Patients living with diabetes are at risk for a lot of other health problems. But health experts say you can lower your risk for health problems and maintain your diabetes.
Dr. Patricia Sareh, an endocrinologist on staff at Lee Memorial Health System, says patients with diabetes can also struggle with a wide range of health problems. “They have a higher chance of having heart attacks unfortunately. Other complications are kidney problems. It can lead to kidney disease, and if severe enough, dialysis.”
Patients with diabetes can also have problems with their vision or develop neuropathy, where they lose sensation in their hands and feet. “That could lead to foot ulcers and sometimes amputations,” said Dr. Sareh.
Fortunately, all the problems can be prevented if the diabetes is controlled from the start. “They need to make sure their blood pressure is controlled, their cholesterol is controlled because all of those things will also increase their risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Sareh.
If the patient is overweight, losing weight will help lower their risk for heart complications. “Once you’re diagnosed with diabetes we say that you have diabetes but you can get your sugars to a level that is normal,” said Dr. Sareh.
Depending on the type of diabetes, patients could maintain their diabetes by improving their lifestyle. “If you maintain a good lifestyle and a good diet you may be able to come off all your medications and not really need to be treated for diabetes. But you still have that risk for diabetes,” said Dr. Sareh.
A healthy, active lifestyle will help patients manage their diabetes and lower their risk for future health problems.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.
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