Combat diabetes by adapting a healthy lifestyle

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Diabetes is a common disease that needs immediate attention to prevent the development of life threatening conditions.

According to the American Diabetes Association’s website, diabetes increases the risk of serious health conditions but can be treated with medical care and lifestyle changes.

Jeff R. Buntin, a nurse practitioner at Highland Community Hospital, said regular health check-up are important for those diagnosed with diabetes and for those who may be unaware they have it.

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He said those with insurance plans are likely to have coverage for yearly checkups that can identify chronic health conditions such as diabetes and issues with blood pressure and cholesterol.

Buntin said some common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst, blurry vision or in extreme cases fatigue.

Other symptoms listed by the Diabetes Association’s website include excessive hunger, longer healing times for cuts and bruises, weight loss despite having a regular diet and tingling, pain or numbness in the hands and feet.

Those with diabetes can manage their condition through proper diet and by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, Buntin said.

Individuals with fluctuating blood sugar levels should switch to a diet rich in high fiber fruits and vegetables, in addition to beans and lean meats.

These individuals should avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas. In relation to canned goods, avoid products with salt. Canned vegetables should be rinsed and drained to decrease the sodium content, according to American Diabetes Association. The website also suggests a list of “Diabetes Superfoods,” which include dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish, nuts, whole grains, milk and yogurt.

Physical activities such as brisk walking, swimming, strength training and stretching exercises can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, the website states.

Buntin said people diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to discuss healthy food choices with a registered dietitian at a clinic or hospital.

To schedule an appointment for blood sugar screening or to meet with a dietitian, contact Highland Community Hospital at 601-358-9765.