How to prevent and manage diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in South Carolina. It affects how the body processes and uses sugar – your main energy source when taking in food. Jaqui Jones, MD, discussed how diabetes can be prevented and treated, as well as signs and symptoms of the disease.
What are the different types of diabetes?
Dr. Jones said there are two types of diabetes.
- Type 1. This type is known as the disease of you. Type 1 occurs typically in younger people and is diagnosed early on. It is an autoimmune disease where your body doesn’t make insulin.
- Type 2. This type is known as the disease of diet and lifestyle. Type 2 occurs when you are taking in a lot of fats or sugars that don’t allow your body to function well.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
- Increased thirst
- Numb and tingling hands and feet
- Vision changes
- Stomach issues
- Increased urinary frequency
“It is important to note that signs and symptoms of diabetes can be a wide range of things and some people with diabetes never even experience any signs or symptoms,” said Dr. Jones.
Can you prevent diabetes?
“Prevention is the best way to go when it comes to diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable,” said Dr. Jones.
The best way to prevent diabetes is to manage your lifestyle with both a healthy diet and exercise. “Look at your diet. Are you eating a lot of processed food, takeout, sodas, sugary drinks? Adjusting your diet and adding in exercise can help you prevent diabetes,” she said.
How do you treat diabetes?
Lab tests done by your doctor can determine how high your blood sugars are and will help determine a treatment plan. Treatment options include:
- Diet changes and lifestyle changes
- Oral medications
- Insulin therapy with injections
“A mixture of these treatment options may also be suggested by your doctor depending on your needs,” said Dr. Jones.
If you’re worried you have diabetes or that you are at risk for developing diabetes, talk to your doctor so they can help walk you through the next steps.
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