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Dr. Miguel Parilo States How Glucose Maintenance is Key to Managing Diabetes

Premier HealthNet Physician Reminds Diabetics that Education is the First Step

DAYTON, Ohio (Nov. 5, 2012) – Upon learning they’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, many people feel helpless or hopeless. But experienced physicians at Premier HealthNet, one of the largest primary care physician networks in Southwest Ohio, wants people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to know that with the proper education and appropriate management of glucose levels, they can live a normal, healthy lifestyle.

“Education is one of the most important aspects of managing glucose, or blood sugar levels, and often the most overlooked,” says Miguel Parilo, MD, a Premier HealthNet physician and the medical director of both the Bull Family Diabetes Center  in Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital’s diabetes program. “Many of the patients that I meet for the first time haven’t had diabetes education, despite having longstanding diabetes. If they’ve received any education, it hasn’t been for many, many years and the information they’re using is not up-to-date.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are an estimated 24 million children and adults in the United States that have diabetes, while in Ohio there are 830,000. Meanwhile, an estimated 7 million people across the U.S. had diabetes in 2011, yet were undiagnosed.  When people in this segment learn that they do have diabetes, Dr. Parilo says education about not only the disease, but also healthy lifestyle habits and nutrition are crucial for the day-to-day management of glucose levels and the disease. Unfortunately, he adds, any given day in a hospital emergency room proves that many people with diabetes do not have the information they need.

“We regularly see people who have suffered acute complications, be it very low or very high blood sugar, and in many of these instances, it could have easily been avoided with a better understanding, or better management of the situation,” says Dr. Parilo. “The more one knows about his or her disease, the more control one has over the long term.”

Education starts with knowing the basics of the disease. Glucose is essentially sugar that the body uses for energy . Those sugars are derived from foods the body breaks down into glucose and absorbs into the bloodstream.
According to the American Diabetes Association, an appropriate glucose level range is 80-120, with a maximum non-fasting level of 180. 

For people with diabetes, having blood sugar levels outside of the appropriate range can be very dangerous. The reason, Dr. Parilo says, is because the human body recognizes high levels of blood sugar as poison. The body then does its best to dispose of the excess sugar, which he says is a stressful event for the body. Over time, Dr. Parilo notes that this can cause a hardening of the arteries, leaking blood vessels, kidney and nerve damage, blindness, amputation and even death.

The best way to manage glucose levels is for people with diabetes to establish a plan with their health care provider. This often includes nutritional and exercise information, a medication regimen and regular use of glucose monitor technology to check blood sugar levels.

For those who find that their levels are off, Dr. Parilo recommends that they make an appointment with their primary care physician to talk about how to get back to square one. People with diabetes may need to be updated on the latest information to ensure they are making the correct nutritional and lifestyle choices. There could also be new medications available that can help them better manage their glucose levels.

Miami Valley Hospital and Upper Valley and Atrium Medical Centers, part of Premier Health Partners, provide education programs for individuals to learn more about the disease and how to live with it. To learn more about Premier Health's education programs, visit https://www.premierhealth.com/diabetes/.

For more information on diabetes, or to make an appointment with a Premier HealthNet physician to discuss diabetes risks and screenings, visit www.premierhealthnet.com/doctor.   

 

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