What is Diabetes?
All the cells in your body need glucose to work normally. Glucose gets into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is not enough insulin, or if the body stops responding to insulin, glucose builds up in the body.
There are 2 different types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells either does not respond to insulin, does not make enough insulin, or both. Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes often causes no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they include:
- Needing to urinate often.
- Intense thirst.
- Weight lost.
- Sensation of pins and needles on the finger tips or toes.
Should you have the above symptoms, your doctor will do a blood test to measure the amount of glucose in your blood to diagnose the condition.
Complications of Diabetes
Although diabetes does not cause any symptoms, untreated diabetes can subsequently lead to major complications such as:
- Ischemic heart disease.
- Heart failure.
- Kidney diseases.
- Visual loss.
- Reduced sensation of both hands and feet.
- Poor wound healing.
- Gangrene and hence, amputation.
Therefore, it is strongly encouraged to treat diabetes upon diagnosis.
What can I do to reduce my glucose levels?
Being active, losing weight and avoiding sugary/starchy food can help to reduce glucose levels. Abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes can also reduce the chances of getting diabetes related complications.
- Exercise at least 150 minutes per week.
- Reduce weight if your BMI is more than 23.
- Reduce salt and sugar intake.
- Abstain from alcohol and cigarettes.
If the above lifestyle changes do not work, there are medications that your doctor can prescribe to help.
Feel free to drop by our clinic for more information or a comprehensive assessment.