Rachel Gray gives tips on how to thrive with diabetes

Darian Graivshark
Rachel Gray speaks to attendees while presenting a powerpoint.

Moderation, moderation, moderation. That is the key in preventing diabetes.

When you have high sugar levels in your body, it actually damages your nerves and causes things like poor digestion. Diabetes can also affect blood vessels and arteries, so it's importance to control blood sugar and pressure levels.

St. Elizabeth Hospital hosted a Thriving with Diabetes event to help educated those affected, or potentially affected, by diabetes. Rachel F. Gray was the guest speaker. She is a nurse practitioner, and has been for about six years now.

"If you're seeing me at your point in treatment, that means your kidney are probably failing, or already have failed," Gray said.

Kidney failure is a possible outcome of uncontrolled diabetes.

Chronic Kidney Disease works in stages. Stage I involves having 90 percent or more of kidney function, and results in a mild loss of function. Stage II is between mild and moderation loss of function when at 60 percent. Stage III is when hemoglobin levels begin to drop, and early bone disease may begin when at 40 percent. Stage IV causes nausea and vomiting because your kidneys are not eliminating toxins. Stage V is when patients begin dialysis, with only 10 percent of their kidney being able to function.

"We measure creatinine in a patients blood to determine how their kidneys are functioning. Typically, creatinine is excreted through the urine, so if their kidney's are functioning properly, a patient shouldn't have any creatinine in their blood," Gray said.

When a patient receives dialysis, their blood is being cleaned and eliminating impurities through a machine before it re-enters the patients body. Patients need to receive this often when undergoing dialysis, otherwise toxins will build up in their body.

"To avoid things like kidney disease, or gastroparesis, try to reduce sugary foods and keep blood pressures normal. Blood sugar is controlled by exercising. If you want to eat cake, a better option would be a sponge cake with some freshly cut fruit on top. Moderation is key," Gray said.

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