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Chances are you know someone who has Diabetes
Posted: 8/18/2015 10:35 AM by
The CDC estimates that 21 million people in the US have been diagnosed with Diabetes, and another 8.1 million do not know that they have diabetes. That’s almost 10% of the population!
Additionally, 86 million people over the age of 20 are Pre-Diabetic, and will in the future develop diabetes.
If you have diabetes, or care for someone at home who has diabetes, increasing your knowledge can be helpful in effectively managing the condition.
Diabetes is a disorder of sugar metabolism with a myriad of health consequences and complications.
There are three types of Diabetes:
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce the hormone, insulin. This type of diabetes used to be called Juvenile Onset diabetes, as it was commonly discovered in early childhood. Type 1 diabetes requires the lifetime use of injected insulin. About 5% of the diagnosed diabetics in the US have Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as excess weight and inactivity, seem to be contributing factors. Type 2 Diabetes can be treated with lifestyle modifications, oral medications and/or insulin. 95% of the diagnosed diabetics in the US have Type 2 Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy and resolves once the baby is born.
More common in adults, type 2 diabetes increasingly affects children as childhood obesity increases. There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you can manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
Knowledge is Power
Knowing about blood sugar metabolism, signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar, how to test blood glucose levels at home, maintaining healthy weight, diet and appropriate activity levels are important in self care or looking after a loved one with diabetes of any type at home. Effective home management of blood sugar levels by taking insulin or oral medications exactly as prescribed, spreading carbohydrate intake throughout the day and consistently performing some type of physical activity will prevent complications of diabetes and slow the progression of infirmity in the elderly.
Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes, or caring for a loved one with diabetes at home can be challenging and requires commitment to continuous monitoring and management.
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