The Doctor Is In: Understanding and Managing Diabetes

By Cassandra Patterson, MD
Peterson & Plante Internal Medicine Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice

In South Carolina, one in eight adults has diabetes. This rate is the seventh highest in the United States. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are also obese.

People who are overweight are not able to process high levels of carbohydrates. That leads to higher levels of sugar in the blood and stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin, a hormone that allows your body to use sugar for energy. Eventually, stress on the pancreas slows down insulin production.

Diabetes can create a domino effect of complications. High sugar levels in the blood damage small blood vessels and nerves, leading to a risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, leg pain and a loss of sensation in the feet. High sugar levels can also make healing from infections difficult.

If someone has type 2 diabetes, he or she should avoid sweetened drinks, sweets, breads, pastas and white rice. Foods that are good for diabetics are fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy.

Dr. Cassandra Patterson

Researchers have been working to find the best ways to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes, but they haven’t found a cure yet. Newer medications for diabetes have focused on using the body’s own abilities to process excess sugars.  

As research continues, doctors emphasize the importance of diet and exercise. It’s important to work healthy eating and fitness into your daily routine. The results will dramatically improve your life.
 
Peterson & Plante Internal Medicine Associates educates patients at risk for type 2 diabetes about lifestyle changes that promote prevention. For patients with diabetes, these clinicians give patients the tools they will need to manage their illness and prevent complications.

Peterson and Plante Internal Medicine Associates

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