Diabetes is a life-changing diagnosis. There’s no cure, and there are many lifestyle factors and test results you need to juggle all day, every day. That can be tough if you try to do it on your own.
Fortunately, you don’t have to. Dr. Venkata Vallury, our experienced physician here at Redwood Family Health Center, cares for those throughout McKinney and Farmers Branch, Texas, who struggle with controlling their blood sugar due to diabetes. Here’s a look at diabetes management and how we serve as a supportive partner for the rest of your life.
Since you are the only one who is with yourself 24/7, you are the best person to take the lead in the ongoing battle against the effects of diabetes. And excellent self-care begins with understanding what makes your blood sugar level go up and down. Once you identify this, you can take steps throughout your day to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
Diabetics have to monitor their food intake religiously. Certain foods can spike your blood sugar — we’re looking at you, sugar and carbohydrates — so you need to make sure you read labels and know what you’re eating.
Portion size is also a critical factor. In the beginning, you may need to use measuring cups and spoons until you learn visual cues for correct portion sizes.
When you eat matters, too. Going long periods without food can cause your blood sugar to drop — this is the only time a diabetic should reach for a candy bar or soda. Also, if you take diabetes medications or insulin, you’ll need to coordinate your meal times and medication times.
Dr. Vallury helps you get a handle on your diabetes diet and takes a lot of the guesswork out of the planning process.
If you have diabetes, exercise is critical to your treatment plan. But the type and amount of exercise that’s right for you is based on your age, weight, current activity level, and your overall health.
Dr. Vallury offers suggestions for activities that will improve your diabetes symptoms because when you exercise, your muscles use the glucose in your blood for energy and it helps your body process insulin more efficiently.
We can’t be with you every minute of every day, but we can help you learn to take your blood glucose readings and understand what they mean. When you check your numbers regularly, you know what’s normal and what’s not, and you learn what you need to do to get back in balance.
Dehydration is the enemy of diabetes — it spikes your blood sugar concentration. Every person is different and has different hydration needs, but you would do well to guzzle about 11.5 cups a day if you’re a woman, and 15.5 cups a day if you’re a man. Doing so not only contributes to a good blood sugar level but keeps your body processing food and eliminating waste properly.
Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself in a diabetic emergency where your blood sugar has spiked or plummeted.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to always have a small snack or a sports drink handy so you can recover quickly from a crash.
And always carry your insulin with you in case you experience a spike. If you don’t take insulin, try drinking water or exercising, especially if the spike is due to a high-carb meal.
If your diabetes warrants medication to manage your blood sugar, Dr. Vallury helps you understand your options. Folks with type 1 diabetes don’t create their own insulin, so they need to take insulin to keep their bodies functioning. Depending on your condition, you may need insulin that is:
These are all self-injected medications.
For type 2 diabetes, where you create your own insulin, but it’s either not enough or not doing its job, you may need other types of medications that will:
There are many different drugs to help you manage your blood sugar — most are taken orally, but a few are injectables. Dr. Vallury helps you navigate the different medications and determines which is best for you.
At Redwood Family Health Center, we partner with you for the long haul on your diabetes journey. If you struggle with controlling your blood sugar, give us a call or request an appointment online. We can help.