Diabetes Management (Testing & Treatment)
What are the symptoms of Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetics may never have symptoms before they are diagnosed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 30.3 million Americans with diabetes,7.2 million remain undiagnosed. “Undiagnosed or untreated diabetes could exist in individuals who haven’t undergone regular screening for high blood sugars.
Common symptoms of diabetes include
- Being very thirsty
- Urinating often
- Feeling very hungry
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying
- Sores that heal slowly
- Dry, itchy skin
- Feelings of pins and needles in your feet
- Losing feeling in your feet
- Blurry eyesight
How are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes different?
The term diabetes refers to the body’s inability to process glucose in the bloodstream. Once referred to as “Juvenile Diabetes”, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where a healthy immune system inexplicably attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Eventually, the cells will die completely, and the person is left reliant on insulin injections or infusions for the rest of their life.
Once referred to as “Adult Onset Diabetes”, Type 2 Diabetics still produce insulin, but either the body does not produce enough to counteract the amount of glucose in the blood, or the body is resistant to the insulin it produces.
While diet and exercise can greatly affect whether a person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, there is no way for Type 1 diabetes to be prevented or cured.
How is Diabetes Treated?
Maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle is important for all diabetics and many diabetics of both types will require insulin injections or infusions to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Both types of diabetics will be required to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day. However, advances in medicine have allowed Type 2 diabetics access to non-insulin medications that help their bodies become less resistant to the insulin they produce where Type 1 diabetics are reliant on insulin injections for life.
Does a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mean I will have to go on insulin?
No. People with type 2 diabetes may or may not ever need to take insulin injections, depending on several factors, including the timing of diagnosis. Research indicates that if type 2 diabetes is treated early and blood sugar is controlled initially and over the years, the pancreas is more likely to produce enough insulin longer. But a person who lives with type 2 upward of 15 years is unlikely to continue to make sufficient insulin and will need to take it via syringe, pen, or pump.
I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Do I need to see an endocrinologist?
There are only 3,000 Endocrinologist in the U.S. who treat diabetes and 25 million people have diabetes; there are not nearly enough endocrinologists. Most of the times Type 2 Diabetics can be easily managed by your primary care doctors. Type 1 diabetics are very labile, which means their blood glucose levels vary sharply and suddenly, needing Endocrinologist to be involved early in the care. Make sure your doctor keeps up-to-date and provides you with care in sync with current guidelines. Be active in your care and ask questions.
What is Hemoglobin A1c?
This relatively simple blood test can tell you a lot. The test results give you a picture of your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. The higher the levels, the greater your risk of developing diabetes complications. Your doctor will tell you how often you need the A1C test, but usually you’ll have the test at least twice a year if you’re meeting your treatment goals. If you’re not meeting your goals or you change treatments, you may need to get an A1C test more often.
Which fruits Diabetics can enjoy?
The following is a list of common fruits:
- Dried fruit such as:
- Fruit cocktail
- Honeydew melon
What is diabetic diet?
Whether you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight.
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