Diabetes Awareness: What You Should Know About Diabetes

Many of us do not know what actually diabetes is even though we hear it often from most of the people around us. Diabetes is a sickness in which the body is incapable of appropriately using and storing glucose which is usually sugar.  Glucose backs up in the bloodstream causes blood sugar to raise too high.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes namely:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

This type was earlier referred to as insulin dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is where the body totally halts the production of insulin. Insulin is an important hormone tasked with enabling the body use sugars found in foods for energy generation. This type is common among people below the age of 20. It presents itself when one is still a child or a teenager.

The medical fraternity is torn into two with some saying this type is a genetic condition since it attack the pancreas cell rendering them functionless. On the other hand are those who believe that it is caused by a virus that stimulates the immune system to start attacking the pancreas.

Those suffering from this type undergo the so called insulin therapy whereby since the pancreas cannot produce insulin the patients are subjected to a lifetime treatment in the form of insulin shots. This therapy coupled with proper exercising and dieting ensures that the person lives a fulfilling life.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

This type was known as non- insulin dependent diabetes. In this case the body does not produce enough insulin and may also be unable to put the insulin into proper use. Type 2 diabetes is common among people who are above the age of 40, people who are overweight or those with a family history of the disease. It is considered as a lifestyle disease nowadays since it now even affects younger generations especially teenagers

  • Gestational Diabetes

It is a condition that affects women when they are at their second trimester of pregnancy. Unlike the above two types, this type manifests itself when the baby is born. This type if it occurs regularly it may lead to Type 2 diabetes. It is also important to note that it affects mainly older pregnant women.

People with diabetes are known to experience certain symptoms. This includes:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Frequent hunger and thirst
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Numbness of both hands and feet
  5. Frequent infections of the skin and gums
  6. Wounds which do not heal etc.

You realize that we have mentioned that Type one mainly affects the younger people whereas Type 2 affects people above the age of 40. However, diabetes can affect anyone. There are certain groups that must take extra care and include:

  • People whose close relatives had the disease
  • Obese individuals
  • People high cholesterol
  • Those with high blood pressure, and
  • Those who do not engage in physical inactivity

Treatment of Diabetes

All patients suffering from diabetes should come up with right meal plans. They also have to draw a physical activity schedule since physical activity aids the body in using insulin better so that it can be able to convert glucose into energy for the body cells. Both type 1 and type 2 must take their insulin shots as recommended. Type two patients may be required to take pills that aid the body in producing more insulin or rather using it appropriately. Since type 2 is a lifestyle disease physical exercise and adherence to meal plan can help in managing the disease.

Patients suffering from diabetes are advised to see diabetes specialist at least once every six months. They should also be seen by other member’s involved in the treatment periodically. This includes the nurses and the dietician who is tasked with coming up with a meal plan.  Further it is important for them to see a physical instructor who will advise them on how to come up with a physical activity schedule that will serve them right. They should also see a psychologist to help with the stresses and challenges management of living with diabetes.

A diabetic person should ensure that he is aware of how to check their blood sugar. They are required to do a daily testing to help them in planning their meals, activity schedule, and to know whether the medication they are taking is truly working to keep the blood sugar within range.

A person suffering from diabetes is supposed to follow faithfully their meal plan and their exercise schedule alongside their medication. They should also do a follow up of their sugar levels frequently to ensure that they are within the recommended range. This is important because if diabetes is unchecked it can lead to other complications which are long term. These are strokes, heart attacks, blindness nerve damage, and kidney failure among many others.

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Studies show that lifestyle changes can stop or delay the start of Type 2 diabetes in adults who are at high risk. Weight loss and physical activity are the recommended ways of preventing Type 2 Diabetes.

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