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A diagnosis of diabetes can be at any stage in life. Diabetes is not just something that we are born with it can occur at any time.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, although a life long condition, can often be maintained and controlled, and diagnosed people can generally lead a normal life.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body either cannot produce enough insulin, or it cannot use the insulin properly. To explain this further; when we eat food our body converts this into sugars, which are then used to give us the energy we need to carry out our daily activities. Insulin is needed to get these sugars into our body cells. With type 2 diabetes the body needs help to perform this task.
Some symptoms to look out for are excessive thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination, unusual weight loss, excessive tiredness and irritability. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult their doctor immediately.
Regular check ups are vital for your diabetes treatment and management. Although diabetes can be managed it can also have its complications such as heart disease, kidney problems and foot problems. Regular check ups will help to prevent any such complications.
Other methods include not smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Diabetics must also keep the amount of sugar in their blood within a target range, maintain a healthy weigh, and avoid alcohol.
Eating the right foods is vital in maintaining health when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A balanced diet is essential, and a dietician can help by providing a meal plan. A diabetes diet should consist of energy enriched foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, all fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peas and squash. Milk and yogurts are also advised. Foods that are high in sugars such as sweets, cakes and jams should be kept to a minimum and it is best to discuss these with a dietician. Salts and fats should also be monitored and reduced.
Maintaining a healthy diet will not only help control diabetes, but it will also make one feel better, reduce the risk of diabetic complications, and help one stay healthier for longer.
The treatment of diabetes will depend very much on one's blood sugar levels, and one's ability to control blood sugar levels. If diet and exercise are not enough, then insulin may be prescribed. Insulin is prescribed in injection form and is quite a common practice in the treatment of diabetes. If you need to take insulin remember that this will in fact make you feel better and should not be feared.
All diabetics need to keep their blood glucose or sugars at a particular level. They will be given a blood glucose monitor, which should be used daily to record blood sugar levels. This is normally done before and after meals. It is recommended that in order to prevent complications, one should try to keep one's blood glucose within your target levels.Low blood glucose levels are known as hypoglycaemia, and the symptoms include feeling light headed, shaky, confused, weak, and a numbness or tingling in your tongue or lips. These symptoms can be caused by over exertion, not eating on time or taking too much medication. Low blood glucose must be treated immediately by eating or drinking a fast acting carbohydrate. This can be in the form of 3 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in water.
High blood glucose levels are known as hyperglycaemia, and the symptoms include feeling tired, thirst, and frequent urination. It is advisable to contact a doctor as your medication may need to be adjusted.
People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should exercise on a regular basis, and this can include walking and cycling and it should be done at least 3 times a week.
Care of the feet is another very important aspect, as high blood glucose level can eventually lead to loss of feeling in feet and, in some very severe cases, amputation. One should wash your feet daily with warm water and check for sores, injuries, and any change in skin colour.Should one require any further information it is advisable to contact a doctor, health nurse, or dietician who will provide more specific advice.
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