What You Need to Know About Diabetes


Diabetes is referred to high blood glucose levels occurring as a result of the pancreas that is unable to produce enough insulin. The function of insulin is to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies and make energy.  When the body does not produce insulin or the production of insulin is inadequate, glucose will increase in your blood. Diabetes can affect your quality of life and can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

What are the types of Diabetes?

  • Type 1 Diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, happens when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin causing glucose to rise higher than normal.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells do not respond to insulin effectively.
  • Gestational diabetes (in pregnancy) develops for the first time during pregnancy. The placenta makes hormones that can lead to too much glucose in your blood and your body cannot produce enough insulin to control it.

What are the common symptoms of diabetes?

  • Intense Thirst and Hunger
  • Frequent urination especially at night
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Headaches
  • Dry mount and itchy skin

How is diabetes diagnosed?

A different blood test can be used to determine sign of diabetes which includes as following:

  • A1C – it is the test that will show your blood glucose over the past 2 or 3 months.
  • Fasting plasma glucose: it is the blood test of sugar on an empty stomach after several hours of fasting. 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): Blood glucose is checked before and 2 hours after drinking a sweet drink to see how the body handles the sugar.

How can I prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes?

If you are at risk for diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most of the things that you need to do involve having a healthier lifestyle. So if you make these changes, you will get other health benefits as well. You may lower your risk of other diseases, and you will probably feel better and have more energy. The changes are

  1. Losing weight and keeping it off. Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 20 pounds. And once you lose weight, it is important that you don’t gain it back.
  2. Following a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the amount of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. To do that, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar. You should also eat a variety of foods from each food group, including plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to limit red meat and avoid processed meats.
  3. Get regular exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, including helping you to lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels. These both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional to figure out which types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly and work up to your goal.
  4. Don’t smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, try to quit.

Talk to your health care provider to see whether there is anything else you can do to delay or to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines

How is diabetes treated?

The goal of diabetes treatment is to keep glucose to be as normal as much as possible and reduce relevant complications that might occur to the patients. For treatment of type 1 diabetes which the body lacks insulin production, treatment will include daily insulin injection, planned physical activity, calculated diet, and home blood glucose testing. The treatment for type 2 diabetes also requires good diet control and exercise but mostly involves oral medication rather than insulin injection.

For patients who have diabetes, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and losing some pounds if you are obese is significant but these should be done together with checking your blood sugar, taking diabetes medicines, and visiting medical professionals regularly in order to best manage and control the diseases.

* All content published is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.