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Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
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Summer 2009


Botsford HealthSource Magazine

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Live Well with Diabetes

Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, you’re probably wondering, “Will having diabetes change my life?” The answer is yes. But, the good news, says Botsford Hospital internist Steven Katzman, D.O., is that with proper management, you can live a full, active life— even with diabetes.

What does a Diabetes Diagnosis Mean?
Simply put, diabetes means your body has trouble making or using insulin. This critical hormone produced by your pancreas helps your body change glucose, also known as blood sugar, into energy for your cells. Without adequate insulin, too much glucose remains in the blood.

In order to keep blood sugar under control and prevent serious consequences, it’s critical to take an active role in your own care, says Dr. Katzman. You’ll help protect your health now and well into the future.

Commit to Your Well-Being

“I stress to patients they are the most important person on their care team,” says Dr. Katzman. So, do everything you can to manage your condition. Being active, eating right, taking any prescribed medications, controlling your weight and communicating with your doctor are all keys to your long-term well-being:

  1. Be active. Exercise helps you manage your weight and keep your heart in shape. “It also helps insulin remove sugar from your blood,” Dr. Katzman says. Ask your doctor about starting a regimen that includes 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
  2. Eat right. It can help you keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Choose a healthy diet that includes whole grains and fish. Whole grains play a role in lowering insulin, while fish benefits your heart and kidneys. Also, don’t skip meals, or your blood sugar could drop too low, Dr. Katzman says. Though high blood sugar is troublesome, your body needs glucose to function. Without enough, you could become shaky, irritable, cold, sweaty or confused—you could even pass out.
  3. Take prescribed medication or insulin as directed. Proper medication use helps your body function at its best. Work with your doctor to find the right dosage. If you must receive an insulin shot, don’t get discouraged. Taking insulin is less painful than ever before because of a variety of new, easy-to-use syringes, insulin pens, jet injectors and insulin pumps.
  4. Control your weight. It will make diabetes management easier. Studies show excess fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin. Dropping just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. The closer you can come to your ideal weight, the healthier you can be. “Those with type 2 diabetes may even be able to reduce their need for diabetes medication,” Dr. Katzman notes.
  5. Communicate with your doctor. Speaking up and keeping regular doctor appointments can help prevent complications. “Consider your physician your partner in helping you control your disease,” Dr. Katzman says. Dr. Katzman encourages patients to have the A1c test, which reflects your average glucose level over a period of 10 to 12 weeks. Your physician should also examine your skin, eyes, heart and feet.

Find the Right Treatment Formula

Because everyone has different challenges managing diabetes, a treatment plan must be personalized, says Dr. Katzman. “One person may require help counting carbs. Another might need to check his or her blood sugar more often,” he explains.

To meet these challenges, your physician may recommend diabetes education. A Botsford diabetes educator can help you manage your disease in a way that works for you. Educators help you learn to:

For those facing special challenges controlling blood sugar, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is another option. In CGM, a tiny sensor is inserted under the skin. It checks blood glucose every five minutes for up to seven days and transmits the levels to a small, wireless monitor worn like a pager. The readings help physicians plan treatment for patients who are having trouble managing their blood sugar.

Dr. Katzman, who lectures on diabetes nationwide, says CGM is one more way Botsford is staying at the forefront of diabetes care. “We offer the latest treatments, so our patients have every advantage to manage their diabetes successfully,” he says.

All of these services are available to patients with diabetes through Botsford Diabetes & Nutrition Services.

Help Kids Avoid Type 2 Diabetes & Pregnancy and Diabetes

Get a FREE brochure about Botsford Diabetes & Nutrition Services programs. Call the HealthSource Information Center today at (248) 442-2565.

 

 

 

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