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Taking control of your diabetes

Isabella Lucania is riding in the 2018 Tour de Cure (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - For Isabella Lucania, riding in the upcoming Tour De Cure - has a special meaning.

“I'll be riding the 12 mile,” Lucania said.

She is one of the estimated 387,000 adults in upstate New York living with diabetes.

Lucania was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at age 11.

“I had no idea what diabetes was because I didn’t know anyone that had diabetes so it was kind of a new concept to me and a big adjustment,” said Lucania.

As an athlete, Lucania monitors her blood level with a glucose monitor. She keeps insulin with her at all times and eats at specific times.

It can be a lot to manage, but Dr. Louanne Giangreco, Chief Medical Officer of Healthcare Improvement with Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, says if it is not properly watched, it can lead to consequences.

“Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to damage to your blood vessels, to your nerves. Damage to your eyes, your kidneys, can lead to amputations to your extremities and nerve pain as well,” said Dr. Giangreco.

While some people show no symptoms before they’re diagnosed with diabetes, Dr. Giangreco says there are some signs you should look for.

“Being very thirsty, urinating frequently with weight loss and some people with diabetes can get very sick and we detect it that way,” Dr. Giangreco said.

Once detected, it's important to talk with your doctor, plan annual visits, get blood tests, eye exams and feet checked regularly.

Lucania plays soccer at D'Youville College in Buffalo.

She's taking control, not letting her diabetes control her.

“It may make things harder or more challenging but as long as you take care of yourself and you’re doing everything you’re supposed to, there’s nothing you can’t do,” said Lucania.

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