Living With Diabetes


Diabetes is a disease that changes the way the body uses and processes glucose, which is a type of sugar. Glucose is used to produce energy for the body and is processed by a hormone called insulin that is produced by the pancreas.

There are two different kinds of diabetes and in Type I Diabetes, the body does not produce enough, or in many cases, any insulin. The other type of diabetes, Type II Diabetes, is characterized by an insulin resistance.

Through careful blood sugar monitoring and proper treatment, most people with diabetes can lead a full and normal life. However, it is very important to pay attention to ones diet and preform regular exercise.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is essential for both those with Type I and Type II Diabetes. Type II diabetes can sometimes be treated by a healthy diet alone, but those with Type I Diabetes will usually also need regular insulin shots.

The reason that diet is so important is that those who are affected by diabetes are not properly processing glucose, or blood sugar. As a result, there is often too much glucose in the bloodstream or not enough. Eating foods that are high in sugar can result or fat can result in an elevated blood sugar level, although if the blood glucose level is too low, this might be required.

Instead of eating foods with a high fat or sugar, foods high in carbohydrates, such as legumes, rice, and pasta, should be used. This allows the body to draw more of its energy from carbohydrates, instead of sugars.

Try to Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol and Smoking can actually be very dangerous to those with diabetes.

Alcohol consumption, while arguably relatively safe when used in moderation for most people, can lower the blood sugar of those with diabetes and is high in calories, which can cause weight gain.

Smoking is dangerous, because by itself, smoking increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, which those who have diabetes are at a much higher risk of contracting.

Pay Attention to Cuts and Wounds

Those with diabetes often heal at a much slower rate, which can cause sores to become infected and take a long time to heal. In many cases, amputation will be required.

Infected sores on the feet are the most common and can often develop into ulcers and become infected with gangrene. Sweaty feat can increase the risk of developing sores, so wearing wool socks or those made out of 100% cotton is a good idea. Special diabetic socks are available, as are diabetic shoes, which are more breathable than regular shoes. It is important to also not walk barefoot, have regular podiatrist visits, and maintain proper foot hygiene, such as keeping your toenails neatly trimmed.

In addition to wearing diabetic shoes and diabetic socks, it is also important to always carefully inspect your feet for cuts or sores and see a doctor immediately if one develops.

Stay Active

Exercise is very important and can ensure that you stay and feel healthy. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, which those who have diabetes are at increased risk of contracting. Those with Type I Diabetes will need to carefully monitor their blood sugar level, using a digital glucose monitor, before, during, and after exercise, because glucose levels usually drop during strenuous activities.

Speak With your Doctor

Visits to the doctor should also be preformed on a regular basis, to ensure that your level of treatment is adequate. This includes regular doctors, as well as foot doctors, and you should have a doctors visit at least once every 3 months. This can help, because your doctor will be able to quickly spot and help head off the possible complications that can be caused by diabetes. Doctors will check your blood sugar level as well as take urine samples, to determine if kidney damage is present.

It is also important to have regular eye examinations, because diabetes ca cause the small blood vessels in the back of the eye to become damaged. This can result in diabetic retinopathy and even blindness.

Carefully Monitor Your Blood Sugar Level

While monitoring your blood sugar level is essential and will be required at least once a day, it is also important to regularly check your blood pressure. This is often overlooked, but is essential, because those with diabetes have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

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