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Diabetes Awareness Month-November

Written by: Sameen Junejo

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. This month, we want to highlight the types of diabetes and its associated complications.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Approximately 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
TYPE 1 DIABETES occurs when no, or very little, insulin is released into the body. Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence but can develop in adulthood. Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin.
TYPE 2 DIABETES occurs when the body can’t properly use the insulin that is released or does not make enough insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. Type 2 diabetes more often develops in adults, but children can be affected. Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, it may be managed through physical activity and meal planning, or may also require medications and/or insulin to control blood sugar more effectively.

There are many common symptoms associated with diabetes including the following: unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight change (gain or loss), extreme fatigue or lack of energy, blurred vision, frequent or recurring infections, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet and trouble getting or maintaining an erection.

Here are the risk factors to look out for.

It’s important to notice the early signs and symptoms of diabetes right away. The earlier you notice the signs of diabetes and get tested, the earlier you can start to manage the disease. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to get properly diagnosed, as many of these symptoms are associated with other diseases as well. Anyone over the age of 40 should be tested for diabetes every three years.

Managing diabetes on a day-to-day basis.

While living with diabetes can be challenging for those who are diagnosed,
it’s important to remember that it is possible to manage. Diabetes is a chronic disease, which means management and maintenance are the key to stabilizing its effect. It involves constant monitoring to ensure your blood sugar remains at a healthy level.

Physical Activity
Diabetics and non-diabetics benefit from regular exercise. Consistent physical activity helps strengthen bones, improves cardiovascular function and reduces chance of heart disease. For those living with type 1 diabetes, exercising can be more complicated as it can have a wide variety of positive and negative effects. For example, depending on the intensity and duration, physical activity can cause hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetics. For those individuals living with type 2 diabetes, regular exercise improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin and also helps better manage glucose levels.

Manage Blood Glucose
To maintain a healthy lifestyle as a diabetic, it’s important to closely monitor your blood glucose levels. Blood glucose level refers to the amount of sugar in your blood at any time. Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels requires diabetics to eat nutritious meals, remain active and take medication.

Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is important for everyone – whether or not they are diabetic. Eating healthy and regularly helps diabetics maintain a normal blood sugar level. It’s important for diabetics to know exactly what they are eating and to understand the carbohydrate and fat content. Food choices should fit into the following categories: carbohydrates, vegetables, meat and alternatives and fats.

Additional tips for healthy eating as a diabetic:

• Space meals out throughout the day (do not go more than three hours without eating)
• Eat and drink low-fat foods like skim milk,lean meat and vegetables
• Eat foods that contain lower glycemic level (e.g.wholewheat,bran,beans) more often than refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread)
• Boil, broil, barbecue and oven bake more often than pan frying food
• There are ways for diabetics to enjoy sweets while watching their blood sugar levels
• Try non-nutritive sweeteners as a sugar substitute
• Recommended alcohol consumption for diabetics is the same as non-diabetics: for men, less than 14 standard drinks a week; for women, less than nine standard drinks a week

Self-management is key to a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising, watching your weight, proper diet, keeping a balanced life and minimizing stress.

Diabetes Express, a division of Bayshore HealthCare, meets the needs of our community by conveniently and efficiently providing the largest selection of diabetic services and supplies across Canada to your door. The emotional and financial impact of diabetes on an individual and family can be tremendous.

Call 1.866.418.3392 to find out more about our convenient Diabetes supply services.

Bayshore is pleased to provide information that educates you as you strive to care for your loved ones. This post contains information about Diabetes. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. For more information on Diabetes, please consult your doctor.

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