Diabetes: A Comprehensive Guide For Patients and Families

Learn about type one and type two diabetes and how to manage the symptoms, treatment options, and wellness needs of the chronic condition.

Diabetes: A Comprehensive Guide For Patients and Families

ost common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision

If you have any of these symptoms, it's essential to see your doctor. They can order tests to check for diabetes.

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?

There are two main types of tests used to diagnose diabetes:

  1. A fasting blood sugar test: This test is usually done in the morning, before breakfast, after a 12 hour fast. Your doctor will take a blood sample and check your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are higher than average, you may have diabetes.
  2. A1C Test: An A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. You can complete the A1C test daily, and it doesn't require fasting.

If you have diabetes, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This plan may include lifestyle changes, medication, or both.

How is Diabetes Treated?

There is no cure for diabetes, but we can manage it. You can live a long and healthy life with proper treatment and management.

Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes:

If you have type 1 diabetes, your treatment plan will include insulin therapy. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. You may need to take insulin injections several times a day or use an insulin pump. You'll also need to monitor your blood sugar levels and eat a healthy diet.

Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes:

If you have type 2 diabetes, your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, medication, etc. Lifestyle changes may include losing weight if you're overweight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. You may also need to take diabetes medication, such as metformin, to help control your blood sugar levels. Some patients with type 2 diabetes require insulin treatment as well.

If you have diabetes, it's essential to see your doctor regularly. They can monitor your condition and ensure you're on the right treatment plan.

How To Prevent Diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you can often prevent it by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising. If you have prediabetes, you can often prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes.

  • Losing weight if you're overweight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Monitoring your blood sugar levels

If you have type 1 diabetes, you can't prevent it, but you can manage your condition with insulin therapy and maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.

The exact steps to prevent type 2 diabetes can also help people with type 1 diabetes manage their condition.

Living With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, it's essential to take care of yourself and manage your condition. You can live a long and healthy life with proper treatment and management.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for people with diabetes. If you're overweight, you're more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. And if you already have diabetes, being overweight can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels.

Losing weight if you're overweight can help prevent or self-manage diabetes. Pay attention to your BMI. Also known as body mass index, it measures your body fat based on your height and weight. A healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. If your BMI is 25 or more, you're considered overweight. If it's 30 or more, you're considered obese.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential for people with diabetes. Eating healthy foods can help you control your blood sugar levels. It's also important to eat regular meals and snacks to avoid low blood sugar levels throughout the day.

You should also limit your saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. These can all contribute to heart disease, a common complication of diabetes.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly is essential for people with diabetes. It can help you control your blood sugar levels and lose weight if you're overweight or obese. Exercise also helps your body use insulin more effectively.

Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels

If you have diabetes, you can self-manage by regularly monitoring your blood sugar or glucose levels. This can help you know if your treatment plan is working and if you need to make any adjustments.

See Your Endocrinologist Regularly

If you have diabetes, it's essential to see your doctor regularly. They can monitor your condition and ensure you're on the right treatment plan.

What are the Complications of Diabetes?

Diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputations. But with proper treatment and management, you can live a long and healthy life. Some of the most common problems people with diabetes experience include:

Hypoglycemia:

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can happen if you take insulin or other diabetes medication. Symptoms of hypoglycemia consist of feeling shaky, sweating, heart racing, and confusion. If you have hypoglycemia, you need to eat or drink something with sugar right away.

Hyperglycemia:

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can happen if you don't take enough insulin or if your body can't use it effectively. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include feeling tired, having blurred vision, and urinating frequently.

Retinopathy:

Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects your eyes. It can damage the blood vessels in your retina, the part of your eye that helps you see. Retinopathy can lead to vision loss and even blindness.

Ketoacidosis:

Ketoacidosis is a severe complication that people with diabetes can experience. When your body can't use glucose for energy, it breaks down fat for fuel. This process produces ketones,

Hyperinsulinemia:

Hyperinsulinemia is a condition that can occur in people with diabetes. It happens when there's too much insulin in your blood. Symptoms of hyperinsulinemia include feeling shaky, sweating, heart racing, and confusion. If you have hyperinsulinemia, you need to check your blood sugar levels and take insulin if required.

Nephropathy:

Nephropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects your kidneys. It can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys, which can cause them to fail. Nephropathy can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Pancreatitis:

Pancreatitis is a severe complication that can occur in people with diabetes. It happens when your pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatitis can be extremely painful and can lead to complications and in extreme cases, death.

Peripheral Neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects your nerves. It can damage the nerves in your hands and feet, which can cause pain, numbness, and tingling. Peripheral neuropathy can also lead to infection and amputation.

Diabetes is a severe and chronic condition that requires ongoing care. Patients and their families need to be educated on managing the symptoms and treatment options to maintain wellness. Antidote Health can provide you with the resources you need to live a healthy life with diabetes. Our platform offers access to GPs, dietitians, and mental health professionals who can help you manage all aspects of your health. With our comprehensive care, you can live well with diabetes.

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