Manage diabetes with lifestyle changes, smart choices

DAYTON, OHIO—Diabetes may be more deadly in the United States than previously thought. It is the seventh leading cause of death in our country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Diabetes can cause serious medical conditions including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and lower-extremity amputations.

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that allows glucose to be taken from the bloodstream and into cells. Only 5 percent of people with the disease have type 1. In type 2, the body doesn’t use insulin properly and, over time, can’t produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels.

As part of American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is March 28, a local physician is sharing tips for those living with the disease or at risk of developing it. Ankur Gupta, M.D., a physician with Wright State Physicians Internal Medicine and an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, says a proactive mindset is best for dealing with the disease that occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired.

“A combination of poor diet, obesity and sedentary lifestyle has made diabetes more prevalent than it once was,” Gupta said. “But by making positive choices, it’s possible to reduce the risk of developing the disease.”

The results of the Diabetes Prevention Program showed that people can delay and possibly prevent diabetes by losing a modest, 5 to 7 percent of total body weight through 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week and healthier eating.

“Eat a variety of foods to get good nutrition and to meet your vitamin and mineral needs,” Gupta said. “Green leafy vegetables, beans, whole grains and other foods with a low glycemic index and good fiber content get absorbed slowly, leading to a slow rise in blood sugar while helping you to feel full longer.”

For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website. To schedule an appointment with Wright State Physicians Internal Medicine, call (937) 223-5350.