Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/Diabetes
Hi Barb- im jason. im writing because im concerned about my mother. She is 68 and basically in good health but she has been 30 lbs overweight for years and recently found out her blood sugar is in the diabetic zone. she has no symptoms of diabetes and it doesnt run in our family. she got scared enough to finally take charge and change her diet around, but i am worried about her. do you have any suggestions? i am worried that the condition will worsen and that she will eventually need insulin. would appreciate any suggestions
thanks so much
Can you tell me a little more about your mother? Does she have any limitations on her physical activities? Would she be able to exercise?
Suggestions regarding diet.... your mother should learn to count carbohydrates. Most foods are labeled as to carb content. She should limit her carb intake to no more than 150 grams per day, no more than 35 grams at any one meal or snack.
The carbs that she does eat should be complex carbs, from whole grains and fruits (NOT fruit juice) and vegetables. She should avoid simple carbs like white bread, rice, pasta, and corn.
If she doesn't have any physical limitations, she should start out by walking for 15 minutes every day, fast enough to make her breathe hard. After a week, increase the time to 20 minutes, then 30. Ideally, if there is a gym or a Y she can join, she should do strength training three days a week. The reason for this is that muscle burns more blood sugar than fat does... the more muscle she has, the better her blood sugar will be. Also, losing just 15 pounds (and adding muscle) will make a big difference in avoiding diabetes.
I know that SOME Medicare supplement insurance offers a complimentary membership to a gym. Your mother might have one of these policies.
Hope this helps!