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Complying with your Diabetes

Type two diabetes is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis. Patients with the condition have a lot to keep track of, but doctors say if they comply, patients can stay healthy and avoid serious complications.

Dr. Alim Karim, a family medicine resident with Lee Health, says it makes a world of difference if patients with diabetes follow their doctor’s orders. “It’s something long term. We get a handful of patients that are excellent with compliance, they take their medications. They change their lifestyle, eat healthy, and incorporate physical exercise.”

Dr. Karim says most patients struggle to comply with their new lifestyle. “Trying to get them to stick to a plan is one of the tougher things dealing with diabetes.”

When a patient is diagnosed, doctors create an individualized plan for them to follow. “We do want to sit them down and go through the basics of diabetes. What are the short term complications, long term complications, how can we work on preventing them,” said Dr. Karim.

Patients with diabetes need to avoid fast food, junk food, and smoking. Their daily diet needs to consist of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. “If they don’t take care of themselves down the road, they’re going to have a lot of health problems, people are going to have to take care of them, and it’s going to be a big stress and burden on the family,” said Karim.

A regular visit with their doctor and taking their medication is also important. “We recommend at least at the start getting their blood levels checked every three months for their blood sugars for average blood sugar levels. Then we test their kidneys and their cholesterol,” said Dr. Karim.

Making those healthy changes can be hard, but not making them can eventually cause health concerns. “When your sugar is elevated for so long it can lead to things like blindness, limb amputations. If your kidneys get to the point where they’re so bad you need dialysis,” said Dr. Karim. The goal is to empower patients to take control of their diabetes.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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