Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can cause you to become fatigued, feel extreme hunger, and experience other more serious problems over time. If you do not manage this disease, you could develop more serious complications like vision problems, dementia, and kidney issues. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, we can help you learn how to use diabetes management methods to decrease your chances of developing diabetes-related complications.
Diabetes Management: Why Is It Important?
Diabetes mellitus is used to describe several diseases that negatively impact your body’s ability to process sugar. These illnesses include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both of these types of diabetes can lead to excessively high amounts of sugar in your blood.
This excess sugar can cause you to develop a number of serious health issues. As a result, controlling this illness will reduce your health risks and provide you with a number of other significant benefits.
Reduce Your Risk of Vision Loss
If you have uncontrolled diabetes for a long period of time, you will have a higher risk of experiencing eye problems. In particular, diabetes can cause the blood vessels in your retinas to become damaged. This problem is called diabetic retinopathy, and it can cause you to become blind. In addition to this problem, having diabetes can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and other vision issues.
Decrease Your Dementia Risk
Having uncontrolled diabetes will heighten your risk of developing dementia when you are older. Although scientists do not completely understand the link between diabetes and dementia, evidence suggests that this risk may increase if you do not control your blood sugar levels. As a result, you might be able to improve your chance of having a higher quality of life in your later years if you maintain good control of your blood sugar.
Improve Your Overall Health
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause you to experience a number of frustrating symptoms that will interfere with your daily activities. For example, you might feel constantly tired and have to go to the bathroom very frequently. In addition, your wounds may heal very slowly, and you might have frequent bladder infections.
Controlling your diabetes is likely to improve your energy levels and decrease your bladder problems. Fixing these symptoms can help you complete tasks at your job and enjoy social events with your friends and family members.
Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels
It’s very important to keep your blood sugar levels within your medical provider’s recommended range. If your blood sugar becomes excessively high, you could become hyperglycemic. This problem can cause you to have urinary issues, headaches, blurred vision, and other problems. If your blood sugar becomes too low, you might become hypoglycemic. This problem can cause you to become shaky, tired, and irritable.
What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes.
Type One Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops when your body does not produce enough insulin. When you are healthy, your pancreas will provide adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin is a type of hormone that controls the amount of glucose in your blood. This hormone helps your body convert sugar into energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas will not create enough insulin.
Your lack of insulin will prevent glucose from leaving your bloodstream and moving into your cells. As a result, the amount of sugar in your blood will become too high, and you can develop serious medical problems. This type of diabetes often develops very quickly. Although it’s common to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when you are a child or teenager, it is also possible to develop this problem when you are older.
Type Two Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is likely to develop slowly over a longer period of time. Further, you might not have symptoms if you have this type of diabetes. You may discover that you have this problem when you begin to experience diabetes-related complications.
Type 2 diabetes can develop when your pancreas does not create adequate amounts of insulin. You can also develop this problem when your cells become resistant to insulin.
Going through a pregnancy can cause you to become diabetic. When you become pregnant, the hormones in your body will change. These changes may impair your body’s ability to control the amount of sugar in your blood. You will be more likely to experience this problem if you were overweight before you became pregnant.
Although this condition is likely to go away after you give birth, developing gestational diabetes indicates that you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As a result, you might need to get your blood sugar tested in the future.
How Can I Learn How to Manage My Diabetes?
Managing your diabetes can be a very challenging endeavor. When you are first diagnosed with this disease, you may feel overwhelmed as you learn how to make diet and lifestyle changes, take your prescribed medications, and use other techniques to control this illness. In addition, as you continue to manage your diabetes, you may struggle to stick with your new diet and lifestyle program.
Taking a Class
Fortunately, you don’t have to manage your diabetes on your own. At Southside Medical Center, we offer diabetes management classes that can help you learn how to control your illness in a supportive, caring environment. During your classes, we will provide you with more information about common management tools, like making dietary changes, participating in an exercise program, and using blood sugar monitoring methods.
Learning Coping Strategies
In addition to learning more about lifestyle changes, our classes can help you cope with the emotional issues that are related to your diabetes. For example, you might learn how to manage your illness-related stress. Further, we can teach you about mindful eating practices that will help you follow a balanced, healthy diet.
Visiting Your Doctor
Although our classes will provide you with many useful strategies and techniques, it’s important to understand that your body is unique. As a result, the techniques that work for other people may not be the best way to control your diabetes. For example, different techniques may be used to manage type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
While you are attending our classes, you will need to continue seeing your primary care provider on a regular bias. This person can use specialized techniques to monitor your health and give you individualized management advice.
What Techniques Can I Use to Control My Diabetes?
Your ideal management methods will depend on the type of diabetes that you have, your general health, and other factors. As a result, you should talk to your doctor about the management methods that could work for you. That said, there are a number of general management techniques that are used to treat many different types of diabetes.
Medications can play a key role in your diabetes management strategy. In particular, it’s common to use insulin to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. Your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions about how to test your blood sugar and administer your insulin.
To control your illness, you should carefully follow all of these instructions. In addition, you will need to store your insulin away from intense heat. Further, you should never use expired insulin.
Change Your Diet
When you have diabetes, it’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In general, you should try to eat plenty of healthy fats and meat, and vegetables, with fruits in moderation. These foods have lots of nutrients and low amounts of calories and fat. In addition to eating these healthy foods, you should try not to have too many sugary foods and refined carbohydrates and starches.
Your healthcare provider may also advise you to count the number of carbohydrates in your meals. Since carbohydrates will affect the amount of glucose in your blood, you will need to be especially careful about this part of your diet if you use insulin to manage your diabetes. We can provide you more information about meal planning and healthy eating tips during our diabetes management classes.
Get More Exercise
Exercise can be a very good way to control your diabetes and improve your general health. When you engage in exercise, your body will use sugar to power your muscles. This will lower your blood sugar and help you control your illness. In addition, exercising will enable your body to become more sensitive to insulin. As your sensitivity increases, your body will be able to use less insulin to control your sugar levels.
Before you begin exercising, you should get permission from your healthcare provider. Your provider may also be able to recommend a plan that will help you improve your body in a fun, enjoyable way. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, your provider may advise you to begin with a gentle exercise program and gradually increase the intensity of your routine. For example, you could start by walking, gardening, or swimming a couple of times a week.
Smoking cigarettes will make it much more difficult for you to manage your diabetes. When you smoke, your heart and blood vessels will have increased difficulty moving your blood throughout your body. Further, if you have type 2 diabetes, you will probably need to use more insulin to control your glucose levels if you smoke. Quitting smoking can correct these problems and improve your ability to manage your disease.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
When you are very stressed or upset, your body may have increased difficulty controlling the amount of sugar in your blood. If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar may rise if you go through a stressful event. If you have type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar could decrease or increase. These changes can damage your health and cause negative symptoms.
Managing your stress levels can help you regulate your glucose levels. A therapist or other healthcare professional can help you learn coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with stressful events. In addition, meditating or practicing yoga may help you control your mood and manage your emotions.
Manage Your Diabetes
Managing your diabetes is a great way to reduce fatigue, bladder problems, and other diabetes symptoms. In addition, controlling your diabetes can reduce your chances of experiencing vision problems, dementia, and other serious medical issues. If you are interested in taking a diabetes management class, you should contact us at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia.