PLYMOUTH, Minn. - Dr. Ron McGown, family medicine doctor at Park Nicollet, says when someone is diagnosed with diabetes fear is a common reaction.

“The perception is that I'm going to walk out of the office and I'm going to be injecting myself with insulin five times a day and my whole life is over, and that is not usually correct,” he says.

Dr. McGown says, while insulin is part of the treatment plan for some, most people can be treated with oral medications after being diagnosed, which helps get sugar out of the blood stream.

“Instead of circulating around and causing damage it's quickly shunted off and put into cells,” Dr. McGown says.

He also says getting more exercise and cutting back on carbohydrates can help manage the disease.

He says limiting stress, which causes the production of cortisol, can also help.

“Cortisol acts as an anti-insulin. Whatever good insulin is doing in getting sugar out of the blood stream, cortisol tends to counter that effect,” Dr. McGown says.

Overall Dr. McGown says living a fulfilling life with diabetes is absolutely something you can achieve.

“The people who say - 'OK, this is manageable. I can do this. I'll take the pills. I'll watch my blood sugar every now and then. I'll exercise. I'll lose weight. I'll do the things I'm supposed to be doing.' Those people – it becomes just one small part of what they do,” he says.