Diabetes affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. There’s no cure, but a combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help prevent diabetes complications such as nerve damage, limb amputation, kidney failure, and vision loss.
Regularly monitoring your blood glucose is critical to successful diabetes management.
Family medicine specialist and female physician Poonam Malhotra, MD, at Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, follows a whole-patient approach to managing diabetes. Her customized treatment plans are structured to meet your lifestyle, schedule, and overall health care needs.
Check these tips from Dr. Malhotra about managing your diabetes and why blood glucose monitoring is essential.
Blood glucose (blood sugar) refers to the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, makes it possible for your cells to use glucose.
If you have diabetes, your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, or your cells can’t use it effectively for energy. That causes high blood glucose levels that, over time, can cause serious health complications, including damage to your blood vessels, nerves, and organs.
Your diet, exercise, stress, and various lifestyle habits, such as smoking, can positively or negatively impact your blood glucose.
Checking your blood sugars regularly helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your diabetes treatment plan and gives you real-time insight into what causes your blood sugar to rise too high or drop too low.
There are several methods to check blood glucose levels:
Probably the most common way to check blood sugar is with a blood glucose meter. This small medical device measures the amount of glucose in a drop of blood obtained by pricking the tip of your finger with a lancet.
The blood is then placed on a test strip inserted into the meter. The meter displays the blood glucose level within a few seconds. Most meters automatically track the readings in a log for later review.
Dr. Malhotra develops a schedule for checking your blood sugar, maybe first thing in the morning, a couple of hours after a meal, or just before supper. Varying the timing of blood sugar checks can help you see how certain foods or activities affect your diabetes management.
CGM devices use a tiny sensor inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in the fluid around the cells. The sensor sends data to a receiver or smartphone, which displays real-time glucose readings and trends.
The CGM option can provide more detailed information about glucose levels over time and help people with diabetes make better diet, exercise, and insulin-dosing decisions.
A hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) test, done via a blood draw at Central Clinic, measures your average blood sugar levels over three months. Dr. Malhotra may recommend checking your A1C every six months or so to evaluate your diabetes control.
Here are common approaches Dr. Malhotra may recommend to help you manage diabetes:
A healthy diet is crucial for managing diabetes. A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Exercise is essential for maintaining good health, especially for people with diabetes. Regular exercise can help control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular health.
Several types of medication can manage diabetes, including insulin, oral medications, and injectable medications.
Quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and reducing stress can all help manage diabetes.
Close follow-up with a qualified physician is essential to effective diabetes management. Dr. Malhotra works with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs and goals and helps prevent severe health complications related to poorly controlled diabetes.
Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Malhotra at Central Clinic today for outstanding health care, including diabetes management. Call the office or request an appointment online.