Facts You Need to Know about Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the function to process the glucose level in the blood gets altered. This blood glucose is also termed as blood sugar. According to one report, the United States has over 30.2 million people over the age of 18 years who have either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. If left untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can become fatal and lethal as well. The high level of blood glucose can lead to dangerous issues like heart diseases (angina) and stroke. Managing of diabetes depends on the type of diabetes that a person suffers from. It is important to know that being overweight is not the only reason leading to diabetes. For patients suffering from diabetes, primary care is extremely important.

Types of Diabetes:

Diabetes can be divided basically into three basic types:

1.      Type 1 Diabetes:

Diabetes type 1 is also known as juvenile diabetes. In this disease, the body is unable to produce insulin thus the body becomes insulin-dependent. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin artificially to maintain good health.

2.      Diabetes Type 2:

In this type of diabetes, there becomes an issue in proper utilization of insulin by the body. In this type of diabetes, the body makes insulin, unlike type 1 diabetes where the body cannot make insulin. According to a report by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, type two is the most commonly occurring diabetes in the general population. It is a fact that type two diabetes has strong links with obesity.

3.      Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is not a lifelong disease. A person suffers from gestational diabetes during the period of pregnancy. It commonly occurs after giving birth to a newborn.

What is Prediabetes:

Prediabetes is a terminology used by professionals to refer to a condition when the blood glucose level is in range of 100 to 125 (mg/dl). It is unusual because the normal range of blood sugar is 70 to 99 (mg/dl), however, a person suffering from diabetes has blood sugar level greater than 126 (mg/dl). Thus, we can conclude that prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose level is although higher than normal level but it is not as high to be called diabetes. It is considered that people with prediabetes are at risk of developing diabetes type 2, but they usually do not show symptoms of diabetes.

What are the Risk Factors for Diabetes:

Following are considered as risk factors for diabetes in the general population:

Obesity

Diabetes running in family

High levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) generally less than 40 mg/dl or 50mg/dl

Rising blood pressure

Gestational diabetes

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Age greater than 45 years

Inactive lifestyle

If a doctor suggests and finds out that a person has prediabetes, a patient needs to be careful in the intake of food and also should change lifestyle. Healthy activities, exercise, and a healthy and balanced diet should be adopted immediately.

Role of Exercise and Diet:

Exercise and diet both play a paramount role in dealing with diabetes mellitus. A person with type 2 diabetes must incorporate healthy changes in lifestyle and diet to control diabetes. Prescribers usually refer such patients to nutritionists as well. Nutritionist suggests lifestyle changes to deal effectively with the disease. For instance

Diet should contain an increased quantity of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat sources.

Diet should contain the minimum quantity of high sugar foods and junk food should be avoided completely.

Diet should contain minimum or no alcohol.

The patient should exercise daily for 30 minutes at least, and should also get involved in healthy activities like swimming, walking, aerobics, etc

However, the patient should be aware of low blood sugar level during rigorous activities and exercise and how to deal with such a situation. Near me, the role of primary care becomes extremely important in such a situation. The patient should be aware of taking glucose or sugar to rejuvenate falling blood glucose levels immediately.

The patient should take measures to control their body mass index (BMI) in the normal range.

How to Use Insulin?

Patients with type 1 diabetes are fully dependent on insulin. However, patients of type 2 diabetes also need to inject insulin at times with or without the use of oral hypoglycemic agents.

Types of Insulin:

Various types of insulin are present depending on their mechanism and duration of action. These types vary from rapid, regular, long-acting and intermediate-acting insulin. Sometimes doctors prescribe the use of long-acting insulin to control blood sugar levels in low range.

Role of Self-monitoring:

People injecting insulin regularly are prescribed to keep with the special portable machine for checking the blood glucose levels at regular intervals. It is important to monitor blood glucose levels as insulin is injected directly into the skin so the patient should monitor blood levels of glucose cautiously as well. Insulin undoubtedly helps a person to live actively but it has some serious side effects as well. Over injection of insulin can lead to sudden hypoglycemia, nausea, sweating. Patients in such cases need immediate help from primary care specialists. Thus people taking insulin need excessive care in the diet as well as insulin administration both.

Oral Hypoglycemics:

Oral hypoglycemics are substances used for decreasing blood glucose levels. Taking tablets orally helps to control diabetes as well. Drugs include:

Metformin

It lowers the blood sugar level and also improves the effect of insulin

SGLT2 Inhibitors

These are inhibitors of sodium-glucose co-transporter (SGLT2) and help in controlling blood glucose levels in the body.

Points to Ponder:

Diabetes is a condition that requires a thorough change of lifestyle and demands careful sugar management. Moreover, diabetes is a disease which is managed successfully by many people across the globe with the help of teamwork of practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, and nutritionists. Diabetes ratio is no doubt increasing rapidly in many parts of the United States like New York, Manhattan, Chelsea. It is thus the need of time to fight diabetes on individual and collective levels to make society healthy and free of diseases like diabetes.

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