DIABETES

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WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar).

 

Glucose backs up in the bloodstream - causing one’s blood glucose (blood sugar) to rise too high.

There are two major types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes (formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent): the body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose found in foods for energy.

 

People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.

Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called adult-onset or non insulin-dependent): results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes.

WHO IS AT RISK OF GETTING DIABETES?

 

  • People with a Family History of Diabetes (siblings or parents)

  • Overweight people

  • Persons with high cholesterol,

  • Persons with high blood pressure

  • Physical inactive people

  • Persons who had a stroke or heart attack

  • Woman with a history of gestational diabetes(diabetes during pregnancy) are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes later in life

  • Woman who had a new-born weighing more than 9 pounds at birth

  • Woman with a history of Polycystic Ovarian Disease

 

**The risk of developing Diabetes also increases as people grow older. People who are over 40 and overweight are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • being very thirsty

  • frequent urination

  • weight loss

  • increased hunger

  • blurry vision

  • irritability

  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • frequent skin, bladder or gum infections

  • wounds that don't heal

  • extreme unexplained fatigue

 

COMPLICATIONS

  • heart attacks

  • strokes

  • blindness

  • kidney failure

  • blood vessel disease that may require an amputation (circulation problems) / gangrene

  • nerve damage – neurogenic bladder, etc.

  • impotence in men

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

  • Eating health and having a balanced diet is important in managing your diabetes. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietician to help you with a dietary plan. They will help you with managing a well-balanced meal, portion sizes, to coordinate meals with medications and to avoid sugar sweetened beverages.[1]

  • Educate yourself on diabetes, the type of diabetes you have and warning signs.

  • Regular exercise: for about 30 minute and for at least five times a week. The exercise should make you sweat and breath harder and always hydrate. [2]

  • Avoid alcohol: alcohol lowers your blood sugar levels because as it is getting metabolized by the liver, the liver is unable to regulate the blood sugar levels properly. [1]

  • Ask the doctor about methods to manage stress as stress can lead to high blood sugar levels. [1]

  • Stop smoking as it can increase the risk of nerve and blood vessel damage which can put you at risk of cardiovascular disease. [1]

  • Go for regular check-ups and take your medications as directed by your doctor. [2]

  • If you take insulin, make sure you store it as directed by the doctor. [2]

  • Wear closed shoes when outside, keep your feet clean and dry and always look out for sores or cuts and attend to them immediately.

REFERENCES 

  1. WebMD [Internet]. 6 lifestyle changes to control your diabetes. America: WebMD LLC; [updated 2019 May 25; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-lifestyle-tips.

  2. Mayo Clinic Staff [Internet]. Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affects blood sugar. America: Mayo foundation for Medical Education and Research; [updated 2017 May 06; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963.

  3. NPS Medicinewise [Internet]. Type 2 diabetes: a patient-centred approach. Australia: NPS Medicinewise; [updated 2017 Nov 23; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.nps.org.au/assets/_1080x600_crop_center-center_75_none/86f16d81e6ce0f9d-aaaacdcb35bf-317469_ppr_diabetes20170407-76353-1qehzye.jpg.

  4. ABS Contributor [Internet]. Food for life: Control diabetes with natural remedies. America: Atlanta Black Star; [updated 2013 Sep 03; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: http://atlantablackstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/diabetes.png.

  5. GMR [Internet]. How to control diabetes. Dubai: Clickmadhu; [updated 2018 Sep 22; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.clickmadhu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/diabetic-contol-foods.jpg.

  6. Shutterstock [Internet]. Diabetes images. America: Shutterstock; [updated 2019; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/concept-healthy-diabetic-diabetes-sports-260nw-1156968376.jpg.

  7. HUSKY Health. Diabetes control. America: Community Health Network of Connecticut; [updated 2019; cited 2019 Aug 12]. Available from: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSD4G0G2InxXVyqdtzZwOPdf_PiNgji7I92UcutYw4nYtXXpGMI.

Disclaimer


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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