When you have diabetes, your body struggles to either make or use the hormone insulin the way it’s supposed to. As a result, your blood sugar levels become problematic, increasing your risk of serious complications.
Our medical providers at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, understand how debilitating uncontrolled diabetes can be. That’s why we offer personalized diabetes management planning for our patients in the Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, area.
We also understand the importance of patient education. Join us in exploring this complex disease and the key components of a successful diabetes management plan.
When you eat, your body uses insulin to turn the food into fuel you can burn for energy. But for over 11% of Americans, diabetes makes it difficult or impossible for their bodies to make or use insulin.
The vast majority (over 95%) of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. With this condition, your body makes insulin, but it can’t use it effectively. As a result, glucose stays in your blood instead of being burned as fuel.
This high blood sugar triggers your body to make more insulin to try to burn it off. But since your body can’t use the insulin, the cycle continues. Most people with Type 2 diabetes don’t have noticeable symptoms and are diagnosed during routine lab work.
Some factors increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being mostly sedentary
- Having high blood pressure
- Having high cholesterol
- Being 45 or older
- Being diagnosed with insulin resistance
- Being diagnosed with prediabetes
- Being a smoker
Seek medical care if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or have a condition that increases your risk of developing the disease.
Components of a good diabetes management plan
A good diabetes management plan factors in monitoring and making changes in four key areas. We work with you to make personalized recommendations under these four areas, but here’s a general overview:
Monitoring blood glucose
Your Hgb A1C tells you your average blood glucose levels over time (three months), and your blood glucose readings reveal your ongoing blood sugar levels.
Together, these numbers help you know when you need to make dietary changes or take medications to keep your blood glucose levels within a healthy range to help prevent diabetes-related complications.
Regular blood pressure checks
Your blood pressure is a key measurement when you have diabetes because the condition can cause vascular damage and weaken the walls of your veins and arteries. As a result, diabetics are twice as likely to have heart disease, stroke, or a heart attack.
By regularly checking your blood pressure, you can make changes to lower your numbers. We may also prescribe medications to help move your numbers into a healthy range.
Checking your cholesterol
Since people with diabetes tend to have higher cholesterol along with an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke, regular cholesterol monitoring is important. Keeping track of these numbers ensures you can make necessary changes to your diet and exercise to stay in a healthy range or take medication to achieve target cholesterol levels.
Healthy lifestyle changes go a long way to helping you manage your diabetes and in some cases, stop the progression or reverse the disease. A healthy lifestyle also lowers your risk for other serious health issues, including cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
We review your history and discuss your current lifestyle and preferences to make personalized lifestyle change recommendations, which may include:
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcohol
- Switching to a whole-foods, mostly plant-based diet
- Avoiding sugary beverages, fried foods, and fatty meats
- Getting regular exercise
Learn more about a successful diabetes management plan by scheduling an appointment with a provider at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, in Aventura or Hollywood, Florida.