Health Topics 

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Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Every year 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, a condition that results from too much sugar in the blood. It's usually related to being overweight, so getting to a healthy weight is the critical first step to fighting or even reversing the disease.

The most common form of diabetes is type 2, which causes your body not to use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes extra insulin, but eventually it isn't able to make enough to keep your blood sugar at normal levels. But there are things you can do to decrease your risk.

Fight Back with Healthful Foods.
"Foods like white bread, rice and sugary snacks digest quickly and raise your blood sugar in a short period of time," says David Castrilli, M.D., internal medicine physician at CHI Memorial Internal Medicine Associates -Chattanooga. "Choosing foods low in simple sugars and high in other nutrients - like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grain breads and lean proteins - help insulin do its job and remove sugar out of the blood vessels."

Make Moving a Must Do.
The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-to vigorous exercise at least five days a week or a total of 150 minutes. Moderate intensity means you can talk, but not sing, through your workout or activity. If you're just getting started, begin with 10 minutes a day and increase a few minutes each week.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help.
If you're concerned about your weight or your risk for developing diabetes, your doctor probably is too. Your doctor, a registered dietician or diabetes educator can answer your questions. They can also help you set realistic weight loss goals (if needed), and show you ways to get to your healthy weight - and stay there.

"Everyone needs to be aware of their blood sugar levels, and the simple blood test for diabetes is usually covered by insurance," says Dr. Castrilli. "The sooner you know about a pre-diabetes or diabetes diagnosis, the sooner you can make lifestyle changes that can reverse the condition in its early stages and improve your health overall."

Could you have diabetes and not know it?
The initial symptoms of diabetes or pre-diabetes can be subtle - so subtle that you might not even notice them. If you're experiencing one or more of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Using the bathroom more frequently, especially at night
  • Increased irritability
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling exhausted, even after sleeping all night
  • Slow or non-healing wounds
  • Recurring yeast infections



Video Library

Dr. David Castrilli discusses cholesterol, exercise and healthy eating.

Dr. Jacqueline Gentry shares tips for eating healthy and exercising to achieve optimal health.

Dr. David Castrilli discusses tips for managing type 2 diabetes.

Dr. David Castrilli shares tips managing type 2 diabetes in the summer months.