Take Action Now to Control Your Diabetes

If you want to see a change, you must make a change. For diabetes control, making
change earlier is better. 

Diabetes is a progressive disease – so the more out-of-control the sugars are, the faster the diabetes will progress.  In fact, the first two years after diagnosis may be the most important
time to gain better control of the diabetes.

Controlling portions of food, losing weight and increasing physical activity are all critical pieces
of the puzzle.

Limiting carbohydrates at meals is important in order to decrease calories, lose weight and
control blood sugars.  If we limit carbohydrates, what do we balance our meal with?  More vegetables & salads can help fill the plate. Protein needs to be with every meal.

Sources of protein can be from any meat, such as fish and chicken, as well as cottage cheese.  There are other sources of protein available:
  • Eggs. One egg has 6 grams of protein and can be eaten in a variety of ways – scrambled, as an omelet, poached, hard-boiled, or in egg salad.
  • Almonds. One-quarter cup of almonds has 8 grams of protein.  Be careful to monitor your portions as nuts have twice the number of calories as any other food group.
  • Greek yogurt. Check the label – the Greek variety has twice the amount of protein as the low-fat yogurt.  Use as a snack to fill the stomach, but not upset the blood sugars.
  • Dried beans. Half a cup is a serving and has 8 grams of protein.  Be careful as beans are also a carbohydrate and eventually break down totally into sugar.
  • Quinoa. This grain has 4 grams of protein in half a cup.  It also is a carbohydrate and may cause the sugar to rise if the portion is too large.
  • Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) have 9 grams of protein in each ounce.  Add to salad or eat as a snack.

Don’t wait for a “wake-up call” to cause you to make some changes.  You can make small
changes and maintain them while continuing to work on new challenges each week.

Blood sugars are influenced by more than blood sugars.  Move, move, move!!! Try not to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time.  Even doing leg or arm exercises while sitting helps to circulate
the blood through the body and use up some of the glucose for energy.

What change do you plan on making this week? (Don’t wait until Monday) to start – today is the day!



Susan Smith, Ph.D., CDE, is a nationally Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a specialist in the field
of diabetes since 1988.

Since 2002 she has worked with patients individually through all of the internal medicine and family
practice providers at Visalia Medical Clinic.

Type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes in the United States. There does appear to be a genetic component to Type 1 diabetes, but the cause has yet to be identified.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. Type 2 diabetes primarily affects adults, however recently Type 2 has begun developing in children. There is a strong correlation between Type 2 diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity. People with Type 2 diabetes may hear their condition described as “mild,” but Type 2 diabetes is not a “mild” medical condition.


Diabetes and foot care

Jeffrey Hagen, DPM, is Board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.  He is especially interested in running/athletic injuries, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery and prevention of diabetic complications.

Uncontrolled diabetes causes damage all over the body and can lead to nerve and circulatory damage to the feet and lower legs. In fact, about 73,000 amputations were performed in the U.S. in one year alone due to uncontrolled diabetes.

Dr. Hagen works closely with VMC’s certified diabetes educator Susan Smith, Ph.D. to help patients maintain healthy control of diabetes and avoid complications of the feet. Dr. Hagen is now accepting new patients.


What are the symptoms of diabetes?

  • Blurred vision
  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow-healing cuts
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Rapid weight loss (Type 1 diabetes)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

If you experience more than one of these symptoms, make an appointment with your primary care provider.

Symptoms may occur rapidly with Type 1 diabetes; however, with Type 2 diabetes the onset is more insidious and may not be noticed.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Through a blood test measuring your blood glucose level. Usually these tests are repeated to confirm the diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, what should you do?

  • Request a referral to a certified diabetes educator and/or a dietitian
  • Obtain a prescription for a glucometer and testing supplies
  • Begin to make lifestyle changes
  • Begin an exercise program
  • Decrease portion size
  • Make healthy food choices
  • Limit your intake of concentrated sweets
  • Increase your fiber intake
  • Test your blood sugar at varying times of
    the day