In people suffering from diabetes, the glucose backs up in the bloodstream causing one’s blood glucose also referred to as blood sugar, to rise too high.
How do you get high blood glucose?
Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries the glucose to all the cells in your body.
Insulin is a chemical, also called a hormone, made by the pancreas. The pancreas release insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the glucose from the food get into your cells.
If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if the insulin doesn’t work the way it should, glucose can’t get into your cells.
It stays in your blood instead. Your blood glucose level then gets too high, causing pre-diabetes or diabetes. Start diabetes care immediately.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for classifying as full-blown diabetes.
People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. The good news is: if you have pre-diabetes, you can reduce your risk of getting diabetes.
With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and even return to normal glucose levels.
What are the diabetes symptoms?
Diabetes symptoms are as follows:
. Excessive thirst
. Frequent urination
. Weight loss
. Increased hunger
. Blurry vision
. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
. Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
. Wounds that don’t heal
. Extreme unexplained fatigue
In some cases, there are no symptoms – this happens at times with type 2 diabetes. In this case, people can live for months, even years without knowing they have the disease.
This form of diabetes comes on so gradually that symptoms may not even be recognized.
Who gets this disease?
Diabetes can occur in anyone. However, people who have close relatives with the disease are somewhat more likely to develop it.
Other risk factors include obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity. The risk of becoming a diabetic patient also increases as people grow older and hence the elderly must know the common diabetes care tips.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop this disease, although the incidence of type 2 diabetes in adolescents is growing.
This disease is more common among Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
Also, people who develop diabetes during pregnancy (a condition called gestational diabetes) are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes later in life.
The International Diabetes Federation recently published findings revealing that in 2007, the country with the largest numbers of diabetics is India (40.9 million), followed by China (39.8 million), the United States (19.2 million), Russia (9.6 million) and Germany (7.4 million).
According to American Diabetes Association, about 18.2 million Americans have diabetes. This means that more than 6 percent of the people in the country are in need of diabetes care tips.
Type 1 diabetes is more common in Caucasians than in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and American Indians.
About 16 to 17 million people have type 2 diabetes. Nearly 6 million people are undiagnosed. (And 16 million more people have pre-diabetes – a condition in which blood glucose is higher than normal but not at diagnostic levels.)
Type 2 diabetes is common in older people. More than 18 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have it. It is more common in some ethnic groups than others.
In those ages 45 to 74, approximately 25 percent of Mexican Americans and Puerto Rican Americans have type 2 diabetes, more than 13 percent of African Americans have type 2 diabetes, and about 16 percent of Cuban Americans have type 2 diabetes.
It is even more common in American Indians. In some tribes, almost half of adults age 30 to 64 have type 2 diabetes. About 135,000 women develop gestational diabetes each year.
Of these, about 40 percent get type 2 diabetes within 15 years.
There are certain things that everyone who has diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, needs to do – Be healthy.
They need to have a meal eating plan. They need to pay attention to how much physical activity they engage in, because physical activity can help the body use insulin better so it can convert glucose into energy for cells.
Everyone with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes take pills called “oral agents” which help their bodies produce more insulin and/or use the insulin it is producing better.
Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease without medication by appropriate meal planning and adequate physical activity.
All diabetics should be seen at least once every six months by their health care provider / doctor.
He or she should also be seen periodically by other members of a treatment team, including a diabetes nurse educator, and a dietitian who will help develop a meal plan for the individual.
Ideally, one should also see an exercise physiologist for help in developing a physical activity plan, and, perhaps, a social worker, psychologist or other mental health professional for help with the stresses and challenges of living with a chronic disease.
All diabetics should have regular eye exams (once a year) by an ophthalmologist to make sure that any eye problems associated with diabetes are caught early and treated before they become serious.
Also, diabetics with diabetes need to learn how to monitor their blood glucose.
Daily testing will help determine how well their meal plan, activity plan and medication are working – to keep blood glucose levels in a normal range.
What other problems can diabetes cause?
Your healthcare team will encourage you to follow your meal plan and exercise program, use your medications and monitor your blood glucose regularly to keep your blood glucose in as normal a range as possible as much of the time as possible.
Because poorly managed diabetes can lead to a host of long-term complications – among these are heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and blood vessel disease that may require an amputation, nerve damage, and impotence in men.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes are the three main kinds.