The number of people who have diabetes is on the rise in recent times, and while it is a serious health condition, there are ways to take care of yourself that can help you lead a long life while managing the condition. The basics of diabetes have to do with how the body breaks down the food that it is fed. When a person eats something, a portion of the food is broken down into glucose which then will travel in the bloodstream to all of the cells of the body.
In the pancreas, insulin is produced and that insulin helps the glucose move from the bloodstream to the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood are raised after eating and the insulin lowers those blood levels when it is working properly. In a body with diabetes, there is not enough insulin produced, or perhaps none at all is being made. It is then up to the diabetic person to take control of managing diabetes and doing the job that the body can no longer do on its own.
There does not seem to be a known cause for diabetes, but there are risk factors that are known for type 2 or adult onset diabetes. These risk factors include: being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and hypertension. There is much known about how managing diabetes can be done in daily life and that is the good news.
The elements of good diabetes management include a meal plan which will limit intake of carbohydrates, an exercise plan that includes daily activity, and knowledge of how and when to measure your blood glucose levels and what they mean. One of the most important elements of managing diabetes is the checking of blood glucose levels.
This is the way that you can monitor the effects of any medications that you are taking as well as seeing how your food plan and activity levels are affecting the levels of glucose in your blood. Frequent monitoring of the glucose levels will give you the knowledge needed to adjust medications and exercise to achieve more healthy blood glucose readings.
It will be important to talk to your health care team about learning to recognize the signs of low blood glucose and be aware that this condition can occur if you eat too little food or take too much insulin. This can also happen if you are more active than you would normally be for your level of medication. It is also important to know the signs of high blood glucose and what to do if your glucose readings are high for many days in a row.
One of the best ways to keep a clear record of your blood glucose is by keeping a written record of the readings you take and the medications as well. Keeping this written record of what you eat, what exercises you did and for how long will also help clarify the things that may contribute to the blood readings you are seeing. The focus of managing diabetes is control. Control over diet, activity and the management of medications to achieve a healthy level of blood sugars each day.