What You Probably Don’t Know, But Should About Treating Diabetes!
Here are the top five things you should do to treat diabetes in order of importance:
- Don’t smoke. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent heart attacks and strokes and improve your life expectancy particularly if you have diabetes.
- Control your Blood pressure. This is the next most important thing you can do. Your blood pressure should be below 140/90. For every 15 patients whose blood pressure is controlled over 10 years, one life will be saved. For every six patients whose blood pressure is controlled, 1 patient avoided a serious diabetes related complication such as blindness, heart attack, stroke, amputation or kidney failure. Since I have about 276 diabetes patients who also have hypertension, if I controlled them all, I could save 18 lives and prevent 46 serious complications of diabetes over 10 years!
- Take Metformin. It has been proven to be superior to all other diabetic medication. One life over 10 years is saved for every 15 diabetic patients treated with metformin.
- Take a statin (Lovastatin, atorvastatin, ETC.) It is now recommended all patients with diabetes between the ages of 40 and 75 take a statin if the LDL cholesterol is over 70. It only takes treating 27 patients for four years to prevent a major heart attack or stoke.
- Control your blood sugar to keep your HgbA1c under 8.0. Low blood sugars can result in heart attacks so call the office for adjustment of your medication if your blood sugar is low.
Other helpful facts you should know:
- Exercise and weight loss is very important in the treatment of diabetes and can actually eliminate the disease. I have personally had dozens of patients who after weight loss and exercise have been able to stop their medication and eliminate the diagnosis of diabetes altogether!
- It is important to get a pneumonia shot when first diagnosed with diabetes. It only needs to be repeated at age 65 and at least 5 years after the first pneumonia shot.
- Get a flu shot yearly usually in September.
- The Diabetes Center helps educate patients about diabetes. Studies show that patients have fewer complications if they attend the Diabetes Center when first diagnosed with diabetes.
- The relationship of high blood pressure and strokes is based on blood pressure readings taken in a doctor’s office. Therefore, blood pressures taken at home can be completely normal and if your blood pressures are high in a doctor’s office you still may be at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
- The diastolic blood pressure should not be under 65 in elderly people.
The information provided above is offered as a community service about health-care issues and is not a substitute for individual consultation. Advice on individual problems should be obtained from your personal physician. This information is based on research by the author and represents his interpretation of the literature.