Over 30 million people in the US are living with diabetes, and the rates are climbing steadily for every country in the world.
There is also a significant increase in children being diagnosed with the disease. The good news is that new treatments and guidelines allow diabetics to live longer than ever before.
The quality of life is also exceedingly better than it was years ago. Whether diagnosed with Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes, there are important steps to take to avoid complications.
There is no cure for diabetes, but you can manage it and keep it under control.
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Feeling hungry even though you are eating
- Blurry vision
- Extreme fatigue
- Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
Having a high blood glucose level over time is the most common cause of kidney failure. Controlling your diabetes can slow down the progression of kidney disease.
The covering of oxygen carrying nerves can be damaged, slowing the messages sent to the brain or sending the completely wrong ones. This diabetic neuropathy can cause numbing of legs, hands, and feet.
When your feet do not get enough oxygen you may not feel an injury, cut or blister. This could lead to an infection which is harder for a diabetic to recover from.
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults. Diabetics have a higher risk of getting retinopathy because of the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
They also have a higher risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
Your Doctor will work with you to come up with the best plan to manage your diabetes. Diabetes is a progressive disease so it is very important to go to all your appointments.
Keeping track of your BGL (blood glucose level) is the best way for you and your doctor to know how you are doing with your day to day living.
This information along with other test and screenings will allow your Doctor to make adjustments in your treatment.
Monitoring your BGL is really very easy. You insert a test strip, prick your finger and the meter does the rest for you.
- Choose dark green vegetables like green beans, broccoli, and spinach
- Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin
- Black beans, garbanzo beans, and lentils will give you the protein you need
- Drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee instead of sugary drinks
- Use whole grain brown rice and wheat pastas
- Cut out fat by drinking skim milk and eating low-fat cheese
These are just some suggestions to get you started. There are many diabetic friendly recipes and your doctor may have you speak to a nutritionist or dietitian for more ideas and information.
Younger children will probably need extra help and reminders about living with their diabetes. As they move into their teenage years and become more independent, provide them with all the information they need and use gentle reminders.