The holidays can be a particularly difficult time, especially for seniors with diabetes.
Dr. Martin Nejat, a family medicine doctor at Conviva Care Centers, has provided some insight on why it’s so important to stay healthy during the pandemic.
What exactly is diabetes?
“Our body breaks down the food we eat into sugar or energy,” stated Conviva Care Centers. “The pancreas makes insulin to help push the sugar into your cells. When you have diabetes, your body either can’t make enough of the insulin, or is not able to use it as well as it should.”
Diabetes is a very serious condition it’s a complex medical problem that is very prevalent in the San Antonio area, according to Nejat.
“There are four types of diabetes. In the San Antonio area, when we talk about diabetes, we are usually referring to Type 2 diabetes,” Nejat said. “It’s a disease of basically obesity. The sugars are high because the body simultaneously has decreased insulin production and insulin resistance and both of these conditions are caused by obesity.”
Is all sugar created equal?
“Absolutely not. One way to monitor this is by using the glycemic index,” said a representative for Conviva Care Centers.
Nejat said any organ in the body can be affected by high sugar.
“Right now we are in a pandemic, and one of the ways that makes you more likely to have serious complications of COVID is poorly controlled diabetes,” Nejat said.
How should I read a nutrition label to assess if this food is OK for me to eat?
You want to pay close attention to the carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugar, specifically, the added sugar.
Another rule of thumb is to do most of your grocery shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, picking up fresh fruit and produce, meats, etc., and stay away from the packaged goods, known as processed foods.
How do I lower my blood sugar?
Take medication, have a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and exercise frequently.
If you are looking for a new health care group, Conviva Care Centers has eight locations in San Antonio — and each location has activity centers that are free and open to anyone ages 55 and older for primary care. To learn more, click here.