Understanding Diabetes (Understanding Illness & Health)

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The causes of diabetes are complex and still not fully known. Sometimes diabetes is triggered by genetics, illness, being overweight or simply getting older. Although food doesn't cause diabetes, it is part of the strategy for managing the disease.

Diabetes is serious

You can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes by making diet changes and being active. These steps also lower your risk for diabetes complications. Visit a registered dietitian nutritionist to learn about lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk for diabetes. Signs and symptoms of diabetes include going to the bathroom frequently, being unusually thirsty, losing weight, feeling tired, irritability, blurred vision, frequent illness or infection and poor circulation such as tingling or numbness in the feet or hands.

If you have these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. You may need to have one of the following tests for diabetes:. People with Type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections or an insulin pump. The worst part of having low blood sugar is scary, extreme full-body weakness. My condition can lead to future health problems, too: Type 1 diabetics worry about complications including heart disease, eye damage, and kidney damage. Another one of the biggest struggles I, and many people like me, face with type 1 diabetes is how to handle stereotypes and misconceptions associated with the disease.

For the record, neither type 1 or type 2 diabetes are caused by eating too much sugar. This causes damage and makes the pancreas unable to properly produce insulin. Type 1 also may have a genetic component. So, not only is this comment incorrect and hurtful , it also perpetuates a harmful stereotype about type 2 diabetes. Sugar doesn't cause type 2 diabetes either; this is a diabetes myth that needs to disappear.

What is Diabetes? | NIDDK

Just like type 1, type 2 diabetes is a multifaceted, complicated condition. Diet and therefore sugar is only one, indirect factor of it. Believing that either type of diabetes is a result of simply eating too many donuts or candy bars is offensive and an oversimplification of two very complex diseases. I am an adult, so please trust that I can make my own food choices and that I already understand the intersection of food and diet and my health condition. The truth is, a person with type 1 diabetes can generally eat what they want as long as they understand their carbohydrate-to-insulin ratio in other words, how much insulin I need to take per serving of carbohydrate.

This might be a different story for a young person who is newly diagnosed, who may need to work with their guardians and doctors to navigate their diet and get the hang of their insulin therapy.

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But, please remember, insulin therapy is the only treatment for type 1 diabetes. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making choices that focus on your everyday wellbeing, you can significantly decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or pre-diabetes. Here are five simple guidelines you can follow. Why is it so important to eat well for good health? This handy guide clears up some common misconceptions. An unhealthy weight, poor fitness or eating habits, a high waist circumference, high blood pressure, or a family history of type 2 diabetes are all good indicators of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

We test for diabetes by assessing glycemia, which is simply the level of glucose present in the blood. There are a few different tests you can undergo.

Understanding and living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes

In the absence of symptomatic high glucose levels, a single result in the diabetic range should be confirmed by another test or repeat testing on another day. This test is done on a fasting basis. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains 75g of sugar. Your glucose level will be checked after a 2-hour period.

This test assesses blood glucose level at any time of the day without regard to the interval since the last meal.

HbA1c, or glycated haemoglobin, is a particular form of hemoglobin on which a glucose molecule has been attached, providing a proportional link between HbA1c and blood glucose levels. The blood level measurement of glycated haemoglobin gives an idea of the average blood glucose level over the past two to three months.

Its dosage is used in the diagnosis of diabetes and for monitoring the glycemic balance and thus evaluate and adapt diabetes treatment. If tests indicate you have either pre-diabetes or diabetes of either type, consult with medical professionals to make a treatment plan appropriate for you, as specific care varies with your specific condition. Understanding and living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Understanding Diabetes. What are the symptoms? A few symptoms that may indicate diabetic neuropathy would be a good reason to consult with your doctor for testing: A cut or sore on your foot that is infected or won't heal Burning, tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet that interferes with daily activities or sleep Changes in digestion, urination or sexual function Dizziness Long term health impacts Diabetes-related complications are generally caused by the presence of too much glucose in the blood.

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Vision Problems. Sensitivity to Infections. Kidney Disease nephropathy. Cardiovascular Diseases. Prevention and Prescription. Neat Little Guide. Maintain a healthy weight. Maintain a good balance of physical activity and healthy eating.


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Consult your health care provider to find out your healthy weight. Learn how to calculate your body mass index BMI using one of the many available online calculators. A healthy BMI is between Adopt a healthy diet.