Tag Archives: glucose

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

Managing Diabetes in South Carolina

Lexington Medical Center will host a free diabetes health fair inside the Michael J. Biediger Auditorium on the hospital campus in West Columbia on Sunday, November 6 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

“South Carolina has the fourth highest rate in the nation of diabetes among adults. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. We want to encourage community members to attend this health fair to increase awareness for themselves and their family members, as well as learn how to manage diabetes and live a long, healthy life,” said Gwen Girdler, RN, BSN, CDE, outpatient diabetes educator at Lexington Medical Center.


According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in South Carolina and around the United States. More than 576,000 people in South Carolina – that’s 14% of the population – have diabetes. Of those, more than 20 percent do not know they have diabetes – greatly increasing their health risk. Additionally, more than one million people in South Carolina – 37 percent of the adult population of the state – have prediabetes.

Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, where the body does not use insulin properly. Over time, the body is not able to make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in South Carolina, responsible for three deaths each day.