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How to Prevent Diabetes Complications

How to Prevent Diabetes Complications

Are you among the millions of Americans with diabetes or prediabetes? If so, you have a higher risk of serious health complications. Some of these diabetes-related complications include:

The good news is there are steps you can take to lower your risk of diabetes-related complications. At Wasatch Peak Family Practice & Oceans Contours, our providers specialize in helping patients of all ages in the Layton, Utah, area manage their diabetes. 

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about diabetes and preventing serious health complications.

Understanding diabetes

Your body converts food into glucose (sugar). It uses glucose as energy or fuel. Before it can use glucose for energy, however, your body needs insulin. Your body makes this hormone in your pancreas. 

When you have diabetes, your pancreas either can’t make insulin or it can’t use it in the right way. Without the right amount of insulin, the glucose stays in your blood and can’t be converted into energy.

Without treatment, diabetes can lead to many serious conditions. The two most common forms of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) are treated differently. 

About type 1 diabetes

About 5% of diabetics have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. Most people are diagnosed in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. 

If you have type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make the right amount of insulin. There’s no way to stop people with type 1 diabetes from developing the disease.

In addition, scientists don’t have a cure for type 1 diabetes. To live a healthy life, people with type 1 diabetes must monitor their insulin levels and take insulin as needed. 

About type 2 diabetes

About 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body can make insulin. However, it can’t use the hormone in the right way. As a result, your body can’t convert the glucose in your blood. 

You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

For most people with type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes are enough to reverse or keep the disease under control. Some people with type 2 diabetes also take medications or insulin. 

Preventing diabetes-related health complications

To prevent diabetes-related health complications, you need to get your blood sugar under control. Regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels helps you do this. When you see your blood sugar is too high or too low, you can make adjustments. 

You should also have regular communications with your doctor. This helps your provider catch any diabetes-related complications early, so you can get treated right away.

If you have type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes offer the best protection from complications. You can make dietary changes to improve your overall health and blood sugar. 

Consider cutting out processed foods, deep-fried foods, and alcohol and other sugary drinks. Instead, eat whole foods as part of a mostly plant-based diet high in fiber.

This type of diet also helps you lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to prevent diabetic complications. Regular exercise is also important. Exercise improves your blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and lowers your risk of diabetes-related diseases. 

Finally, if you smoke and have been diagnosed with diabetes, now is the time to quit. Scientists believe nicotine affects your body’s insulin. This can make diabetes worse and increase your chances of developing complications. 

Getting help managing diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease. It’s not something you should manage and treat by yourself. At Wasatch Peak Family Practice & Oceans Contours, we specialize in helping patients manage diabetes

Our team offers regular check-ins to monitor your blood sugar levels. Your provider also provides personalized recommendations for keeping your diabetes under control. We look for early signs of complications and make changes to your treatment plan as needed. 

Most of our type 2 diabetes patients experience major improvements with lifestyle changes. If these changes aren’t enough to manage your blood sugar, your provider can prescribe medications. 

To learn more about how you can prevent diabetes-related health complications or to schedule a diabetes screening, call our Layton office to schedule an appointment. You can also send a message online to your Wasatch Peak Family Practice & Oceans Contours provider. 

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