Diabetes mellitus (DM), also known as simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases. Diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood. The medical word for sugar in the blood or blood sugar is glucose, but most people just say sugar.
Your body changes most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose). Sugar travels to all the cells in your body. Your body makes a chemical called insulin to help sugar move from your blood into your cells. Your cells need sugar to give you energy and keep you healthy. When you have diabetes – your body does not make insulin – your body does not make enough insulin – the insulin your body makes doesn’t work right.
Blood sugar stays high if you don’t have enough insulin to move sugar from your blood into your cells. Over time, high blood sugar levels that are not lowered cause diabetes. Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. If the fasting blood sugar is more than 100mg/dl, consult a physician today.
You may be at risk if you:
Have a family member with diabetes or
Are not physically active
There are mainly two types of diabetes Type 1 Diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
In Type 1 diabetes your body no longer makes insulin.
If your cells can’t get the sugar they need for energy, your blood sugar level become high.
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin.
Most of the people with type 1 diabetes are children or young adults, but it can occur at any age.
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body makes some insulin, but not enough.
Or, the insulin your body makes does not work right.
Diabetes (Know the Signs)
Talk to your doctor if you have any of these problems, especially if you have any of them for a week or more.
Tired or sleepy a lot
Need to urinate often
Numb or tingling hands or feet
Wounds that won’t heal
Hungry all the time
Problems having sex
Sudden weight loss
Understanding Blood Sugar
The best way to stay healthy with diabetes is to control the level of sugar in your blood. Your goal should be too keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible without having high or low blood sugar problems.
Blood Sugar and Urine Testing
Checking your blood sugar tells how well you are controlling your diabetes. Blood sugar is usually tested by putting a drop of blood on a special strip that is read by a meter or you can have it check at your nearest pathology laboratory.
An A1C test is another blood sugar test. This test shows your average blood sugar level over the last 2 to 3 months.
A urine test will show if there is sugar in urine, but its main job is to show if your urine has ketones. Ketones in urine mean your blood sugar is out of control.
High Blood Sugar
Blood Sugar can be high if you
Eat too much food
Are under stress
Don’t take enough medicine
High blood sugar symptoms
Urinating a lot
Learn how medicine, food, exercise and stress affect your blood sugars. Then you can do something about it. If you have high blood sugar often or at certain times of the day tell your doctor or diabetes educator. You may need to change your medicine, meal plan, or how active you are.
Low Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dl., it is too low. This happens more often in people who takes diabetes medicines or insulin. A low blood sugar can happen quickly. If not treated properly can cause medical emergency.
Common causes: Skip a meal or not eat enough food; too much insulin or diabetes medicines; more active than usual.
Symptoms for low blood sugar include:
Shaky or dizzy
Upset or nervous
Weak or tired
What to do, if you have low blood sugar?
Check your sugar. If it is below 70, treat for low blood sugar. Treat by eating a fast acting, high sugar food such as: 1tsp sugar, 3-4 candies, 1 can of regular soda or any cola. Check your blood sugar after 15 minutes, if it is still below 70, treat for low blood sugar.
If you have a low blood sugar problem but can’t test your blood right away, eat or drink a fast acting sugar food anyway. Don’t wait.
Find out why you had a low blood sugar. May be you: exercised too much – didn’t eat enough – didn’t eat the right kinds of food.
Your goal should be to prevent high or low blood sugar problems. If you know what causes your highs and lows, you can solve the problem by making changes in your food, medicine or activity (exercise) program.
Medicine for Diabetes
Most people with diabetes take medicine to control their blood sugar. Diabetes medicines work in different ways to help lower blood sugar. If you take a medicine for diabetes, take it at the same time every day. And learn what to do if you forget to take the medicine. If you take insulin, you should learn how, where and when to inject it. Many people use a needle and syringe to inject insulin. Insulin pens and insulin pumps are also used. It is important to know where to keep your insulin and how long you can use it. Call your doctor’s clinic right away, if you have questions about using insulin.
Controlling Diabetes every day can be hard at times. Join Diabetes Support Group. But keeping your blood sugar as close to normal as possible will help prevent problems. Learn as much as you can about good diabetes care. Call your doctor’s clinic if you have any questions.
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Eat healthy foods every day, be active often, and take your medicine – if you need to. You can definitely lead a healthy life with diabetes.