Doctor provides tips on how to prevent and reverse diabetes
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - It’s National Diabetes Month. The disease is just one of the many underlying health conditions that can lead to severe COVID-19 symptoms. It can weaken the immune system and make it harder for people to fight the virus.
“A lot of people with Type 2 diabetes are older. They might be having elective surgeries right now, they’re at an increased risk for heart attack, and we know we have to do our part to keep those hospital beds open for people who do have those elective surgeries and medical emergencies,” Geriatric Physical Therapist Dr. Morgan Nolte said. “Not only are you at an increased risk of complications with COVID-19, you are at an increased risk for any condition.”
Diabetes is caused by insulin resistance where the body has a hard time getting sugars from the blood stream into the tissues. It can cause heart disease, dementia, vascular disease and other long-term affects.
Nolte is a physical therapist who specializes in Geriatrics and helps adults lose weight and prevent diabetes. She said the disease is preventable and completely reversible.
“If we can optimize what you eat and when you eat, your stress, sleep, and movement, even one of those pillars, and help you get some of the weight off and keep it off with habit change, you’re going to be at a much better place physically going into a COVID-19 diagnosis,” Nolte said.
People need to keep their stress levels down because it causes blood sugar levels to go up. They should exercise and incorporate moderate to high strength training to see results.
People should watch what they eat by eliminating added sugars like pop, sugar, candy, and replace these foods with healthy fats, protein and fiber. They should also intermittent fast for at-least 12 hours day to reduce snacking and prevent weight gain.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there about weight loss, that it’s about calories in and calories out and it’s not, it’s about lowering your insulin,” Nolte said.
1 in 3 adults have pre-diabetes, but 9 out of 10 people don’t even know they have it. Type 2 diabetes is known as the silent killer.
“If you’re in the overweight and obese category I recommend getting checked at your doctors office at-least once a year for a complete blood panel," Nolte said. "If you’re not overweight I still recommend getting checked once a year especially if you’re over the age of 30 or 40.”
People who are too afraid to go to the doctor during this pandemic, can buy a blood glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels at home. Ideal glucose numbers are going to be between 70 and 99, 100 to 125 is pre-diabetes, and 126 or higher with two separate readings means the person is diabetic.
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