Ask the Expert: Managing diabetes

Ask the Expert - Diabetes Management

(KUTV) When you or a family member is first diagnosed with diabetes, the amount of information you take in can be overwhelming. Treatment can be different for everyone, but it’s important to address both lifestyle and medication when it comes to treatment.

“Each patient is very independent in what they need. So much of our management is lifestyle,” says Elizabeth Hingley, Nurse Practitioner at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital.

With Type 2 diabetes, the underlying issue is insulin resistance. So it’s about figuring out ways to improve that.

“You can modify your diet to eat fewer carbohydrates. You can lose weight. You can start to exercise, that makes you more sensitive to insulin,” says Hingley.

Adding in certain medications can then help reduce the workload of your pancreas. Hingley says right now, there are a lot of new, exciting therapies and insulins that are very effective for patients.

A new mealtime insulin allows patients to dose right when they eat. This is going to be a lot easier on parents with children with diabetes and for adults with diabetes.

New long-acting insulins give patients more flexibility. They only have to dose them once a day, and with the newer ones, they don’t even have to dose at the same time every day.

There are also new injectables, newer insulin pumps, and new oral medications that can help get rid of glucose through urine.

“It helps lower weight. It helps lower blood pressure. It helps to lower blood sugars after a meal,” says Hingley.

Once you’re stable with a treatment plan, it’s important to follow up regularly with a provider.

“The standard of care is to check-in every three months and check their A1C and check some other blood work just to make sure their kidneys and liver function is normal,” says Hingley.