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Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan Now Available to Help Patients Tackle Type 2 Diabetes

Mike Golic, Co-host on ESPN Radio and Former NFL Star Who Has Type 2 Diabetes, Encourages Patients to Start The Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan to Help Manage the Disease

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:44 am EDT

The Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan, developed by the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), with support from Merck (NYSE:MRK)  (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), is kicking off to help the nearly 26 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes find new ways to help manage their disease. The interactive, user-friendly program breaks down diabetes management into four easy-to-understand “goals” to help people with type 2 diabetes take small steps toward better management of their disease.

The program is spearheaded by a trio of Game Plan “coaches:” Mike Golic, co-host of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morningand former NFL star who has type 2 diabetes; Farhad Zangeneh, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., a clinical endocrinologist; and Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a registered dietician and exercise physiologist with expertise in diabetes. Each coach contributes unique experience and knowledge to The Game Plan, available on

“When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I wasn’t sure how I would manage and adjust my lifestyle, but then I thought about it in terms of football, and started viewing my doctor as my coach. Together, we worked to develop my personal game plan to help tackle the disease in a way that worked for me,” explains Mike Golic. “That’s why I am rooting for people with type 2 diabetes to try the Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan - it provides an easy-to-understand approach to help manage the condition through a series of realistic ‘goal’-setting steps.”

Managing type 2 diabetes can often feel overwhelming, and that’s why The Game Plan outlines four personalized goals - Huddle, Enter the Nutrition Zone, Get in the Game, and Check the Scoreboard - that people with type 2 diabetes can put into practice, one at a time, with the help of a healthcare professional.

The first goal of The Game Plan, Huddle, encourages patients to work with a healthcare professional to learn more about type 2 diabetes, including highandlow blood sugar and related complications like heart disease, and fill out The Game Plan Playbook to set health goals and develop a personalized game plan to help them get to a diabetes touchdown.

Dr. Zangeneh, the physician advisor to the Blood Sugar Basics program, believes that there is a tremendous need for education about the management of type 2 diabetes. “For example, patients often think about watching for high blood sugar, but do not realize thatlow blood sugaris also a risk. Low blood sugar is indicated by symptoms such as dizziness and sweating and can be caused by irregular mealtimes, excessive exercise and even certain diabetes medications. Furthermore, low blood sugar can lead to serious consequences including loss of consciousness if it is not treated,” he explains.

The second goal of The Game Plan, Enter the Nutrition Zone, helps people take small steps to healthier eating habits. “Changes to your meal plan do not need to be drastic, in fact, they should be made slowly to ensure that they are lasting,” advises Samantha Heller. “There are many steps you can take to eat healthier and manage your blood sugar.” 

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Golic worked with his doctor to look at his diet and realized that he was still eating like he was an NFL defensive tackle. He explains, “It was easier for me to set small goals to start eating healthier, and I think that’s true for most people.” In addition to making small changes to his eating habits after retiring from the NFL, Golic worked with his doctor to find ways to incorporate physical activity into his daily routine.

That’s where Get in the Game, the third goal, comes into play. “My doctor told me that people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to develop heart disease than people without diabetes, and that physical activity could help lower my blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” says Golic.  “Now, I make sure to find some way to be active every day - it could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking after dinner.”

The fourth goal of The Game Plan, Check the Scoreboard, encourages people with type 2 diabetes to celebrate their progress with their biggest fans, like their friends and family, assess what worked for them, and visit with a healthcare professional to continue working toward and maintaining their goals.

To get started on developing your personal Game Plan, visit The website also has other helpful resources including questions to ask your doctor, tips about managing highand low blood sugar, a blood sugar knowledge quiz and checklists on how to help get through episodes of low and high blood sugar.

About Mike Golic

Mike Golic spent nine years as a defensive tackle in the NFL for the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. Once he retired, Golic started his broadcast career with a weekly segment on theRandall Cunningham Showand is now one of the namesakes behind the nationally acclaimed radio showMike & Mike in the Morningon ESPN Radio, which is syndicated through ESPN2 and reaches 98 million Americans every morning. Golic also has type 2 diabetes and encourages other patients to tackle the disease with the Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan.

About Dr. Farhad Zangeneh

Farhad Zangeneh,MD, FACP, FACE is a clinical endocrinologist and medical director of the Endocrine, Diabetes and Osteoporosis Clinic (EDOC) inSterling,Virginia. He is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine inWashington,D.C.As an expert in the care of people with type 2 diabetes, Dr. Zangeneh is the medical liaison for Blood Sugar Basics, who led the development of The Game Plan.

About Samantha Heller

Samantha Heller, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and exercise physiologist, is also a Clinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care atGriffinHospitalinDerby,Conn.She hosts a live two-hour show, “Samantha Heller’s Health and Nutrition Show,” on NYU Langone Medical Center’s DOCTOR Radio, which airs on SiriusXM, and authored a medically peer-reviewed book titled “Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health.” Heller brings years of experience helping type 2 diabetes patients reach their goals for healthy eating and physical activity to The Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan.

About Blood Sugar Basics

Blood Sugar Basics is an educational program aimed to help people living with diabetes, their families and loved ones learn about the importance of controlling blood sugar levels as part of a successful diabetes treatment plan. The program was developed by the AmericanCollegeof Endocrinology (ACE) and supported by Merck. The Game Plan, on, is a user-friendly, four-“goal” program to help people with type 2 diabetes in their management of the condition.

About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE)

The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: Providing professional education and reliable public health information; Recognizing excellence in education, research and service; Promoting clinical research and Defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. 

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United Statesand Canada.  Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions.  We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.  For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


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