Valley Doctors Says Team Approach More Suitable to Treat Diabetes

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MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley clinic says a team approach is a smart way to address diabetes.

Teresa Herrera says her diagnosis happened just like it happens to many people. She says a busy work schedule and limited time distracted her from taking care of her health.

Before work at Dr. Monzer Yazji’s office, she worked at a restaurant. Her favorite food:

“Desserts, yes, of course,” she says.

A lot of people laugh at their sweet tooth but Herrera says she knows it’s what led her to a diabetes diagnosis at 27.

Now, she’s more knowledgeable and more careful.

“I didn’t even know I was diabetic. So the next day they test me, everything came out real high,” she says.

Herrera says it benefits her to around medical staff, people with different titles. Each with a little bit more advice on how to manage the disease.

“How to eat, how to exercise,” she explains.

Dr. Yazji, who runs the clinic Herrera works in, says results come from a team. He says this includes a nutritionist, dietitian, a psychologist, among others.

“With this kind of approach, it makes a huge difference in a patient. Then the patient starts really feeling the support system, starts seeing the big picture, starts seeing he’s not alone,” he explains.

He says medicine alone won’t cut it.

“We’re not talking about just making your numbers perfect. We’re really talking about making your life better,” says Dr. Yazji.

He says the program caters to the patient. The key team members assess the patient and then make a plan.

Dr. Yazji says it includes diet, exercise, medication and an overall change of lifestyle patterns.

He says results are analyzed every so often and when something needs to be changed, it’s changed.

Herrera says she’s glad she’s keeping up with a disciplined game plan.

“I was 205 pounds years back,” she says. “I started eating well, less, more but less.”

She says in the end, people around you may help but you answer to yourself.

“Not everybody can be there for you. You have to establish yourself and say, ‘I got to do this for myself,’” she says.

Herrera says she now feels better, has more energy and is in control of her diabetes.

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