Diabetes Care Overview
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to many complications. For instance, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney failure. The good news is that these complications are treatable. In fact, you can live with diabetes and still be healthy.
Understanding Type 1
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar into energy.
Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed by blood tests that show abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood and low levels of insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use it properly. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes depend on how much sugar is present in the blood:
• Symptoms may include frequent urination, extreme thirst, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and blurred vision.
• Severe symptoms may include dizziness, fainting (or even seizures), hunger pains (which may be severe), and confusion or irritability.
Understanding Type 2
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body’s cells do not produce enough insulin or do not respond to it properly.
There are many causes of type 2 diabetes, including age, family history, obesity, and poor diet. In order to prevent this disease, you should eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women. It is most common in the third trimester of pregnancy, and often goes away after the baby is born.
There are two types of gestational diabetes:
1. Type 1 Diabetes: This type of gestational diabetes starts when a woman’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep her blood sugar level normal. Insulin helps regulate how much sugar enters your bloodstream from your food or drink.
2. Gestational Diabetes With Impaired Fasting Glucose: This type of gestational diabetes happens when a woman’s body makes some insulin but not enough to control her blood sugar levels well during fasting periods, like overnight or after she has been exercising for more than an hour.
A doctor will diagnose you with prediabetes if your fasting blood sugar level is between 100 and 125 mg/dL and you have other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care: 8 ways to Avoid Complications
1. Make a commitment to managing your diabetes
– Eat a healthy diet.
– Exercise regularly.
– Take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
2. Dont smoke
Smoking can lead to diabetes in a number of ways.
One way is by smoking being bad for your blood sugar levels. Smoking can decrease the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels and leads to Type 2 diabetes. Smoking also increases risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, which can increase the risk of having diabetes as well.
Another way smoking can lead to diabetes is by increasing inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation may cause cells that line small arteries and veins, called endothelial cells, to become less responsive to insulin-lowering signals from the pancreas that normally reduce blood sugar levels after meals when they should be lowered instead. This causes these cells not to lower their glucose levels as much as they should, leading to an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes during pregnancy among other health issues like lung cancer and emphysema.
3. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control
There are many ways to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Some of the key steps include:
• Avoiding excessive salt intake.
• Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.
• Consuming fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index (such as avocados).
• Increasing physical activity levels to help reduce stress on the body.
4. Schedule regular physicals and eye exams
You should schedule regular physicals and eye exams to maintain your health.
Physicals: Regular physicals are important for keeping you healthy and can help identify any problems that might be developing. The annual physical will include an examination of your eyes, heart, lungs, nervous system, muscles, skin, and thyroid gland as well as tests for diabetes and high blood pressure.
Eye Exams: A routine eye exam is a good way to make sure that you are seeing properly. These exams include dilating the pupils with drops or lasers so that the doctor can examine the retina in each eye and check for signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or other diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
5. Keep your vaccines up to date
Keeping your vaccines up to date is very important because it helps prevent diseases. There are many benefits of maintaining good vaccination records such as:
• It helps protect you from getting sick and spreading the disease to others.
• It protects your health insurance provider and reduces the risk of being denied coverage due to poor immunization status.
• It will help you receive the most up-to-date medical care in case you do get sick with a vaccine-preventable disease.
6. Take care of your teeth
There are many things that can cause damage to your teeth.
Some of the most common causes of tooth decay are:
– Drinking too much soda or other sugary drinks.
– Eating foods with sugar in them.
– Using a lot of acidic fruits and vegetables like oranges, lemons, tomatoes, etc.
7. Pay attention to your feet
Diabetes affects your feet in many ways. It can cause nerve damage, ulcers, or infections that can lead to amputation.
It is also important to take care of your feet as they are the first place that you touch when walking or standing. This is why it is important to keep them clean and dry.
8. Take stress seriously
-Stress is a major factor in causing diabetes.
-Sedentary lifestyle contributes to type 2 diabetes by promoting insulin resistance and weight gain.
-Diabetes can lead to stress related health issues such as hypertension, heart disease, strokes, depression, and anxiety.
Questions about Diabetes
Q: How do I know if my blood sugar levels are normal or not?
To determine if your blood sugar levels are normal or not, use a meter that can measure the amount of glucose in your blood. If the reading is lower than 70 mg/dL, then it means that you have too much sugar in your bloodstream and you should consult with a doctor.
Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes?
If you are diabetic, then there are some symptoms that you should be aware of.
Some of the common symptoms include:
• You have excessive thirst or frequent urination.
• Your skin is dry and your lips may appear cracked.
• You feel tired all the time and experience blurry vision or tingling in your hands and feet.
• You suffer from heart disease, kidney failure, neuropathy, and retinopathy.
Q: How can I prevent getting diabetes in the first place?
The best way to prevent diabetes is by keeping your blood sugar levels in check. This can be done by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
There are many ways that you can do this:
• Avoid processed foods, sugars, and fats.
• Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day or less.
• Eat breakfast every morning.
• Exercise at least 150 minutes per week (or more).
Q: What are some common treatments for diabetes?
There are a number of common treatments for diabetes. Some common treatments include:
• Diet changes, including changing to a low-carbohydrate diet and following the DASH diet.
• Exercise is one of the most important aspects of treating diabetes. A daily exercise routine that includes cardiovascular, strength training, and stretching can help reduce risk factors for diabetes as well as help prevent complications associated with the disease.
• Medications such as metformin may be prescribed by your doctor to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Definitely best to consult with a doctor to get the best treatment for your diabetes.
Q: What type of food should I eat to control my blood sugar levels and help prevent getting diabetes in the first place?
The key to avoiding diabetes is through diet and exercise. You can’t prevent diabetes with just one type of food, but there are certain foods that have been proven to help you control your blood sugar levels and manage your weight.
Some of the best food choices for people who want to avoid getting diabetes include:
• Grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat breads and pasta.
• Legumes like beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas.
• Fruits like berries, apples, bananas and citrus fruits.
• Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans and spinach.
Q: How much weight can you lose from eating a healthy diet and taking medication for diabetes?
A person can lose about 1-2 pounds per week on a healthy diet and medication for diabetes.
If you want to lose more weight, it is important to make sure that you are following a healthy diet plan with the right amount of calories, exercise, and water intake.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to many complications. For instance, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney failure. The good news is that these complications are treatable with medication and lifestyle changes.
Schedule a time with your doctor to better understand and treat your diabetes.