By Francisco Solis, DO
Optum – Little Havana
Have you ever thought about the long-term impact of type 2 diabetes on your health? What happens as diabetes progresses? Are you getting the most out of your doctor visits? The answers may be simpler than you think.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects many people, and knowing what it can do over time is very important for managing your health. If blood sugar is poorly managed, it can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, leading to serious health problems.
Regular check-ups are key to effective diabetes management
Your doctor can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control by monitoring your A1C levels, which are a measure of your average blood sugar over the past three months. It is also important to have regular tests for your cholesterol, blood pressure, and kidney function.
Lifestyle changes can help manage your blood sugar levels
Adopting a healthy, low-sugar, low-carb diet is critical. Regular exercise complements dietary changes, as it aids in effectively utilizing glucose. It is important to remember that sugar is not naturally harmful; however, it becomes problematic when not properly metabolized. This analogy is like maintaining a car — without using it and providing the right fuel, it will eventually break down.
Success stories in diabetes management
Real-life success stories highlight the profound impact of consistent preventive care for patients with diabetes. Consider the case of 70-year-old Medicare patient, Carol, who received a Type 2 diabetes diagnoses from her primary care physician. Through dedication to daily walks and dietary improvements, she successfully shed excess weight, ultimately avoiding the need for medication. Carol’s commitment to a healthier way of life and proactive health care continues to produce promising outcomes.
What you can do
Here are important things to keep in mind for long-term diabetes management:
- Lifestyle matters: Your daily choices in diet and exercise have a big impact on Type 2 diabetes, even if it doesn’t run in your family.
- Weight isn’t everything: Diabetes isn’t solely about weight. It’s influenced by various factors, not just excess pounds.
- Sugar’s role: While watching your sugar intake is important, it’s not the sole cause of diabetes. Genetics and overall diet play significant roles.
- Balanced eating: You don’t have to cut out all carbs and sweets. It’s about moderation within a well-rounded diet.
- Timely medication: Starting medication when needed is important. Delaying can make managing diabetes harder in the long run. The right combination of diet, exercise and medication may even reduce or eliminate the need for it, especially for older patients.
By visiting your doctor regularly and prioritizing your health, you can take charge of your diabetes. Early recognition and intervention can prevent complications and promote better overall health for individuals living with diabetes.
Francisco Solis, DO, is a board-certified family medicine physician who speaks English and Spanish. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, New York, and completed his residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Solis is currently practicing at Optum – Little Havana.