What is Diabetes?
- Diabetes is a health problem in which glucose (sugar) can build up in your blood if it is not treated properly.
- Glucose comes from the food you eat.
- All cells of your body need glucose for energy.
- Insulin must be present and working properly to move glucose from the blood stream into most body cells.
- When you have diabetes, your body cannot make enough insulin or the insulin that is made cannot be used properly-so glucose builds up in the blood stream.
- High levels of glucose in the blood stream can damage blood vessels, nerve endings, and organs in your body - causing long term complications.
- Diabetes is a life long health problem that does not go away.
- There is no cure for diabetes but there are things you can do to help control high blood glucose.
There are two types of diabetes:
- Your pancreas no longer makes insulin.
- You must take daily injections (shots) of insulin.
- Your body must have insulin to use glucose in the food for energy.
- Your pancreas continues to make insulin, but may not make enough insulin or the insulin cannot be used the way it should.
- You may take medication to help control type 2 diabetes which can be pills and/or insulin injections.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Low Blood Sugar
- Rapid Heart Rate
- High Blood Sugar
- Frequent Urination
- Dry Mouth
- Blurred Vision
- Pain or Tingling in Feet or Legs
The Diamond Approach to Diabetes Management:
Monitoring - Check your blood sugar at least one time per day. As a rule, blood sugar should always be less than 150. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before testing.
Stress - Stress may cause blood sugar to go up, this could be positive or negative stress. Stress can come from your thoughts, feelings, environment, or body. It is helpful to have a support system (i.e. friends, family, or an organized diabetes management support group).
Exercise - Benefits of exercise are lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, lowers risk of heart disease, reduces stress, improves blood lipid levels, and strengthens bones. For exercise guidelines, click here.
Meal Planning - Your meal plan should be based on your needs. A dietician can help you know the number of calories, and types of foods your body needs. Eat meals and snacks on time.
- Do not skip meals.
- Healthy food choices will help you control your blood glucose.
- Watch your portion sizes.
- Work with your health care team until you have the right meal plan to suit your needs.
- Eat a wide variety of foods.
- Choose foods that are baked, broiled, grilled, poached, or steamed-not fried.
- Medications - Learn more about medications