From an interview with
Dr. Allie Whitley
McLeod Primary Care Seacoast
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in South Carolina. McLeod Primary Care Physician Dr. Allie Whitley explains how to live with diabetes and the importance of treating it.
Here is a summary of Dr. Whitley’s comments:
Diabetes can develop when your pancreas just does not produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar. Without insulin, blood sugar goes sky high and can lead to numerous complications.
Some symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, urinating or feeling like you’re hungry all the time. You can also get wounds that just won’t heal, lose weight, or even some tingling or numbness in your feet.
The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include age, excess weight and being sedentary. There’s also a genetic predisposition. If you have a family member that has diabetes, there’s a good chance that you could also get diabetes. Also, certain races are predisposed to diabetes.
People with Type 2 diabetes should focus on diet and exercise. You want a diet low in carbs. You should avoid sugars, breads and sodas. The diet should be high in healthy proteins, such as chicken and fish. Also, you want to get a large amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Exercise is also very important when managing diabetes. Recommendations say that you need 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. Some good activities include walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing or even a moderate workout at your local gym.
Also, in addition to diet and exercise, you want to keep a healthy weight. You should talk to your doctor about what a healthy BMI or a healthy weight is for you.
As a family physician, we could also start you on diabetes medications. These medications typically work to decrease your blood glucose level, which helps prevent further complications of the diabetes, such as kidney, heart, nerve or blood vessel damage.