Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects 37.3 million Americans (with over two million of them right here in Florida), so there’s no question that it’s a serious public health epidemic. Unfortunately, diabetes can also lead to complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems, nerve damage, and more.
If you live with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s imperative you be monitored closely by your doctor to ensure that your blood sugar levels are stable, and that your condition isn’t leading to these other serious health problems.
If you’re seeking care and you have diabetes, you’re in the best hands with Dr. Gurprit Sekhon at Nu Wave Medical Center. She’s your partner in keeping your diabetes under control and your overall health intact. She’s always there to provide diabetes education, answer questions, and talk about how you can support your health together.
What happens in your body when you have diabetes
Simply put, diabetes is a disease that impacts how your body converts food into energy. The majority of what you eat is broken down into glucose, a simple sugar that’s sent into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar rises, your pancreas knows to produce the hormone insulin, which is required for the glucose to be ushered into your cells and be used for fuel.
When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make a sufficient amount of insulin or uses it inefficiently. This leads to excess sugar in your bloodstream, which negatively impacts your entire body.
Type 1 diabetes, which occurs when your body can no longer produce insulin on its own, is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, while type 2 diabetes is typically lifestyle-related and often diagnosed in middle age, although younger people are receiving diagnoses in larger numbers. The vast majority of those with diabetes — 90-95% — have type 2 diabetes.
What you can do to help control diabetes
In addition to medications for diabetes, such as insulin for those with type 1 and medications for those with type 2, lifestyle changes can make a big difference in how well your diabetes is managed.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds is key, and losing weight if you need to is also important.
Physical exercise is pivotal to controlling diabetes
Being more active and making time for exercise are two of the most important things you can do for your diabetes because activity increases your body’s insulin sensitivity. Then your muscle cells are able to use the insulin your body has on hand more efficiently, both while you’re exercising and afterwards.
In addition, when you’re active, your muscles contract, and your cells can transport glucose to be used for energy — even if insulin isn’t available.
Exercise lowers your blood glucose in the short-term, and regular exercise can consistently lower your blood sugar levels, or A1C reading.
Great exercises for those who live with diabetes include:
- Water aerobics
As you can see from this list, not all of these are “killer” workouts, yet they do the job and help you lose weight or keep your weight in check, reduce your heart disease risk, and lift your mood, in addition to regulating your blood sugar. This is what good diabetes management looks like.
Of course, every patient’s situation is different, so talking to Dr. Sekhon about which exercises are best for you and how often you should work out is a must.
Contact our conveniently located Panama City Beach office at 850-493-6948 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sekhon, so you can control your diabetes and improve your well-being. You may also request an appointment with us online.