Living with diabetes is difficult, but the illness is highly manageable if you know how to take care of yourself with the proper diet, treatment and lifestyle. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease affecting about 380 million of the worldwide population and the incidence continues to grow. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, this number doubles by 2030. There are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the type 2 diabetes accounts to about 90% of diabetes cases. Diabetes involves changes in the blood sugar level in the body owing to the inadequate production of insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or the body cells fail to respond to insulin (Type 2 diabetes).
What happens when you have Type 1 diabetes?
When the body does not produce insulin, as in the case of Type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to convert sugar to provide the body with the energy it needs to carry out its physiological function. As a result, the person will experience the symptoms of fatigue, weakness, blurred vision and extreme hunger. It is also common for the individual to experience frequent urination, unintended weight loss, mood changes and irritability. This condition is most common among children and the young adults, hence Type 1 diabetes mellitus is also called as juvenile diabetes. About 10% of cases of diabetes are Type 1 and patients with this condition need to take insulin injections to help the body sustain its normal function in utilizing the blood sugar. Being insulin dependent is a lifetime consideration in terms of a person’s lifestyle and diet.
What happens when you have Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases and it is a chronic condition involving the abnormal process of metabolizing sugar in the body to convert sugar into energy. The body cells resist insulin or it may not produce enough insulin for the proper sugar maintenance in the body. The condition occurs during adulthood and the person does not require insulin injection as in the Type 1 diabetes. Hence, Type 2 diabetes mellitus is also called as non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease and it can chronically get worse. Individuals who are overweight or have a high body mass index are more at risk to the condition. The older population is also more susceptible to the disorder. Type 2 diabetes produces the symptoms of extreme thirst, fatigue, weakness, blurred vision, weight loss and slow healing wounds.
Various Ways of managing diabetes
While diabetes is a lifetime chronic disease, there are different ways to manage the condition. Sometimes the condition can be overwhelming, especially to a person who understands that they have to deal with their condition throughout their lifetime. However, positive management of your condition will help you get through the difficulties of living a life with diabetes with these tips:
1. Take your medication as prescribed regularly
Reversing the negative effects of diabetes in the body is highly manageable with medications. By taking your medication regularly, exactly as prescribed by your doctor, you can control your blood sugar level to maintain the adequate level of sugar metabolism that the body needs. With a normal functioning metabolic process going on, you can control the occurrence of diabetes symptoms. Medication treatment or regular insulin injection can help you live a normal life without the risks of developing heart disease, neuropathy, visual problems and other possible complications of diabetes.
2. Observe regular exercise
An exercise of 30 minutes three to four times a week will keep the body strong and helps the body to produce and utilize more blood sugar. By exercising, you decrease the fat storage in the body and keeps the body in its ideal weight. Different kinds of exercise are beneficial in helping control the blood sugar level in the body and reverse the adverse effect of diabetes. You can mix aerobic exercise with resistance training. Start with low intensity exercise and progress in performing high intensity resistance exercise to help the body adapt to more intense physical activity.
3. Manage your diet plan
Diabetics need to be conscious about maintaining their weight to reduce the risk of more severe symptoms of their diabetes and to prevent its progression. By weight control means one needs to learn how to plan for a healthy diet. Keeping a record of the ideal meal plan helps one control their diabetes and to potentially reverse the disorder. Learning about your eating pattern will help you control your appetite better and a meal plan will give you better food choices that are ideal for your condition. Doctors, however, advise that starving yourself will not help and preventing your cravings will tend to make you eat more instead. The best way of managing your diet is to allow yourself to enjoy eating even the forbidden foods in small servings only. This will help satisfy your cravings without causing you to go through a crash diet that can produce a more disastrous effect to your condition.
4. Live a healthy lifestyle
If you like smoking or taking alcoholic beverages, it is about time to quit. Smoking can double the risk of a person of getting diabetes or it can cause their diabetes to become worse with more serious complications. Smoking can result in an increases blood glucose level and it can also constrict the blood vessels, increasing the potential complications of nerve damage, kidney disease and infection. Alcohol in drinks contains calories, which can also result in repercussions in the body weight that increases the risk of worsening your condition. By quitting your bad habits, you can improve your chances of living healthier with the ability to control your diabetes symptoms.
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