most health care plans as well as Medicare and Medical Assistance cover a large portion, if not all, of the cost of meters, test strips and other supplies. If you have questions, you should call the customer service number for your health plan. You can also call a diabetes educator for this information.

I feel frustrated and overwhelmed by all the changes I need to make in my daily life now that I have diabetes. Where can I get help?

These are very normal feelings and many people feel the need for help. You do not need to make all the changes at once — take small steps and you are likely to be more successful.

  • Talk with others who have diabetes.
  • Seek out a support group.
  • Find counselors or social workers in your community who could help.
  • Ask your doctor or diabetes educator where you can go for help.

The important thing to know is that there are others who can help. You do not need to struggle alone.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, fifth edition, ISBN 1-931876-32-0

First published: 12/01/2006
Last updated: 10/25/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department