Diabetes is a common chronic health condition that affects about 15 million women in the United States. Having diabetes puts you at greater risk of developing other health problems like heart disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), and vision problems.
Though diabetes is a serious long-term health problem that requires your attention, you don’t have to let it manage your life and health.
At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, our team of primary care providers takes a comprehensive approach to medicine, helping you take care of your health. We offer the support and guidance you need to manage your diabetes, including sharing these important steps you can take.
Diabetes is a complex disease that affects almost every organ in your body. When you have diabetes, your levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, are higher than they should be. Glucose is the main source of energy for all of the cells in your body, and it comes from the food you eat.
Your blood glucose levels are high because of problems with insulin — the hormone that gets glucose from your blood into your cells. Too much glucose in your blood not only makes you feel miserable (tired, hungry, and thirsty), but it also damages your body.
Managing diabetes requires medical interventions and lifestyle changes. We don’t expect you to have to do this all on your own. Our physicians, nurses, and counselors work together to help you understand your diabetes and create the lifestyle changes necessary to manage it.
Many things affect your blood sugar, from food to stress. Monitoring your blood sugar numbers regularly throughout the day can help you understand what makes your levels go up and what helps keep them in control.
There are many home blood glucose monitors that can help you track your blood sugar. Our team of primary care specialists can talk to you about your options and teach you how to use your device.
Food affects blood glucose, and nutrition is a major part of any treatment plan for diabetes. Despite what many may have you believe, you don’t need to eat special “diet” or “sugar-free” foods when you have diabetes.
You do, however, need to eat a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods from all food groups. It’s also important to eat about the same amount of food around the same time of day. Routine is key for diabetes management.
Finding time to fit in more activity is also an important step that helps you manage your diabetes. Exercise burns excess sugar, keeping your numbers under control. Regular physical activity also helps with weight management. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight can improve your diabetes.
Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity — walking, biking, a game of tennis ― five days a week. It’s OK to start with 10 minutes a day and work your way up.
You don’t have to manage diabetes on your own. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or you’ve been living with diabetes for years, we can help. Call or request an appointment online today at the office most convenient to you.