A Physician's Guide to the Truth about Diabetes and How to Manage it. - Infiuss Health

A Physician's Guide to the Truth about Diabetes and How to Manage it.

Diabetes is most accurately defined as a condition where your body has trouble keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

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Dr. Peace Chikezie

02 Feb 2024

Table of Content

  • Introduction

  • What are the common types of diabetes?

  • 7 early diabetes signs you might want to discuss with your doctor

  • How do you test for diabetes?

  • Living healthy with diabetes: how to take control

  • Be a part of the solution 

  • FAQs



Introduction

Have you recently received a diabetes diagnosis? Or maybe you've been living with it for years and need some guidance? We're here to help, no matter where you are on your journey. Let's talk about diabetes.

First things first, you're not alone. Diabetes is incredibly common, and there are tons of ways to manage it effectively. 

Now, let's break it down.

Diabetes is most accurately defined as a condition where your body has trouble keeping your blood sugar levels under control. This can happen because your body either doesn't make enough insulin, a hormone that helps sugar enter your cells for energy, or it can't use the insulin it does make properly. As a result, sugar builds up in your bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

A person with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus will develop long-term problems like heart disease, nerve damage, and vision issues. 

But the good news is, we can prevent that! 

So, where do we start? In this guide you will learn the common types of diabetes, symptoms you may have, how diabetes is diagnosed and managed, and how to prevent common complications. 

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Common types of diabetes

Alright, let's talk about the different types of diabetes. Remember, this isn't an exhaustive list, but we'll cover the main ones you'll likely encounter:

1. Type 2 Diabetes: This is the big one, affecting around 90-95% of people with diabetes. Here, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use it properly, leading to high blood sugar. It can develop at any age, but it's most common in adults.

2. Type 1 Diabetes: This happens when your immune system attacks your insulin-producing cells, causing a lack of insulin. Unlike Type 2, it usually starts in childhood or young adultho

3. Gestational Diabetes: This occurs in some pregnant women, often due to hormonal changes. It usually goes away after pregnancy, but it increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.

4. Prediabetes: This is a warning sign, where blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet high enough for a Type 2 diagnosis. Lifestyle changes can often prevent it from progressing.

7 early diabetes signs you might want to discuss with your doctor

Okay, let's talk about your symptoms.

Remember, not everyone experiences all of these, and they can vary depending on the type and severity of diabetes.

  • Polydipsia: when a diabetic patient has polydipsia, this means that she/he is constantly drinking, but never feels quenched.

  • Frequent urination: This is because your body tries to flush out excess sugar through your urine.

  • Fatigue and lack of energy: High blood sugar can drain your energy levels.

  • Diabetes double vision: Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect your eye lenses leading to blurring of vision.

  • Unexplained weight loss: Your body may start burning muscle for energy when it can't use glucose.

  • Slow-healing sores and cuts: Poor circulation and high blood sugar can impair wound healing.

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet: This is a common symptom of nerve damage from high blood sugar.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you know? Do you have any concerns or questions about what we've discussed so far?

Discuss with your doctor on your next visit.

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How do you test for diabetes

finger prick : diabetes test

When it comes to diagnosing diabetes, there are three main blood tests used:

  • Fasting Blood Glucose Test: This shows your baseline blood sugar after an 8-hour fast.

  • Random Blood Glucose Test: This can be done anytime, regardless of eating, but only indicates high blood sugar, not necessarily diabetes.

  • The A1C Test which is the best indicator of overall diabetic control measures your average blood sugar over the past 2-3 months, giving a broader picture.

Living healthy with diabetes: how to take control

Okay, managing diabetes can seem overwhelming, but it's important to remember that everyone's journey is different. 

Here are 5 key ideas to help you control diabetes.

They include:

1. Diet and Nutrition:

diet for diabetic patients eg: nuts
  •  Prioritize healthy, balanced meals low in fat and calories, and high in fiber.

  •  Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

  •  If using insulin, learn about carb counting to manage your doses.

2. Physical Activity:

  •     Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days.

  •     Brisk walks, swimming, biking, or dancing are all great options.

  •     Even short breaks of activity throughout the day can benefit you.

3. Blood Sugar Monitoring:

 a man pricking his finger for diabetes blood sugar monitoring
  •     Track your blood sugar regularly to see how your plan is working.

  •     Use a home glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

4. Medications:

  •     Oral medications (tablets) may be enough for early-stage Type 2 or prediabetes.

  •     Insulin injections are important for Type 1 and some advanced Type 2 cases.

5. Lifestyle Changes:

  • Weight Management: Losing even 5-10% of your body weight can significantly improve diabetes control.

  • Stress Management: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.

  • Sleep Hygiene: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

  • Alcohol Moderation: Limit alcohol intake as it can affect blood sugar.

  • Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking significantly reduces your risk of diabetes complications.

Remember to start with achievable changes and gradually build new habits.

Be a part of the solution!

Your insights matter. By taking a few minutes to complete this short questionnaire, you can help researchers and AI developers understand your needs and experiences better and create the best solution for you and others like you.

Remember:

  • Your answers are confidential and anonymous.

  • The questionnaire takes just a few minutes to complete.

  • Every voice counts – yours included!

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FAQS

How can I prevent Diabetes?

While you can't fully prevent some forms like Type 1, reducing your risk for Type 2 and prediabetes is possible through:

Healthy Diet: Choose whole foods, and limit processed sugars and unhealthy fats.

Exercise: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most days.

Weight Management: Losing even 5-10% of body weight can help.

Is falling asleep after eating a sign of diabetes?

Falling asleep or feeling sleepy after eating is a common occurrence and not necessarily a sign of diabetes. However, if it happens frequently or alongside other symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, or unexplained weight loss, it's best to consult a doctor for proper evaluation.

Can a man with diabetes get a woman pregnant?

Yes, a man with diabetes can get a woman pregnant. While diabetes can affect fertility in some men, proper management of the condition can significantly improve the chances of conception. Consult your doctor before trying to conceive to ensure proper diabetes management and maximize the chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy.

How long can a type 1 diabetic survive without insulin

Without insulin, a person with Type 1 diabetes can quickly develop life-threatening complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Survival time without insulin varies depending on individual factors, but it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention if insulin access is interrupted.

Which characteristic is unique to diabetes mellitus-associated gingivitis

There's no single characteristic unique to diabetes mellitus-associated gingivitis. However, it often progresses faster and may be more resistant to treatment than gingivitis in people without diabetes. Regular dental hygiene and monitoring for gum inflammation are crucial for managing both diabetes and oral health.

Is diabetes a silent killer?

While diabetes can progress without noticeable symptoms in its early stages, it's not entirely "silent." Certain symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss can be warning signs. Regular checkups and blood sugar monitoring are crucial for early detection and management, preventing complications.

Is diabetes a critical illness?

Diabetes is a chronic illness, meaning it requires ongoing management but doesn't necessarily have to be life-threatening. However, if left uncontrolled, it can lead to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. With proper management and healthy lifestyle choices, people with diabetes can avoid that and live long and healthy lives.


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Join over thousands of participants in Infiuss Health’s research community and respond to a quick questionnaire, will take 2 mins only!

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