Nearly 23 million Americans have type 2 diabetes and many others are unaware that they are at high risk for the disease. If you already know you are living with this serious condition, what you might not know is that when it comes to managing the disease, you are in the driver’s seat.
“With healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising and making smart food choices, you have the power to improve your diabetes”, says Rose Reyes, outpatient dietitian and diabetes educator for Madera Community Hospital. “And when you combine these changes with a care plan from your doctor, you can control your blood sugar, prevent related health problems and just feel better and healthier every day.”
Patients who educate themselves about diabetes find that managing the disease becomes easier. The first step is understanding how your body works to turn food into energy and how diabetes disrupts that process.
Reyes said, “Whenever you eat, your body breaks that food down into a sugar (glucose). Cells in your body absorb this glucose to get energy — with the help of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is the key to turning food into energy. But when you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin you produce doesn’t work well.” ...