What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your body has too much sugar in the blood stream. When you have too much sugar in your blood, it can lead to serious health problems especially when diabetes is uncontrolled. Monitoring your blood sugar level and following your provider’s instructions are key to keeping your condition under control.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: A condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. It is also called Insulin Dependent Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes: A condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or use it properly, or fails to properly use and store glucose.
Diabetes may mean having to closely monitor your diet and checking your blood sugar on a regular basis. When your blood sugar levels are either too high or too low, this can cause you to feel seriously ill. Making sure you are getting the nutrients you need is essential.
How can you manage your diabetes?
Managing diabetes means keeping your blood sugar levels normal. Having a good plan can help eliminate complications and help protect your kidneys, liver, oral health and eyes as well as help prevent poor circulation. Treatments can differ for the two types of diabetes. Understanding the differences is important to the care path right for your health.
What can you do?
Talk with your doctor about a diabetes care plan right for you. Some things your care plan should include are:
- Seeing an eye doctor.
- Having your feet looked at.
- Going to the dentist.
- Getting your cholesterol checked.
- Testing kidney functions.
- Understanding the medications you are taking.
- Monitoring your blood sugar levels.
Other things you can do to help manage your diabetes are:
- Follow your provider’s instructions for taking any pills.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Follow a physical activity plan.
- Don’t smoke. Quit if you do.
- Join a support group.
Discuss your diabetes care plan with your provider
Your plan needs to take into account your type of diabetes, your schedule, how active you are, your cultural background, and other medical problems you may have. You need to be involved in creating your diabetes care plan. Otherwise it’s unlikely that the plan will fit into your life or that you will understand what you need to do. Find more information and resources to help manage your diabetes.