Diabetes: A Growing Concern

January 29, 2024

By Jesse Smith Nurse Practitioner at Parke Health Center

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While it is a significant health concern, understanding diabetes and its management can lead to a healthier life.

Parke Health/Stratton Medical clinic’s Alexandra Hitchcock says “Education is key in managing diabetes. A balanced diet and regular monitoring can improve the quality of life for those with diabetes.”

Here is what you need to know about diabetes:

Types of Diabetes: There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

  • Type 1 Diabetes: Typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes require insulin therapy.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: This form of diabetes is more common and is often linked to lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity. It usually develops in adulthood but can occur at any age. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, oral medications, injections, or insulin.

Managing Diabetes:

  1. Monitor Blood Sugar: Regularly check blood glucose levels as recommended by your healthcare provider. (There has been significant improvement in monitoring that can make this more comfortable)
  2. Balanced Diet: Follow a balanced and portion-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  3. Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical activity to help control blood sugar levels and support a healthy weight.
  4. Medications and Insulin: Take medications or insulin as prescribed by your healthcare team.
  5. Regular Check-Ups: Visit your healthcare provider regularly for diabetes management and complication screening.

Prevention: Type 2 diabetes may be preventable through lifestyle changes, such as keeping a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and staying physically active.

Alex and her colleagues at Parke health and Stratton Medical are available to provide personalized diabetes care and education. If you have diabetes or are at risk, seeking professional guidance is essential for effective management and improving your quality of life.