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Living Well With Diabetes Can Be Done

When Pat Moore was persistently exhausted, had headaches and felt nauseous, her husband urged her to see a doctor to get some relief.

Mrs. Moore’s primary care doctor suspected she might have diabetes so he referred her to Dr. A. Mannan Khan of North Oaks Endocrinology Clinic in Hammond. As an endocrinologist, Dr. Khan and his partner, Dr. Corey Majors, diagnose and treat diseases of the endocrine system like diabetes, thyroid disorders and obesity.

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to either produce or use insulin, which helps the body use blood sugar for energy. Diabetes results in blood sugar that arises to abnormally high levels, and can require insulin to keep the blood glucose at healthy levels. It causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, and having diabetes nearly doubles one’s chances of having a heart attack.

Mrs. Moore had high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, was overweight, stressed and is African-American – all high risk factors for diabetes, Dr. Khan explains. Her A1C test, one of the most common tests that estimates blood sugar, scored 10.4 percent. Results of less than 5.7 percent are considered normal and greater than 6.5 indicate diabetes.

“When I learned I had diabetes, it was like being hit by a stone, and it took some getting used to,” the 5’2” Independence resident recalls. “My husband was right. I should have listened to him sooner.”

After changing her eating habits and exercising regularly, she was able to drop the A1C results to 7.4 percent within three months. Today, her goal is to get it to drop to 6 percent.

“It’s a natural reaction for those diagnosed with diabetes to feel overwhelmed,” Dr. Khan points out. “Everyone defines success differently. I recommend following Mrs. Moore’s example in setting specific goals, like lowering your A1C a percentage point or taking small steps to eating healthier.”

Mrs. Moore also shed 25 pounds by exercising and focusing on her meal plan. Her diet no longer includes some of her favorite foods that are high in starch like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes and corn.

“I had to change my eating habits. I couldn’t have any sugars or sodas, and I gave up sweets,” she notes. “I even had to give up my favorites – blueberry muffins and coconut cake – and limit myself to only one tomato.”

Yet, having diabetes doesn’t mean sugar or foods high in carbohydrates need to be completely eliminated, Mrs. Moore clarifies.

She and her five sisters are planning to write a cookbook, which will appropriately be called “Sisters.” It will include healthy options, as well as family favorites, because they want to help others learn to cook nutritious meals.

“Everyone’s body is different and what works for me might not work for someone else,” Mrs. Moore points out. “It took some getting used to but I’ve changed my entire way of eating. It can be done.”

Because exercise is important, she makes an effort to stay busy. She and her sister, Ann Glover, enjoy shopping, specifically for antiques where much walking is usually required. She also likes to garden and fish in the pond on her property, including her catch and bounty in her healthy cooking.

“It’s important to celebrate the daily triumphs in order to not get discouraged. Mrs. Moore is a good example of how, with time, eating well and exercising pay off and become a matter of course,” Dr. Khan notes.”

Mrs. Moore credits Dr. Khan for helping her cope with diabetes and living a healthier life. At first, she refused medication. But, he explained to her that she could develop kidney disease, lose her limbs or suffer other serious conditions. He even suggested four different medications before finding the appropriate one for her. She now sees him every three months to manage the diabetes.

“Dr. Khan is amazing,” she shares. “He doesn’t treat just diabetes. He treats the individual.”

For more information, contact Dr. Khan or Dr. Majors at (985) 230-7195 in Hammond or at (225) 686-4960 in Livingston.

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