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All About diabetes: how you know if you have it, how to treat it, and how to control it

Diabetes Management

Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. So how does diabetes occur? Type 1 diabetes which is very normal, occurs when your immune system cannot produce enough insulin to battle the infection. There may be a lot of different factors that go into how insulin is produced, but scientists think that it can mainly be a gene factor, as well as eating a lot of sugar. Just in the US alone, the estimated number of people over 18 years of age who are diagnosed is around 30.2 million and still growing. This is around 27 to 38 % of the population. It is also estimated that 84.1 million people are at risk of prediabetes and they do not even know it. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US. 

What causes diabetes?

Without care and proper management, diabetes can lead to buildup, which can lead to risk and dangerous complications, like stroke and heart disease. There are many different types of diabetes, and it can come from a variety of factors. Some may be overweight and some may not. Some may lead an inactive lifestyle and some may not. It’s even present in some childhood. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning it can be controlled, but it lasts a lifetime.

Type 1 and type 2

The two main diabetes that everyone knows about is type 1 and type 2. Type 1 occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People with type 1 must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. The body still makes insulin, but it just not respond effectively as it once did. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and is usually linked to obesity. 

Symptoms

The top nine symptoms include: 

  • Increased urine output
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Yeast infections
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet.
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage

Treatment

To this day, doctors do not know the exact causes of type I, type 2 and other insulin resistance causes, other than the factors that go into it. There are ways to measure the blood sugar level. For example, normal blood sugar levels usually sit between 70 and 99mg/dl, where a person with diabetes will have a higher blood sugar level like higher than 126 mg/dl. When a person is at the level, they are considered to have prediabetes. They are higher than normal but still not at risk for diabetes. The risk factors between the two are usually very similar and higher if there has been diabetes in the family history, higher cholesterol, blood pressure, being of certain race and age. 

Insulin resistance

As for insulin resistance itself, doctors believe that this is a very gradual process and is in a cycle. First, the person takes in more glucose than their insulin can cover, then the body tries and make enough insulin to process the excess blood glucose. When the pancreas cannot keep up with the increased demands, the blood sugar starts to circulate in the blood, which damages the body. Over time the insulin becomes less effective and blood sugar keeps rising. Which in terms keeps damaging the body. 

Self-monitoring

As mentioned in the above paragraph, self-monitoring for diabetes is very crucial to make sure you are staying alive and well. This type of approach is called “self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG)”. People use a glycemic reader (glucose meter). Based on the reading, they can then adjust or check how well their external factors are in helping them control their glucose level. This can be diet, exercise, insulin or stress management. They can also find self-monitoring to be problematic. They would have to carry the materials and prick themselves several times a day to get a drop of blood to measure the levels. Materials like these can include test strips, lancets and then the block of machines itself.

As long as they are educated in the process, then self-monitoring will be highly beneficial for them. It is also ideal for them to get training by a health professional in how self-monitoring works so that they may properly measure and fulfill it’s potential. They will also need to re-evaluate ever so often to make sure they are measuring correctly. Therefore this step can save many many lives.
 

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9 thoughts on “All About diabetes: how you know if you have it, how to treat it, and how to control it

  • Sonny Helman says:

    I was eating horribly, lots of sweets and comfort foods, constantly, because of my depression. I didn’t care about what it would do to me. All I cared about was how it made me feel. Once my depression was under control, my doctor told me that my A1C was too high and started me on a treatment regimen. Things have been a pain ever since. I can’t eat the things I like, I have to get several types of exams yearly, I have to go out of my way to make sure I don’t overdo it, and the medication wreaks havock on my stomach. When i was first diagnosed with depression I never would have thought that a comorbidity would be diabetes.

  • Blake Thomas says:

    Back in 2001 I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2. I felt great, but started to take Metformin for it. Then I couldn’t afford it, nor did I see the sense of taking it. So I stopped. In 2018 though, I had a stroke. They said that not taking care of my Diabetes was a leading part of why I had a stroke. I got lucky as it was a milder stroke. Though I lost my left eye, and my legs don’t work the best these days, I never go a day without taking my medications. I learned my lesson.

  • George Brown says:

    I was just recently diagnosed with diabetes type 2. Having diabetes type 2 means my body is making more insulin then it needs. It means for me to try to eat less sugar and try to exercise more. I thought something was wrong with me before I went to see a physician. Needles cause me to be jumpy so blood tests for me are really hard to do. I am even paranoid about the medications I am currently taking. I don’t want be stuck having to eat pills everyday besides a multi vitamin, or precisely what i need. I have noticed a few benefits from the medication. It is making me lose weight. The physician said the weight loss would occur. I don’t have to test my blood sugar. I just have to keep up to date with my scheduled blood tests. Diabetes is giving me some problems but I am doing OK handling it.

  • David Lee says:

    I have learned that living with diabetes isn’t to bad, just continuous. I check my sugar levels three times a day and I watch what I eat. Does this mean that I don’t splurge now and again? No! About once a week I eat something sugary and I have suffered no ill affects from it. I also take medication to keep it level.

  • Thomas Hamblin says:

    i was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 20 years.my mum was very devastated about the incident but we had no other option but to start treatment immediately.She had an insurance covered which still had me as dependent till i was 25 years old with prof of schooling.i kept my insulin preserved well and i used to take my medication on time to avoid any emergencies.

  • Joshua Johnson says:

    When I was a little kid I was deeply afraid of getting diabetes. It was due mainly to a (looking back, very informative and hardly scary) lesson on diabetes that I had gotten in the third grade. I was a bit overweight as a kid so I was at risk of developing diabetes, and I knew very well this was the case. I was paralyzed by the fear of diabetes. I wouldnt eat anything sugary but instead turned to bread for snacks, not realizing bread is pretty much just as bad for diabetes. Fast forward twenty years later and I actually have type 2 diabetes, but I don’t fear it so much because I’ve learned it can be controlled with diet!

  • Mitchell Thomson says:

    With type one diabetes a special wearable medical insulin pump has been a life saver. It has made it so I don’t have to rely on other medications and insulin shots nearly as often if I am reasonable with my food intake. I would suggest anyone with diabetes speak with their doctor about getting a pump. It can be a life changer.

  • Lewis Rigg says:

    I never understood how bad diabetes were until it happened to me. I had no idea you could die from it and I was terrified when I found out I had it. The hardest part has been having to stop eating certain foods. I’ve always had bad self control with sugar and I’m so unhappy struggling every single day not to give in to the urge.

  • Vincent Williams says:

    I have had diabetes for years now and ever since I was diagnosed I have had constant urination and frequent thirst. The price of insulin is so high because they know we need it. I wish insulin was cheaper and life is difficult, but i’m glad i’m still here

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