By Kevin Fritz
“It just kind of showed up,” he says. “It also took me a while to realize what a responsibility and obligation it was to treat it.”
Mr. Davis is not alone—not by a long shot. Twenty-six million people in the United States are living with diabetes, making it one of the most common chronic diseases for all age groups.
While we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, being overweight is a risk factor, and family history, ethnicity and age play a part. Doctors also know that increased economic stress can be a major contributing factor. When people are worried about their jobs or are out of work, those with genetic predispositions or health conditions that lead to diabetes tend to become more insulin-resistant.
“Obviously, we can’t change our genetic markers, but most people can make simple lifestyle changes that help reduce the risks of developing Type 2, or adult onset, diabetes,” says Endocrinologist Angela Mazza, who practices at UCF Pegasus Health—the physician practice for the University of Central Florida College of Medicine—and an assistant professor at the UCF College of Medicine. ”Some of the changes include reducing the amount of sugar in our diets, adding exercise to our daily routines, managing stress and getting regular checkups to monitor blood glucose levels.”
That means that living with diabetes has become much easier for people like Keith Davis, even at meal time. A healthy menu, for example, is the same for a diabetic as it is for anyone who eats healthy: low fat, moderate salt and carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. For many, so-called diabetic foods have become a thing of the past.
Dr. Mazza advises her patients to eat three meals a day, plus snacks, but limiting the carbohydrates and portion sizes. She recommends:
• 30-45 grams of complex carbohydrates at meal time
• 15 grams at snack time, such as banana
• Include protein with each meal
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article later on today……
– Kevin Fritz is a freelance writer and communicator in Orlando, Florida.
About Angela Mazza, D.O.
Dr. Mazza is an assistant professor at the UCF College of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Her clinical interests include diabetes prevention, early detection and individualized disease management. Dr. Mazza sees patients at UCF Pegasus Health, the faculty physician medical practice of the UCF College of Medicine.
About UCF Pegasus Health
As part of the UCF College of Medicine, UCF Pegasus Health was developed as a way to provide individualized, multidisciplinary health care based on the latest medical advancements. Staffed by faculty physicians, patients can receive primary and specialized care at our medical facility located at 3400 Quadrangle Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817. Specialties include sports medicine, internal medicine, endocrinology, cardiology & cardiovascular testing, geriatrics, rheumatology, neurology and nephrology. For more information call (407) 266-DOCS or visit www.UCFPegasusHealth.org.