SSM Health Medical Minute: Living with diabetes during the holidays

Diabetes is a long-term metabolic illness where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells of the body do not respond properly to the insulin produced. This causes high blood sugar levels because insulin helps break down sugars, or glucose, from the foods we eat. So how can someone living with diabetes manage their intake of sugar during a season filled with over indulgence, carbs and sugar?

Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are type 2 diabetes. The primary cause of type 2 diabetes is excessive body mass (being overweight or obese) and/or not enough exercise.

Type 2 diabetes patients need to eat healthily, be physically active and test their blood glucose. But Dr. Dhindsa, endocrinologist at SSM Health Outpatient Center notes that it’s only natural some consumption of sugary holiday foods is ok, as along as its in moderation. Diabetes patients may want to check with their doctor and ask about oral medication and/or insulin to control blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is a serious, long-term disease, but there are treatments and regimens that, when followed properly, can help people with diabetes live long, healthful lives. Getting connected with the right care team is one of the first steps to successfully managing diabetes. Many SSM primary care physicians are recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Diabetes Recognition Program (DRP).

SSM Medical Group endocrinologists, who specialize in treating diseases of the endocrine system (including diabetes), can help one get started on a path to health and wellness.