Minimize Effects of Diabetes

How To Minimize Effects of Diabetes
As a Diabetic, you are presented with two main issues

Short term ill-effects and Longer term harm. Minimizing both areas requires a lot of discipline, and support from those around you.

Diabetics often do not listen to their doctors orders on changing their lifestyle to control this disease - and of course there are many temptations that we all encounter each day - mainly SUGAR treats, and then sitting on our butts watching TV.

When you get rapid spikes or dips in your blood glucose level, this can cause dizziness, disorientation, muscle weakness, nausea - and fatigue. It should be noted that fatigue is a symptom that many people overlook - if you feel tired most of the time, get a checkup.

Now although it may be difficult to prevent spikes and dips from happening at various times, here's what I have found effective to practice and keep in mind:

Regular Monitoring is a Must
It's no fun pricking your fingers! But you must be aware of your blood glucose levels during the day - especially when first diagnosed with Diabetes.

Keep a record of your glucose levels, and eventually you will have an average. If you find your levels are spiking and down, contact your doctor. You may have to change or alter medication because your goal is to keep your glucose-insulin balance as close to normal levels as possible.

For those who simply can't prick, look into some of the newer glucose monitoring devices that don't require it. Some contain tiny, powerful lasers that create a hole through which blood oozes - and this produces a mild tingling sensation. One recent device senses glucose level through the skin using an infrared beam, requiring no blood sample at all.

Regular Medical Care
Part of a long-term glucose monitoring strategy should include regular physician visits. There are several tests to measure blood glucose at a given time.

My physician schedules a quarterly A1C test. The A1C test provides a picture averaged over a period of months. The name comes from HbA1c, an abbreviation for glycated hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues. The extra glucose in the bloodstream of a diabetic causes that hemoglobin to get glycated. That effect persists and allows an A1C test to measure the accumulated result.

Exercise and Diet - Key Elements
Exercise and diet are two key elements for diabetes to achieve the right glucose-insulin balance. Most of us dread these two words - Yes we know we need to do it, and it seriously takes lots of daily discipline.

You can't get around the fact that studies show there is a clear correlation between body fat and the severity of the effect diabetes has on the body. But it should be noted that while most people gain weight, some people may see an abnormal loss in their weight. So any unusual change in weight, along with fatigue should prompt you to make an appointment with your doctor.

Keeping body fat low through proper diet and exercise helps. Body fat plays a role in how the body reacts to glucose levels.  - as well as affecting hormone production and release.

Proper weight and body fat maintenance will also help keep blood pressure at the right level. Chronic high blood pressure is one of the major elements in increasing the risk of common diabetes problems:

It's most important for diabetics to remember that Diabetes is a multi-systematic disease
Heart Attack and Stroke
- The conditions that cause diabetes can also cause heart disease

- Double vision and blurriness can be caused by high blood sugar. The eyeball lens swells when glucose levels rise in the body.

- Elevated levels of glucose cause excessive thirst and urination.

Nerve Damage
- High levels of sugar in the blood can damage nerves in many parts of the body, especially fingers, toes and feet and legs. Damage to the nerves causes an inability to feel pain - especially injuries to the feet.

In the past these long term effects of having diabetes meant patients would endure blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage and other ill health effects. But this is no longer has to be the case!

Now with more understanding of the disease and modern technology, it's possible to reduce the odds of those effects nearly to those without the disease - IF you follow doctor's orders.
With diligence a diabetic can lead a normal life. Remember a little attention a few times a day (monitoring levels, diet, exercise) - along with regular doctor visits can lead to living a long productive life.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog