Meaning of Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make
Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar.
Other Details regarding Diabetes
Different kinds of diabetes can occur, and managing the condition depends on the type. Not all forms of diabetes stem from a person being overweight or leading an inactive lifestyle. In fact, some are present from childhood.
Three major diabetes types can develop:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gestational diabetes.
- Type I diabetes
Also known as juvenile diabetes, this type occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means they must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.
- Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. This is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and it has strong links with obesity.
- Gestational diabetes
This type occurs in women during pregnancy when the body can become less sensitive to insulin. Gestational diabetes does not occur in all women and usually resolves after giving birth.
Less common types of diabetes include monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.
Doctors refer to some people as having prediabetes or borderline diabetes when blood sugar is usually in the range of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Normal blood sugar levels sit between 70 and 99 mg/dL, whereas a person with diabetes will have a fasting blood sugar higher than 126 mg/dL.
The prediabetes level means that blood glucose is higher than usual but not so high as to constitute diabetes.
People with prediabetes are, however, at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, although they do not usually experience the symptoms of full diabetes.
The risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are similar. They include:
- being overweight
- a family history of diabetes
- having a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL
- a history of high blood pressure
- having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
- a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- being of African-American, Native American, Latin American, or Asian-Pacific Islander descent
- being more than 45 years of age
- having a sedentary lifestyle
If a doctor identifies that a person has prediabetes, they will recommend that the individual makes healthful changes that can ideally stop the progression to type 2 diabetes. Losing weight and having a more healthy diet can often help prevent the disease.
Exercise and diet tips for Diabetes
If a doctor diagnoses a person with type 2 diabetes, they will often recommend making lifestyle changes to support weight loss and overall health.
A doctor may refer a person with diabetes or prediabetes to a nutritionist. A specialist can help a person with diabetes lead an active, balanced lifestyle and manage the condition.
A healthy diet can help prevent, reverse, or manage diabetes.
Steps a person can take to embrace a lifestyle with diabetes include:
Eating a diet high in fresh, nutritious foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fat sources, such as nuts.
Avoiding high-sugar foods that provide empty calories, or calories that do not have other nutritional benefits, such as sweetened sodas, fried foods, and high-sugar desserts.
Refraining from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or keeping intake to less than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.
Engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day on at least 5 days of the week, such as walking, aerobics, riding a bike, or swimming.
Recognizing signs of low blood sugar when exercising, including dizziness, confusion, weakness, and profuse sweating.
People can also take steps to reduce their body mass index (BMI), which can help some people with type 2 diabetes manage the condition without medication.
Slow, steady weight loss goals are more likely to help a person retain long-term benefits
People with type I diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes may need to inject or inhale insulin to keep their blood sugar levels from becoming too high.
Various types of insulin are available, and most are grouped by how long their effect lasts. There are rapid, regular, intermediate, and long-acting insulins.
Some people will use a long-acting insulin injection to maintain consistently low blood sugar levels. Some people may use short-acting insulin or a combination of insulin types. Whatever the type, a person will usually check their blood glucose levels using a fingerstick.
This method of checking blood sugar levels involves using a special, portable machine called a glucometer. A person with type I diabetes will then use the reading of their blood sugar level to determine how much insulin they need.
Self-monitoring is the only way a person can find out their blood sugar levels. Assuming the level from any physical symptoms that occur may be dangerous unless a person suspects extremely low glucose and thinks they need a rapid dose of glucose.
How much is too much?
Insulin helps people with diabetes live an active lifestyle. However, it can lead to serious side effects, especially if a person administers too much.
Excessive insulin can cause hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar, and lead to nausea, sweating, and shaking. It is essential that people measure insulin carefully and eat a consistent diet that balances blood sugar levels as much as possible.
How to Control Diabetes?
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