The numbers of people that have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past 20 years has increased to such an extent that many are describing the situation as an epidemic. This may be explained by people becoming more aware of the disease and thus diagnosing the condition more readily but the fact is that the disease is increasing at an unprecedented level. This increase is mainly in type 2 diabetes that is the result of insulin resistance. It is generally associated with older people and is often termed adult onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is generally the easier disease to manage and a person can lead a normal life, often without any form of medication, if they adhere to guidelines set by their doctor. It is important to follow the treatment guidelines given by your doctor or health care provider not just for your day to day life but for the long term complications that can result from diabetes. This article will cover the typical care regime for diabetes and the possible diabetes complications that can result if you do not follow these guidelines.
Treatment or care for type 2 diabetes comes down to four things. Eating the right food, getting proper and regular exercise, monitoring your blood sugar level and getting regular check ups. The sooner you adopt these potential changes in your lifestyle the less risk you may face of getting any diabetic complications.
When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, you will be educated on how the disease affects your body. Part of this education will be how to minimize this by eating the right foods. You will consult your doctor or a dietitian who will give you ideas on the types and quantities of food to eat. They will devise a meal plan that specifies the number of meals you should eat each day and when to eat them. The principle behind such a plan is the diabetic food pyramid, that breaks down the type of foods you can eat and the portions sizes you should consume.
By eating a balanced diet at regular intervals you control the peaks and troughs of your blood sugar level. This is good for the long term diabetic complications because bad blood sugar control over an extended period can lead to a number of cardiovascular problems, not least, heart disease.
A good diet and exercise can also help you to lose weight. If this is an issue for you, it will make your diabetes worse and may lead to insulin replacement therapy. It is thought that excess weight make it harder for the natural insulin produced in the body to work effectively.
Blood circulation is also affected by diabetes and this can lead to eye problems over time. The typical complication is known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blood flowing into the aqueous humor and interfering with the sight to a detached retina. Part of ongoing treatment is a regular examination every six months. This should include an eye exam.
Diabetic neuropathy is another complication that is caused by poor circulation. This generally manifest in the extremities of the body – like the feet and hands. Because blood does not flow to these parts of the body as it should, they tend to be more susceptible to cuts and bruises. They also take more time to heal because the healing properties in the blood are not available. This often results in poor hands, and particularly feet. It is important to pay careful attention to the condition of the feet. Wash and dry them thoroughly each day and trim off any calluses, corns or long nails. Monitor any cuts and bruises and treat with medication if the cut is not healing. Wear diabetic socks and shoes if your feet are especially sensitive.