Healthy Lifestyle, Team Effort Keys to Wellness in Diabetes Journey

Mirelle Ann Marquez Ignacio, MD, Cucamonga Valley Medical Group

By Mirelle Ann Marquez Ignacio, MD

Diabetes Mellitus is one of the common diseases in our society that affects a wide range of people from the very young to the very old. It is quite common that most of us know someone who has this disease.

There is a genetic predisposition that can be inherited from our parents and then something in the environment triggers it.

Living with diabetes needs acceptance, determination and commitment for wellness. Starting a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and mindful eating can be a struggle at first. Being open to learning how food plays a role is very important in helping manage diabetes.

Exercise and healthy activities such as doing sports, dancing, hiking, and walking the dog or other fun activities are beneficial in burning and using the sugar in your body. Depending on the severity of the disease, medications are also used to help control blood sugars to avoid complications.

Having uncontrolled diabetes can increase risks of certain complications which is why controlling your sugar is emphasized. Eyes need to be checked at least once a year to avoid eye damage that can lead to blindness. Cholesterol needs to be controlled to help decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Regular foot examinations are important to check for wounds and deformities. These examinations can help avoid infection that can lead to nerve damage and cause loss of sensation.

Understanding diabetes is the key to good outcomes. Managing diabetes can be difficult at first but like riding a bike, it becomes easier. It is important to have someone guiding you to make the learning process easier.

The road will not always be a straight path. There will be winding roads, uphill and downhill, but we are here to help. It is necessary to continuously schedule follow up laboratory exams and appointments with your provider for proper monitoring and early detection of complications.

Home sugar monitoring increases awareness as you learn what foods increase sugar levels and what activities decrease sugar levels. You are in charge of your health.

The diabetes journey can be intimidating at first. A lifestyle with proper nutrition and healthy, enjoyable activities is for everyone and should be a part of all our busy schedules.  Compliance with medications and follow ups are an integral part of management of any disease.

Taking care of diabetes is a team effort. You can manage your diabetes with the guidance of your medical provider and support from your family. Do not let diabetes overrun you.