If you or someone you love has just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes then you may be wondering what you can do to manage your blood sugar. Your family doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your current health and lifestyle.
Medication is usually the main course of treatment, designed to improve blood sugar levels so that they stay within a healthy range. Of course, while some diabetes medication may work well for one person it won’t always be as effective for others. You will need to constantly monitor your blood sugar every day to see whether your medication is working.
Along with taking your diabetes medication there are also other ways to manage this long-term condition and to improve not just your health but also your quality of life. Here are some things that you can do to maintain good health while living with diabetes.
A Balanced, Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is key to unlocking good health, no matter whether you have diabetes or not. What you eat can either support how your body functions and fuel you or it can cause serious dysfunction and impairments over time. When you have diabetes, you need to understand how food impacts your blood sugar so you know which foods are safe to eat and which to avoid. Here are some tips to follow:
- Understand proper portion sizes and measure out the foods you eat
- Count your carbs, as carbs often have the biggest affect on your blood sugar and will influence your dose of insulin
- Create balanced meals that offer a variety of proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
- Know how to schedule your meals with your medication so you don’t deal with severe dips in your blood sugar
- Avoid sugary foods or drinks
Get Regular Exercise
It’s important for our patients to understand that every little bit of physical activity counts toward exercise. You don’t have to run out and get a gym membership. You just have to find simple ways to stay active throughout the day in order to reap the health benefits of exercise. This might include:
- Taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood
- Doing chores around the house
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
You only need about 30 minutes of exercise per day the majority of the week in order to see an improvement in your health. Of course, before starting any kind of new exercise routine you will want to talk with your physician to make sure that you are healthy enough first. We can also recommend safe and effective exercises.
While your doctor will work with you to make sure you are getting the right medication, there are also things you should be doing to make sure that the medication you are taking is working properly. This includes:
- Knowing how to properly store your insulin so it isn’t exposed to extreme temperatures
- Tell your doctor if your blood sugar is too high or too low while taking this medication
- Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements beforehand to make sure that they are safe to take with your medication
If you want to talk to a doctor about how to properly manage your diabetes, then call our office today to schedule a consultation with us.
Through each stage of life, our bodies require different focuses of medical care. As children, we visited the pediatrician, as adults, the general physician, and as senior citizens, a geriatric specialist is who we turn to. This might leave you wondering the reasons for continual change, especially when it comes to switching to a geriatrician—after all, despite being over 65, we’re all still adults, right? To gain a greater insight into the value of geriatric medicine, read on, and if you are in need of medical care, make sure to set up an appointment with your local geriatric specialist!
The Unique Health Challenges Posed by Aging
Over the course of our lives, the health complications that we are in danger of developing exponentially increase. Although serious illness is a possibility at any age, the danger of organ failures, heart conditions, cancers, and various chronic conditions all become more common at later stages in life. This elevated peril in-turn requires regular visits to a doctor who specializes in discovering such issues early.
On top of an increased vulnerability to medical issues, the seriousness of each health problem also rises with age. This raised concern isn’t exclusive to notorious diseases like cancer, either—even conditions that are completely innocuous for younger people can carry an alarming weight when contracted by a senior citizen. Take, for example, the common cold: while someone in their 30s may just need to rest in bed for a few days until symptoms alleviate, a senior who contracts the same virus will face a whole other host of issues. Dehydration, severe constipation from over-the-counter cold medication, and muscle deterioration from lying bed-ridden can all have prolonged and dangerous effects on the elderly, long after the cold symptoms have dissipated.
If a common cold can carry effects that harmful, you can imagine how concerning other conditions can be!
What a Geriatric Specialist Can Do To Help
To counteract these issues, geriatric doctors carry specialized knowledge to help keep elderly patients stay as healthy as possible. For example, they take the time to communicate with family members and caregivers to pick up on issues that even patients haven’t noticed yet. This increased attention helps for a greatly accelerated discovery rate of potentially serious health issues.
Complementing this focus on early detection is how geriatric doctors also pay great a deal of concern to any potential side effects carried by treatment. As outlined above, even seemingly banal health matters can bring about major consequences, so having a trusted doctor that can preemptively predict possible complications is an absolute must for elderly patients. With the help of a geriatric specialist, senior citizens can maximize their golden years, and stay healthy for as long as humanly possible!
Contact Your Local Geriatric Doctor Today!
If you or an older loved one need the specialized care that only geriatric medicine can provide, make sure to call your local geriatrician today!
Getting your cholesterol levels in check doesn’t have to be that challenging.
Whether you’ve been told you have high cholesterol, you’re at risk for high cholesterol or you are just taking precautionary measures, it’s important to maintain healthy cholesterol levels to reduce your risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
What are the warning signs of high cholesterol?
Unfortunately there are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol but a simple blood test can be used to detect cholesterol levels. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting a cholesterol test. It’s important to talk to your doctor about risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol.
How can I maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
Even if you don’t have high cholesterol, there are certain habits you can adopt to maintain optimal levels to prevent the need for medication in the future. Of course, even if your doctor has placed you on medication for your cholesterol you can still improve your cholesterol with these simple everyday habits:
Eat a healthy, heart-friendly diet: Eating a diet that is low in saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. Saturated fats are usually found in full-fat dairy and red meat. It’s also important to eliminate trans fats found in packaged cookies, cakes, and certain types of vegetable oils.
Consume more omega-3 fatty acids: While omega-3 fatty acids won’t affect your cholesterol levels they will provide your heart with some amazing benefits while also lowering blood pressure. Omega-3 can be found in walnuts, flaxseed, and salmon.
Exercise regularly: Exercise is another way to improve cholesterol levels. This means getting moderate physical activity most days of the week. This equates to working out 30 minutes a day five times a week or performing intense exercise for 20 minutes three time a week. Before beginning a new exercise routine it’s important to talk with your doctor.
Quit smoking: Talk to your doctor about the best strategies or programs to help you quit smoking for the long-term. Within just a year of quitting smoking you can cut your risk for heart disease in half.
Lose weight: If you are overweight or obese it’s important to shed those excess pounds to reduce cholesterol levels. Find ways to be more active throughout the day such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Reduce alcohol consumption: If you are a drinker it’s important to do so in moderation (one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men) to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol it’s important that you talk with your doctor to create a plan that will work for you, whether that’s changing your lifestyle or beginning a new cholesterol medication.
At some point in our childhood, we might have experienced chicken pox. While chicken pox most often occurs in children under the age of 12, it can also occur in adults who never had it as children.
Chickenpox is an itchy rash of spots that look like blisters and can appear all over the body while accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Chickenpox is very contagious, which is why your pediatrician in places a strong emphasis on keeping infected children out of school and at home until the rash is gone.
What are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?
When a child first develops chickenpox, they might experience a fever, headache, sore throat or stomachache. These symptoms may last for a few days, with a fever in the 101-102 F range. The onset of chicken pox causes a red, itchy skin rash that typically appears on the abdomen or back and face first, then spreads to almost any part of the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs and genitals.
The rash begins as multiple small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites, which are usually less than a quarter of an inch wide. These bumps appear in over two to four days and develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. When the blister walls break, the sores are left open, which then dries into brown scabs. This rash is extremely itchy and cool baths or calamine lotion may help to manage the itching.
What are the Treatment Options?
A virus causes chickenpox, which is why your pediatrician in will not prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. However, your child might need an antibiotic if bacteria infects the sores, which is very common among children because they will often scratch and pick at the blisters—it is important to discourage this. Your child’s pediatrician in will be able to tell you if a medication is right for your child.
If you suspect your child has chickenpox, contact your pediatrician right away!
Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.
One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.
Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.
You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?
The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.
You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.
Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!
The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.
The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.
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