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Managing and Treating Diabetes - Keeping a normal Blood Glucose
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and preventable form of disease with an estimate of 23.6 million individuals i.e. 7.8% of the population suffering from diabetes in the US alone. Diabetes is actually a metabolism disorder and metabolism is defined as the way by which the body utilizes the digested food for energy and growth. When we eat, our food is broken down into glucose which is an imperative energy power required for fuelling the cells of the body with energy and providing the driving force to the brain to function effectively.
But insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas, is needed by the glucose to get into the cells and provide them energy. Insulin is produced in an optimum amount in normal individuals when they eat. But in diabetic patients, the pancreas either fail to produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the cells cannot respond aptly to the insulin that is being produced (type 2 diabetes).
This causes the glucose levels to buildup in the bloodstream which is then overflowed with the urine causing a huge loss of this essential fuel of the body. There are two types of diabetes-type 1 and type 2.
Different types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
The body either completely ceases to produce insulin or produces too little which is not enough for regulating the blood glucose levels. About 10% of all diabetic patients are afflicted with type 1 diabetes and this type is generally diagnosed in children or during adolescence. The risk of developing type 1 diabetes increases in an individual due to some factors like destruction of the pancreas through smoking or some other form of disease, genetics and environmental factors. A person suffering from type 1 diabetes should daily take insulin to sustain himself. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include elevated thirstiness and urination, experiencing perpetual hunger, weight loss and exhaustion.
Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing enough insulin but the body is unable to employ it i.e. the body has become insulin resistant and so the glucose cannot enter the cells for use as energy and so this causes blood glucose levels to rise in the body. At least 90% of the individuals are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and this type usually begins to manifest itself after the age of 45 years although today, more adolescents are developing this form of diabetes. Being overweight, having a history of diabetes in the family, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, alcohol abuse and sedentary lifestyle are some of the factors which increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes can be controlled with exercise, normal weight maintenance, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and pills some individuals require insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels because the function of the pancreas to secrete insulin begins to deteriorate with time.
Which type of Diabetes have you been diagnosed with?
Common symptoms of Diabetes
- Being constantly fatigued and exhausted
- Weight loss which is often the outcome of losing too much of the efficient fuel-glucose in the blood
- Excessive urination, thirst and hunger
- Wounds take a longer time to heal
- Infections like genital infections, skin infections and urinary tract infections crop up
- High level of blood sugar also leads to mental confusion, irritation and extreme lethargy
Diagnosis of diabetes
The level of blood glucose is diagnosed through gauging the levels of glucose in the blood. Usually a fasting glucose test is carried out in which the individual fasts overnight and provides a blood sample in the morning. This test is carried out twice to ensure complete accuracy.
Treatment of Diabetes
Monitoring of blood sugar level, taking oral medications and taking insulin through injections are elemental aspects of any diabetic treatment. Insulin injections are normally given in type 1 diabetes to regulate the amount of insulin in the body. These are either injected once a day or given in smaller quantities more frequently in a day. The oral medications which are given for the treatment of type 2 diabetes function to either:
- Increase the insulin level secreted by the pancreas
- Enhance the function of insulin in the body
- Postpone the assimilation of glucose from the digestive system
- Inhibit the secretion of the hormone called glucagon which suppresses the action of insulin
Routine check-ups from diabetes professional are recommended for a diabetic patient. Moreover, eating a well-balanced diet and incorporating regular physical activity in your daily lifestyle are factors which should be respected and sustained to manage diabetes and regulate normal blood glucose levels. Careful monitoring i.e. checking and recording your blood glucose levels twice a day initially and then thrice a week and taking the prescribed medications on the right time and in prescribed quantity is also imperative to control and handle diabetes. It is also vital to maintain normal blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglycerides level by reducing the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.