April 11, 2023
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose levels are too high because body doesn’t make enough of the insulin or can’t use insulin properly.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
To check for diabetes, your doctor may request the following tests:
- Fasting blood sugar test: This test is usually done in the morning, after an 8-hour fast.
- Post-prandial blood sugar test: This test is done after 2 hours of taking meal.
- Random blood sugar test. This test is done at any time of day, regardless of when you last ate.
|Before Meals||90-130 mg/dl|
|1-2 hours After Meals||<180 mg/dl|
Untreated diabetes can lead to a number of serious problems, including:
- Eye damage that can cause blindness
- Kidney failure
- Heart attacks
- Nerve and blood vessel damage that can lead to the loss of toes or feet
- Problems with gums, including tooth loss.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Usually discovered in children and teenagers
Type 2– where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1.
During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not so high that your doctor can say you have diabetes. It greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Causes of diabetes:
The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps cells to convert glucose into energy..
However, if you have diabetes, there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly so that your body is unable to convert glucose into energy. Hence the level of glucose increases in the blood.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
- feeling very thirsty.
- urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- feeling very tired
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision
How can I help myself stay healthy if I have diabetes?
Although diabetes can’t be cured, you can still live a long and healthy life by controlling your blood sugar level. You can do this by eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and, if needed, taking oral medicines or insulin.
Eat a healthy diet low in fat, low in cholesterol, low in salt and low in added sugar. Eat plenty of fiber. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains and fruits are good choices. Eat at about the same time every day. Eat frequently but in limited amount.
People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes also require regular insulin injections for the rest of their life.
As type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, medication may eventually be required, usually in the form of tablets.
Care for eyes:
If you have diabetes, your eyes are at risk from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss if it’s not treated. So, eye check up at regular basis is required.
Care for feet:
Your feet are at risk for infection when you have diabetes. Always keep you
r feet clean and dry. Wear shoes that fit well and don’t squeeze or rub. Never walk barefoot to avoid
cuts and try to avoid sitting
with your legs crossed so that blood circulation is not squeezed.
Stop smoking to protect your feet. Smoking impairs the blood circulation, particularly in people with diabetes. It can seriously worsen foot and leg problems.
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
Weight: The more overweight you are, the more resistant your body is to insulin and the risk of diabetes high.
Age:The risk for type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after 45 years of age.
Exercise: Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes.
Diet: A diet high in fat, calories and cholesterol increases your risk of diabetes.
Family history: Your risk for diabetes is higher if your mother, father or sibling has diabetes.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): is a condition that occurs when an imbalance of hormone levels in a women’s body causes cysts to form on the ovaries. Women who have PCOS are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What if my blood sugar gets too low?
People who have diabetes should carry at least 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate with them at all times in case of hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction. The following are examples of quick sources of energy that can relieve the symptoms:
- Nondiet soda- ½ to ¾ cup
- Fruit juice- ½ cup
- Milk- 1 cup
- Candy- 5 Lifesavers
- Glucose tablets- 3 tablets (5 grams each)
What should I do if my blood sugar level is too high?
If your blood sugar level goes higher than it should, you may need to take an extra dose of rapid- or short-acting insulin to return your blood sugar to the normal range.
Can I live a normal life with diabetes?
Yes, you can live a normal life. You can stay healthy if you do what it takes to control your diabetes