4 FAQs About Diabetes
You can prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease and dialysis by controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Here are 4 of the most common questions I hear from my diabetes patients:
You can prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease and dialysis by controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure. Studies show that even if you’re late starting to control your diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re too late to prevent progression of kidney problems and dialysis.
And even if you’re very late, you can still delay the onset of dialysis. Significantly fewer patients need dialysis each year, and this is declining by 3 to 4 percent annually.
It depends on the person and the situation. Starting insulin can be just a temporary measure to fix a short-term problem, or it can be long-term.
The good news is that two-thirds of patients who are newly diagnosed with diabetes and have been started on insulin can revert to other medications as long as they follow a program of diet and exercise.
However, there are people who have had diabetes for many years, have followed a good diet and are using three or more medications to control blood sugar — yet still have high blood sugar. They will probably always need insulin.
Gastric bypass surgery is now an option for overweight people with type 2 diabetes. This procedure may reduce the need for insulin. Diet and exercise both before and after gastric bypass surgery improve your odds of staying off medications, or at least to keep the number down. Both greatly improve the expected benefits of surgery.
The benefits of diabetes medication and insulin adjustments could be short-lived, and often won’t be achieved, without diet and exercise.
A good diet and exercise may reduce the amount of medications you need and alleviate insulin’s side effects, which include low blood sugars and weight gain. Less medication means fewer side effects, not to mention less cost.
Blood sugar control is very important, but you need to also consider blood pressure and cholesterol control.
Breaking it down a little more:
Beyond making sure you control your diabetes, don’t neglect your overall health too, with annual physicals and screenings. Your good health improves your quality of life. And that’s the main purpose of any treatment.