Treating Type 2 Diabetes

John Sutton, DO

John Sutton, DO, discusses ways to effectively treat Type 2 Diabetes.

There is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, but there are ways to avoid progression to diabetes and ways to treat it effectively. According to Carson Tahoe Endocrinologist, Dr. John Sutton, one way to help minimize the effects of this chronic disease is to choose your food wisely. A well-balanced diet that limits calories and simple carbohydrates (sweet foods) are one of the keys to avoiding the progressive complications of diabetes. In controlling diabetes, your risk for cardiovascular disease is also improved.

The American Diabetes Association makes dietary recommendations that focus on an individualized dietary plan. Your endocrinologist or primary doctor should have copies of this dietary regimen available. Formal diabetes education is very important. Foods with a low glycemic index are an important part of the dietary puzzle for each individual. These types of food may include whole-grain bread rather than white bread. Bran cereal is preferred over corn flakes. Fruits that are less sweet and high in fiber are preferred. Pears and apples have a lower glycemic index as compared to watermelon or pineapple. Pasta is preferred rather than rice. Lower glycemic index foods are reflected more positively in the blood sugar patterns and results. Each individual should test to prove what foods may or may not adversely affect their own blood sugars. It is also important to eat evenly spaced meals 4 to 5 hours apart. Try to eat similar amounts of carbohydrate/sugars and similar calories meal to meal.

Type 2 Diabetes is common, particularly in ethnic minority populations. The foundation of the control of diabetes is with a healthy, well-balanced diet, as well as exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise helps make the body more sensitive to your own body’s insulin. Exercise also improves the effects of oral diabetes medications and injected insulin. Obesity is at epidemic proportions, and the number of cases of diabetes has increased in response to this.

Your doctor can follow the course of your diabetes with blood tests at a lab, and you can also monitor your blood sugars with a home monitor by finger stick testing. If control is not reached with diet and exercise, many oral medications are available, as well as insulin and other injected medications. These medications use different methods for blood sugar control, and the treatment plan can be tailored to suit each individual.

If you have diabetes, here are some reminders to consider:

  • Remember to schedule a complete eye exam with an ophthalmologist annually.
  • Check your feet and skin every day for anything out of the ordinary. If you experience pain or see signs of infection, get treatment immediately.
  • Always wear shoes when outdoors, even at the beach.
  • Know how alcohol and drugs affect your blood glucose.
  • Smoking and diabetes are a dangerous combination, especially if you also have high blood pressure. Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Ask your doctor what you can do to prevent or delay kidney problems.
  • Check with your doctor to see if he or she recommends a flu shot.