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How Do I Live with Diabetes?

Diabetes is manageable, not curable. Balancing medicine and diet helps control weight and keeps the blood glucose in a healthy range. Complications are preventable or deferrable. Many diabetics live long and healthy lives. Even though it’s a common disease, every diabetic requires unique care. It’s helpful for diabetics and their families to know as much as possible about the most recent approaches, medical therapies, and healthy lifestyle choices. Communicating with experts helps diabetics respond to and control needed changes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes often begin over a long period of time and as such, aren’t always noticed right away. They may include general malaise, fatigue, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Urination is one way the body eliminates excess glucose in the blood. Losing fluids causes the extreme thirst. Urinary tract and gum infections, slow healing of the skin, blurred vision, and sudden weight loss are other symptoms associated with diabetes. Doctors frequently suspect diabetes if a person has a health related problem such as sores that are slow to heal, numbness in the feet or legs, vision changes, or heart disease.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes is the condition in which the body produces no insulin. Frequently, the diagnosis comes during the pre-teen and teenage years. Adult Type 1 Diabetes is a less frequent diagnosis. It is sometimes an inherited condition. In some cases, the body fights against insulin-producing cells. A tough virus often precedes that situation. It is not preventable by exercising and eating properly. However, those things, along with monitoring and managing the disease, are essential to good health maintenance after being diagnosed.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas makes an insufficient amount of insulin. The insulin it does make is not as effective as it needs to be. Also, the liver produces an excess of sugar. Over time, a build-up of sugar in the blood leads to severe medical problems.

What should the blood sugar level be?

The American Diabetes Association recommendation for the blood sugar level, after fasting or before meals, is between 70 and 130 mg/dl. A reading of 180 or less is recommended an hour or two after eating. Diabetics frequently deal with low blood sugar. Medicines, too much alcohol, and diseases that affect adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and other organs cause low blood sugar. It is important that a drop in blood glucose level is not too low. Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring blood sugar levels is helpful in preventing low blood sugar level occurrences. Symptoms of low blood sugar depend on how low blood sugar levels drop. A mild drop makes a person nauseous or hungry, feel nervous or jittery, have a fast heartbeat, sweat, or develop cold and clammy skin.

Do all Type 2 diabetics have to take insulin?

If treated early, with controlled blood sugar, the pancreas of a Type 2 diabetic is more likely to produce enough insulin. Persons who had diabetes for two to fifteen years before seeking treatment are unlikely to have a pancreas that continues to make sufficient amounts of insulin. They will need to take insulin through pumps, pens, and syringes. There are synthetic injectable prescription medicines that improve blood sugar control in adults having Type 2 Diabetes when used in conjunction with proper exercise and diet. The medicines are not insulin and are not substitutes for required insulin. Type 1 diabetics or those having diabetic ketoacidosis are not candidates for these synthetic drugs. Children are also not likely to be prescribed a synthetic glycemic controlling medication.

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