Diabetes is a condition that affects blood glucose levels. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your cells use glucose to make energy. But people with diabetes cannot produce the insulin needed. This means the glucose remains in your blood where it can lead to may serious problems.
Diabetes creates all sorts of health concerns. It can lead to eye and skin problems. Heart disease and kidney disease are also possible complications. Nerve damage and impotence are also possible.
Some people have a greater chance of developing diabetes. If you are overweight, or over 40, you have a higher risk. People from South Asia, East Asia, and Africa have a greater tendency to develop the disease. Diabetes is also more common if you are of Aboriginal or Hispanic descent. People who have a close family member with diabetes are more prone to developing the condition.
There are three kinds of diabetes. Children and teenagers usually get type 1 diabetes. This means they are not producing any insulin at all. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to treat their condition.
Type 2 diabetes is more common, and generally affects adults. However, a growing number of young people are starting to develop symptoms of type 2 diabetes. This disorder means your body is not making enough insulin, affecting blood glucose levels.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. People with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It is also a risk factor for babies born to mothers who had the condition.
Insulin helps people control their blood glucose levels, but it isn’t a diabetes cure. In fact, there is no diabetes cure. There are other ways to regulate your blood glucose levels as well. Healthy habits can go a long way to controlling diabetes. You need to eat the proper food, and eat at regular times. You should also control your weight and exercise. Stress also seems to affect blood glucose levels. Relaxation techniques can be helpful.
Following a diet for diabetes is important to help keep your blood sugar level normal. Diabetes research has shown that having some sugar in your diet is all right as part of a well-balanced meal. That means between 40 and 60 per cent of calories from carbohydrates. 20 per cent of your total intake should be protein, and fat should account for less than 30 per cent of your diet. Bread products, dairy foods, fruits and vegetables all contain carbohydrates. Protein includes beans, chicken, fish and beef. Oils, butter, margarine and lard are all fats.
A blood glucose meter can help you track your blood glucose levels. If you have low blood glucose levels you may feel tired, cranky, sweaty, shaky or confused. This is called hypoglycemia and often occurs after hard work or exercise. If your blood sugar is low, have something sweet right away like pop, or juice. High blood glucose levels can cause blurred vision, thirst and frequent urination. Do a blood test, and then call your doctor for guidance.
You may need to take insulin to help control your blood glucose levels. Insulin needs to be injected into the layer of fat just under the skin to work. There are several ways to do this. You can use a syringe, an insulin pen, insulin pump, or an inhaler. Pens and syringes are the most common method. Syringes are cheap, simple to use, and widely available. People who need to mix types of insulin will need to use the syringe. Pens are more portable and becoming more popular.