Ask the Doctor: Diabetes, COPD cough, vitamin D supplements

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 1:14 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1: “November is American Diabetes Month. Can you talk a little bit about the risk factors and symptoms?”

DR. BOB: Diabetes is a huge problem in our country and around the world.

Diabetes describes the condition in which blood sugar becomes dangerously high in the body. It can cause blindness, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, chronic wounds.

Unfortunately, diabetes can be present for a long time without causing any outward symptoms, even though it is causing damage in the body.

There is a genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes, but much of the risk comes from lifestyle. Eating too many carbs and following a sedentary lifestyle contributes greatly to the risk and severity of diabetes.

If you are seeing your doctor regularly for wellness checkups, we will be screening you for diabetes.

For everyone who has diabetes it is important to increase exercise and to work on decreasing carbohydrates. Many people will need treatment with medications.

Question #2 (from Sue): “What’s the best remedy for COPD cough?”

DR. BOB: COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is also called emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

One of the symptoms of COPD is a chronic. It just is part of the disease.

If you have other symptoms besides cough, such as chronic shortness of breath, we will often put patients on inhaled steroids or other inhalers.

These are primarily to help with shortness of breath but will often help with a cough, too.

Question #3 (from Jill): “Do you recommend taking vitamin D daily in addition to my multivitamins?”

DR. BOB: I do not recommend taking a vitamin D supplement unless there is a specific reason.

There are many indications for vitamin D. A couple would be an actual diagnosed vitamin D deficiency or a history of thinning bones.

If you do not have a specific reason to take vitamin D, there is no significant evidence that adding a supplement is helpful. Furthermore, you are probably getting some vitamin D in your once-a-day vitamin.

So, unless you have specifically been told to take vitamin D, generally a supplement is not recommended.