Diabetes Specialist

Florida Compassionate Care Centers

Internal Medicine & Medical Marijuana Specialists located in Volusia County, Ormond Beach, FL

If you have diabetes, you may be struggling to control your blood sugar. Medical marijuana can help to regulate blood sugar levels and alleviate diabetes symptoms when paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Expert doctor Gail van Diepen, DO, prescribes medical marijuana to women and men with diabetes at Florida Compassionate Care Centers in Ormond Beach, Florida. To find out if you’re a candidate for treating your diabetes with medical marijuana, call the office or book online today.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition in which you can’t produce enough insulin (Type 1) or your body becomes resistant to the insulin you’re able to produce (Type 2). 

Insulin is a hormone that transports dietary sugar from your bloodstream into the cells that need sugar for energy. If you don’t have enough insulin, or if you’re insulin resistant, the sugar can’t get into your cells and instead circulates through your blood vessels.

When your blood sugar levels are high, they damage your blood vessels and cause serious complications. If you have diabetes, you’re at increased risk for:

  • Neuropathy (nerve pain)
  • Vision problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Foot damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Gangrene and amputation

About 1.25 million American women, men, and children have Type 1 diabetes, while another 29 million or so have Type 2 diabetes.  

Why do I have diabetes?

Researchers aren’t sure what causes Type 1 diabetes, although genetics and the environment may be involved. 

If you have Type 1, your immune system erroneously attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Your body then can’t produce the insulin it needs to transport sugar from your blood into your cells. 

Type 2 diabetes may also be influenced by genetics and the environment. However, you’re more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or if you eat a diet high in sugar and processed foods. 

You may be able to prevent or control both types of diabetes with a diet that emphasizes fresh food and by adding more physical activities and exercise to your daily routine. 

However, many people with Type 1, and some with Type 2, may need insulin injections to keep their blood sugar stable.

How does medical marijuana help with diabetes?

Medical marijuana helps to alleviate the symptoms associated with diabetes, such as neuropathy. However, it also regulates your blood sugar. Medical marijuana has been shown to:

  • Lower fasting glucose levels
  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Lower body weight
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Suppress inflammation in arteries
  • Improve circulation
  • Relieve tingling in feet and hands

The team at Florida Compassionate Care Centers may recommend medical marijuana to improve your blood glucose levels and address diabetes symptoms as part of a customized treatment plan. They also recommend switching to a whole-foods diet, increasing activity, and quitting smoking and excess alcohol use. 

To find out if medical marijuana should be part of your diabetes management plan, contact Florida Compassionate Care Centers today by phone or using the online form.