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Diabetes – What You Need to Know

symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream.

When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system; the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. According to scientists, ‘type 1 diabetes’ is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease.

Type 2 diabetes

This is the most common form of diabetes. It is usually caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. You are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight.

Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with Type 2 Diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out your Body Mass Index (BMI) with this calculator

Some Symptoms of diabetes

symptoms of diabetes

  • increased thirst and urination
  • increased hunger
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  • sores that do not heal
  • unexplained weight loss

Managing Diabetes

You can manage your diabetes and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day. Diabetes can affect almost every part of your body. Therefore, you will need to manage your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar.

Take the A1C test

The A1C test shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. The A1C goal for many people with diabetes is below 7 percent.

Know your Blood pressure

The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 130/90 mm Hg. Ask what your health specialist what your goal should be.

Check your Cholesterol level

You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels.
Ask your health care provider what your cholesterol numbers should be. If you are over 40 years of age, you may need to take a statin drug for heart health.

Stop smoking

managing diabetes

Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing makes your heart work harder.

Take your medicine

Take your medicines even when you feel good or have reached your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals. These medicines help you manage the diabetes.

At the end of the day, we must all strive to live a healthy lifestyle; it is not easy but definitely worth it!

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