Controlling Diabetes is Critical in Preventing Complications
Living with diabetes means tracking blood sugar levels, eating healthy, exercising, and injecting insulin if the body no longer produces it on its own. With proper care, people with diabetes can live normal, healthy lives.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, which is sometimes known has juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas no longer makes insulin. Insulin regulates the glucose levels in the blood, allowing the body to use the glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose levels build up in the blood and can cause complications. People with this type of diabetes must inject themselves with insulin in order for the body to use the glucose properly.
Type 2 Diabetes
Also known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes occurs when the blood cells become resistant to the insulin that is being produced by the pancreas. This results in high blood sugar levels. Often, people with type 2 diabetes can control it with diet, exercise, and medications. As the disease furthers, however, insulin injections are sometimes required.
Symptoms of both types of diabetes can be subtle at first. These symptoms can include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased appetite
- Increased urination
- Unexpected weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing sores
- Fruity breath
Both types of diabetes are diagnosed using blood tests. The blood tests can measure the average blood glucose level for the past three months, the glucose level when fasting and the blood glucose level after drinking a sugary drink. If the blood glucose levels are too high, this indicates diabetes.
Foods that contain carbohydrates, such as sweets, bread and pasta, cause blood sugar levels to rapidly rise. Carefully balancing carbohydrates with protein, fiber and fat will cause the body to absorb them more slowly, keeping blood glucose levels from rapidly rising.
Exercising can also help keep blood glucose levels stable. It increases insulin sensitivity in the body as well as burning off excess sugar in the blood. Prescription medicines and insulin may also need to be taken, depending on the severity and type of diabetes.
Not keeping blood glucose levels under control can make complications arise, which include:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
Properly caring and monitoring the disease is extremely important in preventing these complications from occurring.
Though a diabetes diagnosis will bring about many lifestyle changes, many people with the disease live a long and healthy life with proper care and treatment.