It Takes a Team to Control Diabetes

Released: 11/2/2016

WESTMED's healthcare providers say that the team approach in diabetes care wins. Dr. Randy Stein, an endocrinologist, says, “A great deal can be done to prevent the complications of diabetes that used to be seen years ago, such as amputations, blindness and kidney disease."  Barbara DiLello-Smith, RN, BS and certified diabetes educator adds, “At WESTMED, the members of our diabetes care team are the primary care physician, the endocrinologist, the  diabetes educator, the nurse practitioner, the ophthalmologist, podiatrist, nutritionist and the patient.”

ABCs of diabetes: Knowing your numbers prevents complications.
• A1C (hemoglobin) – A level below 7 is good. Your doctor should check this at least twice a year to measure your blood glucose level over the last three months.
• Blood Pressure - Diabetics should have a target blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg.
• Cholesterol - LDL (bad) cholesterol should be below 100 mg/dl; HDL (healthy) cholesterol should be above 40 mg/dl for men and 50 mg/dl for women; triglycerides should be below 150 mg/dl.

Do Your Homework
• Use fingersticks to self-monitor your blood glucose - The main tool you have to check your diabetes control is to continuously monitor your blood sugar. “Having a good blood glucose meter is like having your own laboratory,” says Dr. Stein. “Blood sugar monitoring is important because tight control protects against complications, such as neuropathy and kidney disease.” And when you’re traveling, “don’t leave home without your meter,” she adds.
• Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Work with your doctor and tweak it until it works well.

Other Tests to Discuss With Your Doctor
• Fasting blood sugar test: Tests how your body is working overnight—before you eat.
• Post-prandial blood sugar test: Measures blood sugar exactly two hours after eating a meal. This can give you a relationship between food intake and glucose level.

Getting Your Insulin
Your health care team will help you with insulin therapy that fits your lifestyle and keeps your blood glucose near normal. You will be taught how to manage your diabetes using a variety of glucose monitoring and insulin-delivery devices.

Eating Healthy – America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes
Keeping yourself on track and eating healthy is very important. Another knowledgeable resource for you at WESTMED is nutritionist, Allison (Allie) Holzer, RD, CDE, who is also a certified diabetes educator. Ms. Holzer offers nutritional counseling on diabetes including gestational diabetes and weight loss.

Special Reminders from Ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Zabin and Podiatrist Dr.Harold Goldstein

• Take Care of Your Eyes
“Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is very important, but whether an individual has just been diagnosed or has had diabetes for decades, periodic eye exams at least once every year--or more frequently for some-- are necessary,” says Dr. Steven Zabin, WESTMED ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist is “able to detect diabetic conditions in the eye well before the patient may suffer visual loss. As a result, there are treatment options available to reverse, contain and even prevent progressive loss of sight,” he explains.

• Proper Foot Care is Essential

Fast Fact: Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation up to 85 percent.

Diabetes patients need to pay attention to their feet and keep them healthy. Dr. Harold Goldstein, WESTMED podiatrist, says, “The key to amputation prevention is early detection and regular foot screenings from a podiatrist at least once a year.” Warning signs in your feet that should be promptly addressed are: skin color changes, elevation in skin temperature, swelling of the foot or ankle, pain in the legs, slow-healing open sores on the feet, ingrown and fungal toenails, bleeding corns and calluses, and dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel.

Contact Information
WESTMED’s physicians who provide medical care to diabetes patients are the following endocrinologists: Drs. Randy Stein, Zorayda Pretto and Dr. Kenneth Weiser at (914) 831-4150; Dr. Preeti Kishore, MBBS at (914) 305-2720 and Dr. Shelly Im at (914) 831-4150. The coordinator of WESTMED’s Diabetes Education Program is Barbara DiLello-Smith, RN,BS,CDE,CPT. She sees patients at the White Plains, Ridge Hill, Rye and Purchase offices, phone (914) 831-4154. For our Diabetes Educator and Nutritionist Allie Holzer, RD, CDE, CDN at 210 Westchester Avenue and Ridge Hill, call (914) 831-4150. To reach Dr. Steven Zabin, phone (914) 682-6560 and Dr. Harold Goldstein, phone (914) 682-6440,