Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

What the Experts Say: Small Changes Can Add Up to Big Wins

Written by Nancy Parello

Using a blood test called A1c, your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels. This test should be done every three months. It is the key to controlling diabetes. “We measure sugar levels in the blood to give us an average for the last three months,’’ said Dr. RosaAnabela Tavares, associate medical director for the Long Island FQHC. “This helps us know if the diabetes is well-managed. We make all treatment decisions primarily based upon that test.’’

In addition to regular doctor visits, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Start by knowing what your ideal weight should be for your height. This is known as Body Mass Index or BMI. If you are overweight, losing some pounds can improve or even eliminate your diabetes. Any weight loss should be slow and steady. Losing and gaining weight is not healthy. Instead, try to find changes you can live with – every day.

“Diet is so important,’’ Dr. Tavares said. “By eating right, exercising and losing weight, a lot of people can eliminate their diabetes or at least reduce the amount of medications they are taking.’’ A nutritionist can help. The Long Island FQHC have nutritionists on staff who can help you find ways to improve your diet.

Nutritionists can show you how to eat healthy on a budget and how to make meal plans that are doable for your work and life schedule. A nutritionist can also help you figure out what foods are available in your neighborhood and what healthy items are most affordable. Beyond diet and exercise, stress can cause health problems and make your diabetes worse. Just taking a few minutes out a couple of times a day to relax and take 20 deep breaths can help lower stress. Little changes really do add up. Start small and you’ll find that these changes begin to become part of your daily routine – leading to a healthier you.
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The Long Island FQHC, Inc. is a family health center that provides comprehensive primary and specialty care for the whole family. We provide services for all adult, pediatric, OB/GYN, Behavioral health and dental care needs at several location throughout Nassau County. We will see patients regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of citizenship status.

© 2020 The Long Island FQHC, Inc. All rights reserved.