A More Modern Approach to Diabetes Primarily Relies Upon Diet and Lifestyle Management

A More Modern Approach to Diabetes Primarily Relies Upon Diet and Lifestyle Management

Often combined with regular ongoing blood glucose level monitoring. Diet management allows control and awareness of the types of nutrients entering the digestive system, and hence allows indirectly, significant control over changes in blood glucose levels. Blood glucose monitoring allows verification of these, and closer control, especially important since some symptoms of diabetes are not easy for the patient to notice without actual measurement.

Other approaches include exercise and other lifestyle changes which impact the glucose cycle. In addition, a strong partnership between the patient and the primary care physician or dibetic  nurse – is an essential tool in the successful management of diabetes. Often the primary care doctor makes the initial diagnosis of diabetes and provides the basic tools to get the patient started on a management program. Regular appointments with the primary care physician and a certified diabetes educator  are some of the best things a patient can do in the early weeks after a diagnosis of diabetes. Upon the diagnosis of diabetes, the primary care physician, specialist, or endocrinologist will conduct a full physical and medical examination. A thorough assessment covers topics such as:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Blood pressure measurements
  • Thyroid examination
  • Examination of hands, fingers, feet, and toes for circulatory abnormalities
  • Blood tests for fasting blood sugar, A1c, and cholesterol
  • Family history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke
  • Prior infections and medical conditions
  • A list of current medications, including:
    • Prescription medications
    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements
  • Smoking history, including encouragement to stop smoking (if applicable)
  • Signs of complications with pregnancy or trying to get pregnant for women patients
  • Eating and exercise habits
  • Vision abnormalities, to check for eye health issues
  • Urination abnormalities, which can indicate kidney disease  

Diabetes can be very complicated, and the physician needs to have as much information as possible to help the patient establish an effective management plan. Physicians may often experience data overload resulting from hundreds of blood-glucose readings, insulin dosages and other health factors occurring between regular office visits which must be deciphered during a relatively brief visit with the patient to determine patterns and establish or modify a treatment plan.

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