If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, your head is probably spinning with fear and a million questions. Although it’s a scary diagnosis, there are plenty of ways to keep the disease under control.
At Highway Integrative Health Center, our specialized team is here to help you understand diabetes. Dr. Jose Lopez-Chevres and Dr. Yaritza Arriaga O’Neill are our two experts in family and emergency medicine.
Dr. Chevres and Dr. O’Neill help you understand your diabetes diagnosis so you can learn how to keep the condition under control.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that causes problems with how your body uses glucose. When you eat food, it’s digested and turned into glucose, a sugar. This sugar is then delivered into your bloodstream.
When the amount of glucose in your blood rises, this change alerts your pancreas to let insulin out. The insulin is used to guide the glucose in your bloodstream into your body’s cells, which is then used for energy.
Diabetes happens when you either don’t make enough insulin to control the glucose in your blood, or your body doesn’t use insulin efficiently. This allows the glucose in your blood to climb, causing serious health issues if not treated.
There are several different forms of diabetes, including:
According to the CDC, about 5-10% of diabetics have type 1. This form of diabetes happens due to an autoimmune problem, where your body attacks the pancreas. This causes you to stop making the insulin that controls your blood sugar.
Type 1 diabetes happens relatively fast, and is often diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood. To keep this form of diabetes under control, you need to take insulin every day for the rest of your life.
This is the most prevalent form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body doesn’t efficiently use the insulin your pancreas makes, causing high levels of blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes happens slowly, over the course of years. It’s usually found in adulthood, but with rising obesity, it’s becoming more prevalent in children and young adults.
Lifestyle changes are the best way to keep type 2 diabetes under control. This includes losing weight and staying physically active.
This form of diabetes comes on during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, you’ll likely have never had diabetes until you became pregnant. This condition may cause issues with your pregnancy, and puts your unborn baby at risk for complications. It usually resolves once you deliver.
Prediabetes is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, over 96 million adults have elevated blood sugar, indicating prediabetes. This means your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Although diabetes is a complicated disease, it’s completely feasible to keep it under control. Our team helps you with a personalized treatment plan and lifestyle changes to keep diabetes from ruling your life. Some lifestyle tips that help you stay healthy include:
If you’re overweight and have diabetes, losing even 5% of your total body weight can significantly decrease the risk of complications related to the disease. The more weight you lose, the better off you’ll be when it comes to diabetes.
Physical activity is a great way to stay in shape and keep your diabetes under control as well. It helps you lose weight when needed, and decreases your risk of complications related to uncontrolled diabetes and high blood sugar levels.
Your diet directly impacts your blood sugar, so learning how to eat healthy is the key to managing your diabetes. Watching your carbohydrate intake and managing your portion sizes help keep your blood sugar in check.
You want to eat plenty of whole foods, such as vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Lean protein and whole grains are also good, just watch your portion sizes.
One of the best ways to keep yourself healthy when you have diabetes is by regularly checking your blood sugar. Although it fluctuates throughout the day, your blood sugar needs to remain within normal levels to prevent diabetes from progressing and producing complications.
Our team helps you understand when to check your blood sugar and how to lower it through both medications and lifestyle changes.
If our team starts you on diabetes medications, make sure you take them at their scheduled intervals. Staying on top of your medications, along with a healthy lifestyle, can slow the progression of diabetes and keep complications from arising.
If you need help getting your diabetes under control, don’t hesitate to call the Highway Integrative Health Center team at 844-728-0802, or request an appointment online using our convenient booking tool.