How to Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that affects more and more individuals. If not treated on time, it will have devastating consequences. Both types of diabetes can easily be managed nowadays. If you are interested in knowing how diabetes is handled, read the article below.

Before insulin was discovered in 1921, patients suffering from type I diabetes died only several years after they were diagnosed with the condition. Even though insulin isn’t a cure, the discovery of insulin was a major breakthrough in possible treatment. Nowadays the basic type I diabetes therapy consists of regular insulin intake, healthy diet and regular physical activity. Daily activities and proper diet regulates insulin levels. In order to make sure the glucose levels are within the normal range, they are monitored several times a day.

People who suffer from diabetes also undergo the A1C laboratory test several times a year. This test reflects the average glucose levels over a two to three month period.

A healthy diet, physical fitness and activity, as well as regular blood glucose checkups are also part of the type II diabetes management. Many people who are affected by type II diabetes require medication as well. The medication is mostly taken orally, but some also require insulin shots. Adults who are affected by diabetes are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Statistics have shown that approximately 65% of diabetics die from stroke or heart disease.

Even though many individuals think that blood glucose levels are the only thing that should be managed, they aren’t aware that managing cholesterol and blood pressure plays a major role as well. Both are manageable with regular physical activity and a healthy diet, as well as medication (only if needed). By managing cholesterol and blood pressure as well, diabetics are able to lower their risk of cardiovascular issues. Getting rid of bad habits like smoking will also do quite a lot, as well as aspirin therapy (if your health practitioner recommends it – never do this on your own).

Diabetics must take care of themselves; their daily activities include regular blood glucose levels checkup and keeping them within the normal range – if it drops too low or is too high and they aren’t able to normalize it, they have to seek medical assistance immediately. If the blood glucose level drops below the normal levels (hypoglycemia), the individual will be nervous, confused and shaky. Extremely low glucose levels results in impaired judgment and fainting. High glucose levels (hyperglycemia) results in troubles with focusing, increased thirst and hunger and increased urination.

Diabetics usually receive the needed medical care from primary care physicians – they include family practice doctors, internists and pediatricians. Having full medical staff, however, may improve that care: the full staff includes the above-mentioned medical care providers, as well as an endocrinologist, an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a cardiologist, a nurse and a dietitian. Other experts may also be of great value – certified educators for instance, as they will provide all the necessary information about how to change your lifestyle in order to be able to cope with diabetes. If the individual suffering from either type I or type II diabetes is a pregnant woman, the staff should also include an obstetrician who specialized in pregnant diabetics care. A neonatologist or pediatrician who is experienced with babies who are born by diabetic mothers should also be included.

The most important goal every diabetic should be focused on is keeping his blood glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure, in normal ranges, or as close to it as possible. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases sponsored a study called Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). The results of the study showed that risk of complications from type I diabetes was lowered in individuals who kept their glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control. The study lasted for ten years and it was completed in year 1993. Over 1400 individuals (1441, to be exact) affected by type I diabetes were part of the study. In the study, two approaches to treatment were compared – intensive management versus standard management, in regards to progression and development of cardiovascular complications, as well as complications that affect kidneys, nerves and sight. The aim of the intensive treatment was keeping all the levels very close to normal (approximately 6%). The results have shown that those individuals who have been keeping their values as close to normal as possible had fewer complications. There was also a follow up study with the same participants and it showed that the results of intensive management persisted even after 10 years have passed since the original study ended. A study called United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study that ended in 1998 has shown that intensive management of blood pressure and blood glucose reduced the risk of kidney disease, stroke, blindness and heart failure in people who were affected by type 2 diabetes.


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