PLATTSBURGH — Recent upgrades at the Northeast Center for Diabetes Care and Education will provide a more comprehensive and financially supported service for patients across the region.
Dr. Jonathan Beach, who has managed his own Type 1 diabetes since his childhood, oversees activity at the Northeast Center, which shares office space with Urgicare of the Northeast at Hammond Lane.
“We’ve put together a program to meet the complete needs of diabetic folks in the North Country,” Beach said as he talked about some of those upgrades recently. “We offer diabetes-management programs, insulin management and other education programs.
“As always, we encourage regular exercise along with appropriate diet,” he added. “We’ve recently brought in a registered dietitian to ensure that service is available to our patients.”
Tracey Soulia is the new dietitian who will be available to assist patients with diabetes in managing their weight and making proper food choices.
“Every patient is different, but we can look at the medical diagnosis (of each patient) and help patients manage their diets so they are making healthy food choices without side-effects,” Soulia said.
The proper diet for a diabetic does not necessarily focus on calories; the patient has to be conscious of carbohydrates, minerals and other nutrients in food that can impact blood-sugar levels, she explained.
“The body breaks carbs down to different types of sugars,” she said, adding that the body also uses insulin to pull those sugars into cells, a process that is impacted by diabetes.
The focus on carbohydrates is complicated by the fact that all types of food contain carbs, including normally healthy choices like fruit.
Blood pressure can also play a role in the diabetics diet: reducing salt in the diet is one measure to help reduce an elevated blood pressure.
“Each patient needs individual support, Soulia said. “We always encourage activity, but there are other factors we always have to consider.”