How to Manage Diabetes

Affecting approximately 11 percent of the United States population, diabetes is a chronic and incurable disease that impacts individuals and families across the country. According to the CDC, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Patients can drastically improve their quality of life and prevent or delay health complications by understanding and prioritizing diabetes management. CHI St. Vincent endocrinologist Dr. Nidhi Jain says that means “making those lifestyle changes and sticking to them.”

A healthy lifestyle for patients with diabetes includes a good diet, physical activity, taking medication and monitoring blood sugars. “The family tree, the lifestyle, exercise or lack of it and yes, diet where there’s leaner meat and more fruit and more vegetables and less processed foods,” Dr. Jain said.

However, it’s also important for patients to remember that they don’t have to manage diabetes on their own. Regular check-ups with a doctor are a vital part of developing a healthy lifestyle.

“Diabetes is a long-term chronic illness, so they need support,” said Dr. Jain, “not just in the beginning but throughout their diagnoses.”

Dr. Jain is part of the team of specialists at the CHI St. Vincent Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic, which works with patients to develop a personalized plan. With locations in Little Rock and Sherwood, the clinic treats all types of diabetes along with disorders of the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands.