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Understanding diabetes risk early can help better manage the disease

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Diabetes Alert Day as diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States® This book is intended to be a daily ‘wake-up call’ to the importance of understanding the seriousness and risks of diabetes. The sooner you know your risk, the sooner you can take steps to prevent the disease and even learn how to manage it. Just ask 35-year-old Crystal Gonzalez. She said she felt that something was wrong when she felt that she was always thirsty.

“I started to feel like my body was the Sahara Desert,” says her mother, who suffered from high blood sugar and excessive thirst, a sign of high blood sugar, and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 54. A busy single mother explains:

“I was worried because I know there is a genetic link to diabetes,” Crystal said. When he visited his family doctor, it was discovered that his blood sugar level was over 500 mg/dL, which is considered dangerously high. . Her hemoglobin A1C, a blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over a three-month period, is 11.5%, and a normal A1C is 5.7% or less. Crystal’s suspicions were correct. She was told that she had developed type 2 diabetes and needed to take action to improve her metabolic health.

Crystal is one of more than 1.4 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes each year. Most experts agree that type 2 diabetes is prevalent in this country and can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and more.

Chronically high blood sugar levels caused by eating certain foods can change your body’s ability to use insulin properly, leading to type 2 diabetes.

Crystal said she grew up enjoying traditional Puerto Rican dishes that are high in rice, potatoes, and other starches that are high in carbohydrates that the body converts into sugar.

We have a vibrant and delicious food culture, but sometimes that means too much starchy, too much food. ”

crystal gonzalez

She made an appointment with an endocrinologist and began looking into other ways to deal with her diabetes. Coincidentally, her place of worship, Agape Christian Ministries in Paterson, N.J., hosted a women’s conference in May, with staff and information from the Molly Diabetes Education and Management Center for Adults and Children at Hackensack University Medical Center. participated.

“At that point I was very upset and didn’t know what to do to manage my diabetes,” Crystal said. “I received her one of her MOLLY Center speaker cards and scheduled her to make an appointment. And about 20 days later she made her first appointment on May 30th.” she says.

“Shortly before I went to the Molly Center, I was at a buffet dinner party, and there was a lot of pasta, and it all looked like starch,” Crystal said. “I couldn’t eat anything and I was on the verge of tears. It felt like food was my enemy. Being introduced to the MOLLY Center was a really good time for me and my health.

MOLLY Center offers an unparalleled approach to diabetes treatment and management, including a wide range of support services and the latest treatments to help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. The team is comprised of HUMC’s endocrinologists, certified clinical social workers, and certified medical assistants, as well as registered nurses and registered dietitians who are certified diabetes care and education experts.

“Over time, I learned a lot from the nutritionists at the MOLLY Center. They taught me that diabetes affects the entire body and that it’s more than just an excess of sugar. “I learned how to read food labels and how to read the information on food labels. The packaging,” Crystal said. “They taught me that food is not the enemy, but I learned that I needed to be able to critically evaluate what I was going to eat, that I needed to eat more protein and vegetables, and that I needed to eat more protein and vegetables. It taught me that I needed to drink more water, and that I needed to cut down on carbohydrates.I didn’t have to completely cut out all sugar-filled foods, it was all about moderation. is.”

She also learned that type 2 diabetes can be managed with the right actions and that type 1 diabetes has less of a genetic component. “I have antibodies for her type 1 diabetes, but my condition is very sensitive to diet and exercise, so it gives me hope for both me and my daughter,” she says. It was blood, but through a fork,” she joked.

Krystal says she has changed her eating habits quite a bit, and although she is sometimes able to eat a slice of pizza, her favorite food, she knows she can’t do it every day. She said she also learned how to estimate carbohydrates in foods. For example, half a cup of rice contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, which is acceptable for her serving. She said the food itself isn’t bad, but portion control is very important.

In addition to managing her diet, she learned several behavioral techniques to reduce calories and weight. One is to eat slowly and focus on your food. “Now, when we eat as a family, we sit at the table and talk without doing anything else. We focus on the food, eat slowly, and really enjoy it. The food comes first. And be grateful for the moment, but also be more conscious and eat less.”

I also try to walk for at least 30 minutes after dinner. Not only does this help her body and metabolism, but it’s also great for her dog, Octopus.

So what was the result of Crystal’s determination to manage her type 2 diabetes? Her A1C level dropped from 11.5% to 6.5%. She lost 32 pounds, and while her weight loss reduced her fat, her muscle mass did not.

“I still have a lot of work to do, so I want to lose another 35 pounds and continue to lower my blood sugar marker numbers,” says Crystal. “But I really feel like I turned the corner on diabetes. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the MOLLY Center.”

This Diabetes Awareness Day, click to know your risk here Take our 60 second risk assessment.

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