According to the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans (9.4%) were diagnosed with diabetes by the year 2015. To put that in perspective, this amount is nearly representative of the entire Canadian population. Diabetes has become so common that almost everyone has heard of it, or knows somebody who suffers from it. What people often don’t consider are the everyday things a person with diabetes has to manage to stay healthy.
For those Living with Type 1 Diabetes:
With Type 1 Diabetes, the body does not produce insulin – which is the hormone the body needs to move glucose from the blood stream to the cells. Some of the things that a Type 1 Diabetes patient needs to manage include:
- Frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels (sometimes involving a tiny prick on the finger to draw blood throughout the day).
- Insulin injections to ensure blood sugar levels remain normal.
- Proper nutrition, often including a snack of carbohydrates to last through the night.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes can be very challenging for parents, children and families. The risks associated with not managing care appropriately make it crucial for parents and children to educate themselves and be pro-active in monitoring their care.
For those Living with Type 2 Diabetes
Patients with Type 2 Diabetes are insulin resistant – meaning that the body doesn’t use insulin effectively. Treatment for Type 2 means regulating blood sugar either through lifestyle changes, oral medication and/or insulin. On an everyday basis, a patient with Type 2 Diabetes will need to:
- Check blood glucose levels regularly (before a meal or two hours after a meal).
- Eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods. Additionally, Type 2 Diabetes patients will need to space meals evenly throughout the day, and avoid skipping meals.
- Ensure a low carb diet so as not to have blood sugar spikes, and limit high carb/sugary snacks.
- Exercise regularly to lower blood glucose.
- Daily medication to control blood sugar levels.
Constantly being aware of these things can become tiring, but if a patient doesn’t stay on top of their health, the side-effects can be life threatening.
WE WORK AS A TEAM WITH DIABETES PATIENTS
The good news is that with proper care, diabetes can be a manageable condition.
Westmed works as a comprehensive healthcare partner for thousands of patients diagnosed with diabetes in our community. We also offer a patient-centric diabetes education program in addition to support groups, nutrition counseling, endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists and more. We are committed to our patients and work hard every day to ensure our patients receive the most up to date information about diabetes management and treatment. Click here to learn more about our diabetes educator, and schedule an appointment.