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Diabetes – Understand, Monitor, Manage and Stay Healthy

What happens when the food that we eat doesn’t fuel our body the way it should? It could be diabetes. It prevents the body from processing food into the fuel we need to function everyday and it can occur on just any one. But family history body weight and age can play a role too.

There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes known as juvenile diabetes mostly appears in children adolescents and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes with vast majority of cases on the rise and is rapidly becoming an epidemic. The main reason for this is because of the increase in overweight children and obesity in adults.

Now let us know how diabetes work inside the body. The food we eat is broken down into certain nutrients including sugar called glucose which is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose is carried in the blood stream to all the cells so that it can nourish them but glucose cannot pass into the cells without the help of hormone called insulin. Insulin is created in the pancreas which is a gland located behind the stomach. The liver also plays a big role by removing excess glucose from the bloodstream and storing it for later use.

For type 1 diabetic the body do not create any or not enough insulin and thus their bodies develop high level of glucose in their blood.

For type 2 diabetics disease begins in adulthood when their cells develop a resistance to insulin and so sugar doesn’t get into the cell. Typically this resistance triggers the pancreas to create more insulin to handle the rise in blood sugar but overtime in some people the pancreas tires out and slows the production of insulin or even stops producing altogether.

The primary symptom of both types of diabetes is thirst and frequent urination. Essentially the body need water to filter excess glucose from the blood. Other symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue. Sometimes these warning signs become apparent after few years.

There are great treatments of diabetes and best if you catch them early. If untreated, diabetes could cause major problems including kidney damage, increase risk of heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness, coma and even death.

Following some careful diabetes care can reduce your risk of seriousness and even life-threatening complications.

1. Commit yourself to manage your diabetes.
The doctor, nurse and dietitian, will help you learn the basics of diabetes care and offer support and encouragement along the way. But it’s up to you to manage your condition. Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine. Maintain a healthy weight. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. Don’t be afraid to ask for diabetes treatment help when you need it.

2. Quit smoking.
If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than the non-smokers who have diabetes.

3. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol and keep them under control.
Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels. High cholesterol is a concern, too, since the damage is often worse and more rapid when you have diabetes. Such conditions lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions.

Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Medication also helps in managing these.

4. Plan for yearly physical and regular eye exams.
Your regular diabetes checkups aren’t meant to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams.
During the physical, your doctor will look for any diabetes-related complications — including signs of kidney damage, nerve damage and heart disease — as well as screen for other medical problems.
Your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma.

5. Keep your vaccines up to date.
High blood sugar can weaken your immune system, which makes routine vaccines more important than ever. Ask your doctor about: flu, pneumonia, hepatitis B and other vaccines which are right for.

6. Take care of your teeth.
Diabetes may leave you prone to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss your teeth once a day, and schedule dental exams at least twice a year. Consult your dentist right away if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.

7. Pay attention to your feet.
High blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet and reduce blood flow to your feet. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. To prevent foot problems: Wash your feet daily in lukewarm water, dry your feet gently, especially between the toes, moisturize your feet and ankles with lotion, check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling, consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn’t start to heal within a few days.

8. Take regular Medications
Taking insulin or other diabetes medication regularly is an important part of staying healthy with diabetes. Find out about diabetes drugs, insulin, drug interactions, side effects, and more. Also aspirin reduces your blood’s ability to clot. Taking a daily aspirin can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Ask your doctor whether daily aspirin therapy is appropriate for you, including which strength of aspirin would be best.

9. If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly.
Alcohol can cause low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and whether you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation and always with a meal. Remember to include the calories from any alcohol you drink in your daily calorie count.

10. Reduce stress and have a happy life.
If you’re stressed, it’s easy to neglect your usual diabetes care routine. The hormones your body may produce in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which only makes matters worse. To take control, set limits. Prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques.

Get plenty of sleep.

Above all, stay positive. Diabetes care is within your control. If you’re willing to do your part, diabetes won’t stand in the way of an active, healthy life.