Weston resident David Blake has been checking his blood sugar, and checking it often since he was diagnosed with diabetes after an operation in 2008.
"The first thing I do is get up in the morning and I take my blood sugar before I eat or drink anything. That lets me know how I'm doing on my medication," said Blake.
Since then, Blake has changed his lifestyle to try to control the disease, including getting regular exercise at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Staff said there are key areas they focus on to prevent and treat diabetes.
"It can often coincide with lack of activity, overweight, poor food choices, bad nutrition. So we worry about several things. We worry about people's kidneys, we worry about their eyes, and we worry about their heart," said SJMH RN George Butcher.
Butcher said watching what you eat can be the hardest part of managing diabetes. Many people think they can eat anything and medicate to get their blood sugar where it should be, but Blake has been trying to keep away from problem-causing foods.
"I really didn't pay much attention to the way I ate and so forth, but now that's the biggest problem, not stopping at McDonald's or getting fast food and watch what you eat," Blake said.
Butcher said science has made a lot of progress, and medical professionals are better prepared to help you live a better life.
"One big advancement in diabetes management is people being able to check their finger stick. Now it's three seconds. You get one drop of blood, wait three seconds, you have an actual number," Butcher said.