Diabetes is a very dangerous disease yet controllable. However, I would not be surprised, if in the next 20 years diabetes would be cause for state of emergency. To date, 290+ million people world wide have diabetes. In my opinion, diabetes should be treated on the same level, and seriousness, as AIDS and HIV. There is still no known cure for the decease. Researchers are finding that more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is no longer called juvenile diabetes, because researchers are also finding out that older people (18 years and older) are being diagnosed as such.
You’d never think that too much or too little sugar/carbs, can devastate one’s body the way it does. We in essence have only 2 choices…. You either take care of your diabetes, or allow it to take care of you (Not in a good way).
It’s equally important to know that, each doctor has their own individual way, of treating their diabetic patients. This can be due to the level of expertise, no expertise, personal experiences, culture differences, or bias belief systems, etc.. Having said this, no one doctor will give you the same regimen, treatment, medications, etc., It doesn’t always necessarily mean that one way is better than the other. However, this does mean that you someone have to also be your own doctor. You must play an integral role in your own diabetes care. Their are many factors that the doctor must look at when choosing the kinds of treatment for your individual diabetes, ie, age, weight, lifestyle, level of insulin resistance, response to medications, preexisting conditions, and so forth.
Diabetes is also a huge subject, and I seriously recommend that one seek knowledge about diabetes beyond your 3x a year doctor visits. Because the truth of the matter is, most doctors today don’t have any time to give, in order to teach in dept about diabetes to their patients. You have to take your own initiative. You must take an active roll in your own personal care. It’s also about taking full control of your life!
It also would not hurt to take your diabetes care one step further, by going to a specialist, an endocrinologist. It never hurts to make sure that you have up to date awareness of new treatments and ways to take care of yourself as a diabetic; in addition to getting all the appropriate blood test, to see if your kidneys, liver, heart, and all other major organs, and processes in the body are working properly. Not all primary physicians are are up to date in terms of diabetes.
It is extremely important to consider the long-term complications, by not taking care of your diabetes. A host of heart problems, eyes, nerve damage, skin, organ failure, just to name a few. However, very little is talked about the immediate/SHORT-term, complications of diabetes as well. When your sugars are too high or too low; sweating, dizziness, weakness, blurry vision, just to name a few.
Checking your sugar ever day is NOT game, nor an option, it is a requirement, if you want to live longer, & if you want to improve the quality of your living. Testing your sugars is the only way to measure/gauge your progress. One of the hardest things for human beings to accept is change. But in terms of diabetes you must. So many people see diabetes as either a doom sentence, or a life of sacrifice; it doesn’t have to be any one of those things. In many ways, diabetes can actually be fun; because their are so many avenues and paths each individual has to choose from. you don’t have to give up anything, just live your life smarter. Some of you know more about your cars and computers, than you do the basics of your own diabetes!!
In truth, any one can benefit from learning about diabetes health. Also know that, there is no such thing as a “cure” yet, but there does exist ways to increase your quality of diabetic life. So long as you keep your sugars under control, it has been proven that all those life threatening complications will be kept away.
What is Diabetes?
Regardless of what type of diabetes you have, it boils down to the inability to process glucose properly. Either you don’t produce any insulin to assist glucose into your body’s cells; or you are insulin resistant, which basically means your body has become stubborn and will not accept any instruction from insulin. What is insulin? Insulin is one of the many vital hormones, that the pancreas produces to help keep glucose levels safe, and assist in feeding your cells glucose, such as muscle tissue and the brain.
A percentage of fats and proteins are converted in to glucose. However, carbohydrates is what effects our glucose levels the most. Our bodies take longer to break down fats and proteins in to glucose, but carbohydrates are processed rather quickly. I should also explain that their are two different types of carbohydrates, called simple and complex. Simple carbs are normally found in natural foods like fruit (processes quickly). Complex carbs, are normally found in processed foods like rice, pasta, and some vegetables such as potatoes (takes longer to break down).
With the exception of “FREE” foods, such as leafy foods like lettuce, greens, etc., virtually EVERY food has carbohydrates in them. Glucose powers our bodies and give it life, as well as give cells the energy it needs to build, heal, reproduce, fight infection, and all other overall functions. So you see, carbohydrates are not a bad thing, however, consuming it in excess is!!
The Key is quality foods. Since virtually everything has carbohydrates in them, it is important to make better food choices. It’s not enough to only eat low carbs. If what your eating has no nutritional benefits, then eating low carb (in my opinion) is in vain.
Fifty+ years ago, there was only one type of diabetes. Today, as we learn more about the disease, scientist realize that categories needed to be made to understand more about diabetes.
This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. This means that for whatever reason (not yet known), the bodies defense mechanisms, in essence attacks the beta cells of the pancreas, that produces insulin. The beta cells cells continues to be attacked until all beta cells are destroyed. Without these vital beta cells, insulin cannot be produced, therefore, glucose cannot be control, and in essence in a matter of a week can be life threatening.
It’s important to understand that in the case of people with type 1 diabetes, there is no cure, no amount of fruits, vegetables, herbs, vitamins, or minerals will “cure” type 1 diabetes. Type 1, is NOT caused by poor diet, however, eating healthier and exercise clearly is the key for a longer life as a type 1 person. All type one’s will eventually become insulin dependent, and must inject a minimum of 3x a day, or before every meal to survive.
It was thought at one time that, only extremely young Caucasian children get type 1 diabetes. We now know that type 1 can occur in ANY age, and ANY race. There are many tests one can use to find out if you have type 1, however, the unfortunate reality is, most type 1 people find out when they are in the emergency room, with life threatening DKA. Doctors must do a better job in screening for type 1.
Also known as LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults), basically in my opinion, it’s the same thing as type 1, the only difference is that it is diagnosed much later in life. Also many LADA patients posses both characteristics of both type 1 ( no insulin production), and type 2 (insulin resistance). Because LADA happens much later in life, doctors often mistaken this as type 2.
Personally, on an emotional level, this effected me a lot because, I first thought it was because I was a bad diabetic, but in reality, it wasn’t my fault. I needed insulin. Sometimes it just takes work trying to understand, and finding a good doctor to overcome many of the challenges of diabetes.
This is the most common type around the world. Statistics show that more people of color (this includes Latino, Asians, Indian, African, etc.,) are effected with type 2 that any other group. Type 2 are what is called insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is really one of the body’s many “defense mechanisms”. When the body becomes insulin resistant, it is protecting itself from drowning in glucose, or glucose overload. Therefore the receptors no longer respond to insulin.
Without exercise and good diet, this condition becomes worse, ultimately resulting in dangerously high levels of glucose and eventually ketones. Type 2 people who are not injecting insulin must work much harder to control their blood sugars. Exercise is the key! When you walk, run, play, etc., this forces your muscles to become more insulin sensitive, or become more hungry for glucose. This will not only help the body control glucose levels, but prevent cells in your body from becoming starved for glucose.
This type of diabetes can be controlled without daily injections (for most people). However, their are times when diet and exercise is not enough, and you must take meds. This does NOT in anyway mean that you’ve failed, it just mean that you must take a different path, when current regimens are not working.
Gestational diabetes occurs in women during or just after pregnancy. For some women gestational diabetes is only temporary, and goes away after giving birth. This would be understandable, as all kinds of hormones are ranging in a pregnant woman’s body. However, for some other women, it comes back later on in their lives as type 2.
In essence, these are people who care for friends and loved one’s with diabetes. In my opinion, in many cases I called the the diabetes police!! I’m not sure if this needed a category, however, I guess it is necessary to acknowledge the emotional and psychological stress, that many of these people go through in caring and watching loved ones with diabetes.
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