According to estimations, around 24 million Americans have diabetes. Also, another 57 million Americans have prediabetes which is a precursor to this disease.
As a matter of fact, according to the estimations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if this epidemic continues, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes.
When it comes to this condition, there is a lot of misinformation. Therefore we’ve answered some of the most common questions about diabetes.
15 Common Diabetes Questions
1. What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes happens when blood sugar is also known as blood glucose is too high. High blood sugar can lead to health issues over time. There are 3 types of diabetes such as type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
2. What Are the Symptoms and Causes of Diabetes?
Symptoms of diabetes are blurred vision, increased urination and thirst, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. Also, many individuals have no symptoms, and therefore they are not aware that they have this condition.
Different reasons cause each type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that influences an individual’s ability to produce insulin. Individuals with type 2 diabetes do produce insulin.
However, it might not be enough, or in some cases, their bodies are not able to use that insulin. It is still not known what induces type 1 diabetes, but when it comes to type 2 diabetes, there are some risk factors.
3. What Are the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes?
People are more likely to obtain type 2 diabetes if they are over 45 years old, are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes.
Additional factors that might impact the chances of developing type 2 diabetes are certain health issues and physical inactivity. A risk factor for women is a history of gestational diabetes.
4. How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
Diabetes is diagnosed with different blood tests done at a laboratory. Many individuals actually do not experience any diabetes symptoms.
5. Recently I Have Been Diagnosed, What Should I Do?
It does not matter whether people have been diagnosed with type 2 or type 1 diabetes, they can still live a healthy and long life.
In order to do that they need to take medications (if prescribed), eat healthily, and be physically active to keep their blood sugar in the target range.
6. What Should My Target Blood Glucose Level Be, Since I Have Diabetes?
By keeping the blood glucose on target, people will reduce the risk of developing complications due to this condition. The target levels depend on the person, they are different for each individual.
To determine the targets for blood glucose levels you need to consult your doctor.
7. How Often Should I Check My Blood Glucose?
How often people Eating Well depends on what type of drugs they take to control their diabetes. In case they do not take insulin, their doctor might recommend testing it only 2 times on a daily basis.
On the other hand, if they take insulin then their doctor probably will recommend testing it 4 times on a daily basis. Their doctor should work with them in order to make an individualized testing schedule that will be based on their health needs.
8. Does Consume a Lot of Sugar Lead to Diabetes?
Although most people believe that the only reason for diabetes to occur is sugar intake, that is not true. Consuming a lot of sugar does not directly lead to diabetes.
However, too much sugar can cause weight gain. And being overweight is actually among the risk factors that lead to type 2 diabetes.
9. Can I Consume Alcohol?
Adults that have diabetes can consume alcohol. They need to follow the same guidelines as the general public, which is 1 drink on a daily basis for women and 2 for men. Men and women should not consume more than 3 or 4 drinks in one day.
10. My Doctor Just Put Me On Insulin, Does That Mean I Have Poor Diabetes Control?
Eventually, many people that have diabetes will need insulin, because this is a progressive disease.
Over time their body might need additional help in order to meet targets and delay or prevent complications. There are different kinds of insulin, and the doctor will help them to find out which is the best for them.
11. What Does Managing Diabetes Mean?
Diabetes management means managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. In case you smoke, you need to quit. When it comes to diabetes management physical activity and a healthy diet are also important.
People need to work with their doctor in order to make an individualized diabetes care plan. With that meal plan, they can manage their blood sugar.
Additional help to control their blood sugar might be to include moderate physical activity a few times per week. Remember, managing diabetes is not science, it is art.
12. What Does Diabetes Treatment Plan Mean?
Having diabetes treatment plans means taking insulin, diabetes pills or shots, and drugs for related health issues. For certain individuals with diabetes, some kinds of surgery, like weight loss surgery might be an option.
13. Can I Prevent Diabetes Problems?
Diabetes can impact almost every part of the body. Managing blood sugar can aid prevent many health issues which might occur when people have the disease.
Common Diabetes Problems Are:
- Eye disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease and stroke
- Hypoglycemia, i.e., low blood sugar
- Nerve damage
- Foot problems
14. Can I Reverse Diabetes?
Most people that have diabetes will have it for the rest of life or until scientists find a cure for this condition.
You cannot reverse diabetes, but you can manage it to delay or prevent complications by keeping cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar on target.
Nutrition and physical activity are good ways to meet these targets. Also, medication can help for this purpose.
15. How Do I Accept Diabetes?
That is an act of cognition, a realignment of what people perceive as essential and real to their existence and how this will influence their life. Diabetes will become an integral part of their life.
They need to accept that they will have diabetes for the rest of their life. Remember, no matter what, you are stronger than diabetes.
Diabetic Living | NIDDK | Diabetes Canada | Eating Well | CNN