Living With Diabetes
Diabetes is a widespread disease that affects people of all ages, races and genders across the U.S. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, which makes up 8.3 percent of the country's population.
Interim HealthCare can customize a program that helps you:
- Understand your disease and what causes it to have greater or lesser impact on your health and well-being.
- Know how to monitor the disease and what to do when levels aren't where they should be.
- Manage your medications - all of them, not just your insulin.
- See the impact of behaviors on your diabetes. We’ll cover nutrition topics as well as other lifestyle items.
- Learn how to exercise in your zone.
- Learn to watch for signs that your diabetes might be having a negative impact on skin or nerve feelings.
- Help you communicate effectively with your physician.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood are higher than they should be, and there is not enough insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to control it. The disease can be caused by too little insulin, a resistance to insulin or both. There are three major types of diabetes - type 1 can occur at any age, but is most often diagnosed in children, teens or young adults whose bodies make small amounts of insulin or none at all. Type 2 diabetes is the most frequently diagnosed, typically during adulthood. However, it is being increasingly diagnosed in teens and young adults because of high obesity rates. Gestational diabetes refers to the development of high blood sugar in pregnant women who did not previously have the disease. In all cases of diabetes, patients may experience similar symptoms, such as blurry vision, excess thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger and weight loss.
While there is currently no cure for diabetes, the disease can be effectively managed with medications and a change in diet and exercise. An important part of treatment is maintaining a healthy weight. Although there is no typical or strict "diabetes diet," it is recommended to eat foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories - like fruits, whole grains and vegetables - instead of fatty, sugary foods. Physical activity is also a must to manage weight, lower blood sugar levels and increase the body's sensitivity to insulin. People with diabetes should aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week. Medications and monitoring of blood sugar levels will be a part of life for people with diabetes. Depending on the condition, blood sugar should be monitored several times a day or several times a week. In addition, many people need insulin therapy throughout the day or may need to take other oral or injected medications to manage the condition.
Home Care Services for Diabetes
At Interim HealthCare we understand that living with diabetes may be challenging. From establishing a healthy lifestyle to managing blood sugar and insulin levels, the disease may require extra care outside regular visits to the doctor or after a stay in the hospital. Interim HealthCare has experience in helping individuals and their families live with diabetes. Our home healthcare professionals can visit people with diabetes in their homes or at assisted living communities to provide care or supplement a healthcare regimen.