Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way your body uses food for energy. Normally, the sugar you take in is digested and broken down into a simple sugar known as glucose. The glucose then circulates in your blood where it waits to enter cells to be used as fuel. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps move the glucose into cells. A healthy pancreas adjusts the amount of insulin based on the level of glucose. But, if you have diabetes, this process breaks down, and blood sugar levels become too high.
There are two main types of full-blown diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes are completely unable to produce insulin. People with Type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but their cells don’t respond to it. In either case, the glucose can’t move into the cells, and blood glucose levels can become high. Over time, these high glucose levels can cause serious complications.
Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the United States, and Americans need to know the risk factors and what they can do to treat the disease. Diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney failure, and nervous system damage.
It is important to know the risk factors and warning signs of diabetes and what you can do to treat the disease if you have it. Some warning signs may include: extreme thirst and/or hunger, fatigue, frequent need to urinate, unusual weight loss, blurred vision, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, frequent infections, and slow-healing bruises.
A simple blood test at your doctor’s office can diagnose diabetes. Although diabetes can’t be cured, you can still live a long and healthy life. The single most important thing you can do is control your blood sugar level. You can do this by eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and, if needed, taking oral medicines or insulin.
Eat a healthy diet – The recommended diet for many people who have diabetes is very similar to that suggested for everyone: low in fat, low in cholesterol, low in salt, and low in added sugar. In order to help keep your blood sugar at a healthy level, it is important to eat at least 3 meals per day and never skip a meal.
Exercise – Exercising will help your body use insulin and will lower your blood sugar level. It also helps control your weight, gives you more energy, and is good for your overall health.
Maintain a healthy weight – Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy body weight will help you in two ways. First, it helps insulin work well in your body. Second, it will lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease.
Take your medicine – If your diabetes can’t be controlled with diet, exercise, and weight control, your doctor may recommend medicine or insulin. Oral medicines (taken by mouth) can make your body produce more insulin or help your body use the insulin it makes more efficiently. Some people need to add insulin to their bodies with insulin injections, insulin pens, or insulin pumps. Always take medicines exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Remember to please seek medical advice when starting a new diet or exercise regimen.
Trainer Tip by Christina Perez.