Learn more about why diabetes is so prevalent today, medical issues that can arise from diabetes, and how we work with patients to help them manage this disease.
Why is diabetes so prevalent today?
About two-thirds of America is obese or overweight. It's our diet. It's our inactivity. We basically have done both of these things: increase food and decrease exercise. That's why the population has grown. One of the major things for diabetes is our food and inactivity.
What medical issues may arise from diabetes?
It's a systemic disease. It's affecting everything in your body. It's damaging the blood vessels in your eyes. It's damaging things around your heart, and it's causing kidney damage as well. If you've heard of peripheral neuropathy, diabetics get numbness, tingling in their hands and feet. It's damaging all those little nerves that are in your fingers and your toes. It really is a whole body process, and that's kind of how you have to look at it.
How do you work with patients who have diabetes?
We start talking about diet. I get a diet history from them: how they're eating, what types of foods, and what time are they eating these foods. We also talk about activity level. Are they exercising? Getting about 30 minutes of activity most days of the week can help prevent that. We talk about lifestyle changes first that we can do, and then depending on where the numbers are, we start talking about different medication options too. Usually there's several options of pills they can take. We don't go straight to insulin in most cases, but, we talk about all the treatments of it.