By Kevin Fritz
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
She points out that while few foods are off limits to a diabetic, simple carbohydrates (e.g., white rice, white bread) should be avoided. Complex carbohydrates don’t raise the blood sugar as mush as simple carbohydrates, they digest slower, and give the body fuel. Proteins help keep your blood sugars stable. She stresses that patients need to get into the habit of reading labels on the foods they purchase, especially the amount of carbohydrates. “It adds up very fast,” she says. “The brain only needs 150 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive. “
Dr. Mazza puts few restrictions on exercise as well. She recommends 150 minutes a week, especially incorporating resistance training (bands), which has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Resistance training builds muscle, which is what burns glucose during exercise.
“The more you move the better,” she says. “It burns energy, which increases insulin sensitivity.”
Dr. Mazza says doctors can now customize each patient’s treatment plan to meet their individual needs. There are early detection markers, so in many cases, full onset of diabetes can be prevented. And if the disease does progress, doctors are now able to prevent many complications that once had life-altering consequences. Keith Davis, who has been in Dr. Mazza’s care for the past two years, is an ideal example of a patient whose treatment plan is working well.
“I’m on the other side,” he says. “My blood count is going down.”
Regardless of medical advancements, however, diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly.
“Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined,” says Dr. Mazza. “The potential for debilitating complications increases exponentially when the disease isn’t properly managed.”
Dr. Bernard Gros, a cardiologist who also practices at UCF Pegasus Health and teaches at the UCF College of Medicine, says the two highest risk factors for cardiovascular disease are smoking and diabetes.
In fact, heart disease and stroke are the two main causes of death or disability in people with Type 2 Diabetes. According to the America Heart Association, 65 percent of men and women with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.
– 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.