When you receive a diabetes diagnosis, it’s just the start of a journey that will require you to pay closer attention to your health. More than 11% of people in the United States are on this same journey, and many lead happy, healthy lives despite this chronic condition that can seriously threaten your health.
If you want to live in a world that isn’t overshadowed by diabetes, there are some key steps that you should take, which Dr. Sean P. Nikravan reviews here.
1. Get the right team in your corner
When you have diabetes, you have problems regulating glucose levels in your blood due to insulin resistance or inadequate insulin production. The first step you should take is getting a medical team in your corner that can restore balance in your blood.
At our practice, Dr. Nikravan is a board-certified endocrinologist, which is a field of medicine that specializes in the endocrine system — your hormones. Diabetes very much falls under our area of expertise because insulin is a hormone.
Through medications and monitoring, we help you control your blood sugar levels so your diabetes doesn’t do irreparable damage to your health.
2. A little weight loss goes a long way
If you're carrying extra pounds, this can affect your A1C levels, which indicate how well your body controls blood sugar. Studies have found that if you lose just 5%-10% of your overall body weight, you’re three times more likely to reduce your A1C levels by 0.5%, which is a significant drop.
For example, if you weigh 190 pounds, losing 9.5 to 19 pounds has the potential to greatly improve your body’s ability to process glucose, not to mention improve your overall health.
To help, we offer a comprehensive, physician-supervised weight management program.
3. Tweak your diet
Because a diabetic body can’t process blood sugar as well as it should, it follows that you should steer clear of sugar. Yes, cutting down on sweets is a very good idea, but you also need to understand that blood sugar also comes from sources such as refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, white rice.
In addition to consuming fewer sugary foods and drinks, it’s a good idea to swap out your refined carbs for healthier ones that rely on whole grains. Eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread, quinoa or couscous instead of pasta, and brown rice instead of white. These simple substitutions can make a big difference in your glucose levels.
When you get up and move, your body needs energy and becomes more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that delivers energy to your cells. When you have diabetes, it’s important that you incorporate some exercise into your day to keep glucose from lingering in your blood.
5. Monitor your numbers regularly
While we can do a good job monitoring your health through frequent visits, you need to do your part by staying on top of your glucose numbers. We set you up for ongoing testing and ensure that you understand the numbers and how to test.
But this system is only as good as the user, and we can’t underscore the importance of regular testing enough.
If your blood sugar levels are high, it can damage nerves in your body and lead to a host of complications. Through regular testing, you can take swift action to bring high levels down before any permanent damage is done.
Life after a diabetes diagnosis will be different, but if you make some lifestyle adjustments to accommodate your new normal, you can stay one step ahead of the disease.
If you have more questions about managing diabetes, please contact our office in Newport Beach, California, to set up a consultation. Call Monday through Friday, or request an appointment online anytime.