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How to Control Diabetes

For many, a diabetes diagnosis is a wake-up call. You can get a diagnosis at any age, and it's important to know what you can do to help yourself live a normal life with diabetes. Controlling a case of diabetes is usually a question of managing your blood sugar levels and living an active, health-conscious life. Medications (insulin for type 1 when the body can not make enough insulin, but often other medications for type 2, for when the body does not use its available insulin correctly) are also used to keep your blood sugar under control and to manage your symptoms.
Getting your diabetes under control so you can live a happy, healthy life, is the goal. The content in this article refers only to general cases and is not intended to replace the opinion of a doctor or following your medical team's advice.

Making a Diabetes Treatment Plan
Type 1 Diabetes

1- Consult with a doctor to start or adjust your treatment plan. Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, is a chronic disease, which, despite its name, can begin and affect people at any age. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease. While it can occur suddenly due to infection, symptoms will usually appear after an illness. Symptoms in type 1 are usually quite noticeable, more severe and quicker to cause illness. Symptoms for type 1 or advanced type 2 often include:[1]
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Dehydration
  • Possibly extreme hunger with loss of appetite (nothing satisfies you)
  • Unexplained blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unusual weakness/fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections (such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections),
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Ketones in the urine, in medical tests -- ketones are a byproduct of the unhealthy breakdown/loss of muscle and fat (wasting away) that happens when there's not enough available insulin to support life.

2- Act quickly if faced with any of the severe problems in untreated type 1 diabetes. These can be life-threatening. They may include weakened immunity to infectious diseases, and generally poor circulation (including in the eyes and kidneys), and other illnesses. Pay attention to any unexplained pain in your feet and legs, numbness and increasing infections in toes and feet, or gangrene in toes, feet and legs -- and seek medical attention immediately.
Because the initial symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can be severe, it is not uncommon for you to have to stay in the hospital for a short time after your diagnosis. If you suspect that you have diabetes and delay seeing a doctor, you can end up in a coma. Always rely on the advice of a qualified doctor or specialist when deciding on any plans to fight your diabetes.
No, Type 1 nor Type 2 diabetes can not be completely cured, but with a lifelong commitment to your treatment plan, these diseases can be managed to the point that you will be able to live a normal life. Begin your treatment plan immediately after you develop diabetes, for better health. If you think you may have diabetes, do not wait on seeing a doctor. It is highly recommended that you see a doctor.[2]

3- Take steps to understand diabetes. You're here, so you are in the right mind set. Diabetes educators are highly recommended. These experts help you understand the different tools available to you, and can help you adjust your meals to better control blood glucose levels. For type one diabetics diagnosed at a young age, an appointment with a diabetes trainer/educator is often mandatory, and they will often meet with you while in the hospital.

4- Take your medications every day. The body of a person with Type 1 diabetes needs insulin because ones pancreas is damaged in a way that will not produce enough insulin as needed. Insulin is a chemical compound used to break down sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. The type 1 diabetic must work with their doctor to find their correct dosage of insulin, because different individuals have different reactions to various types of insulin, and because some individuals with this type of diabetes may still be producing insulin at mild levels. Without insulin, the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes will rapidly worsen and eventually cause death. To be clear: Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day or they will die.[3] Your precise daily insulin dosages will vary based on your size, diet, activity level, and genetics, which is why it is so important to see a doctor to get a thorough evaluation before beginning your diabetes treatment plan. Insulin is generally available in several different varieties, each of which is formulated for specific purposes. These are:[4]
  • "Mealtime" (bolus) insulin: Rapid-acting insulin. Usually taken right before a meal to prevent elevated blood glucose levels after eating.
  • Basal insulin: Slower-acting insulin. Usually taken between meals once or twice a day to control "resting" blood glucose levels.
  • Pre-mixed insulin: A combination of bolus and basal insulin. Can be be taken before breakfast and dinner in order to keep blood glucose levels low after meals as well as throughout the day.

5- Consider an insulin pump: An insulin pump is a device that continually injects a bolus rate insulin to mimic the effects of the basal rate insulin. Your blood glucose level is entered into the device at meal times and in accordance with your normal testing schedule, and your bolus is calculated for you. In addition a carbohydrate ratio can be set and be added to the bolus calculation as well.
  • There is the new tubeless insulin pump that is an "all-in-one" unit that typically come loaded with a three day supply of insulin with the battery and pump built-in, it is the Omnipod, that is wirelessly controlled by a Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM). It takes ideally requires about ten pumps per month that come in a box holding a 30 day supply.[5]
  • The old, standard injection set consisted of a plastic cap attached to a catheter that injects the insulin (subcutaneous delivery of insulin). It was inserted into your chosen injection site brought from the pump by tubing called the cannula. The pump set might be attached to a belt or near the delivery site with an adhesive pad. On the other end, the tubing connects to a cartridge that you fill with insulin and insert into the pump unit. Some pumps have a compatible glucose monitor that measures glucose levels just below the dermis. While not as effective as a glucose meter, this device will allow early detection and compensation for sugar spikes and drops.
  • Pump users typically monitor their blood sugars more frequently to evaluate the effectiveness of insulin delivery by the pump, to be aware if the pump malfunctions. Some malfunctions of the insulin pump include:
  • Pump battery is discharged
  • Insulin is inactivated by heat exposure
  • Insulin reservoir runs empty
  • Tubing loosens and insulin leaks rather than being injected
  • The cannula becomes bent or kinked, preventing delivery of insulin.

4 Steps towards Friendly Diabetes

Have you ever thought to be friends with diabetes? Are you afraid that diabetes can deprive you from enjoying life the same way you used to enjoy it before? This is all history now, because   you do not have to worry about it anymore. Diabetes is actually very friendly to handle if you put into consideration four major steps.

1- Learn more about diabetes.

Many if not most diabetics believe that diabetes is only of one type, which is very wrong. In fact, there are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. 
Diabetes A: it is a type of diabetes where your body stops producing insulin out of food, so you have to take external insulin whether in the shape of pills or injection if you want to live.
Diabetes B (The most common type worldwide): in this type of diabetes, your body stops producing and using insulin in an appropriate way. You will have to take pills or injection as well but only to control your diabetes level.

Gestational diabetes: this final type of diabetes commonly appears to pregnant women and it usually goes away after women give birth to their baby. However, this is a bad sign because even if this type of diabetes goes away, both the woman and her baby are more probably to get diabetes in the future.

2- Become more acquainted with your diabetes:

Talk to your doctor about how you are going to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol because if your diabetes goes way too high this would have your chances of having a heart attack or going into a coma increase. Nevertheless, you have to continuously keep track of your blood sugar levels and always make sure that these numbers would stay too low between 140 to 180, 200 maximum. If your blood sugar level goes beyond this level consult a doctor immediately because this can damage your heart, your kidneys your feet and even eyes. 

3- Live with diabetes as if you were friends

That is right, most people neglect the idea that diabetes is actually friendly all the time until they start breaking rules, eating very sugar-rich foods, and starting to fury it. We all know that the sad news you receive for the first time saying that you are now having diabetes would make anyone angry, sad and even in tears. However, do not be afraid at all. Diabetes is very friendly and all you have to do is just do a little bit of planning your food, time and activities. We guarantee that if you follow our guidelines, eat healthy, and exercise healthy, you will not even feel like a diabetic. 

4- Monitor your diabetes

This is perhaps the most import thing to do if you were a diabetic; you have to check your doctor at least once per month to monitor the developments of your diabetes case. It would not hurt you to check daily your blood pressure, your weight, your amount of food in relation with your diabetes level. You can also do some tests to make sure that you are at the comfort zone. What are these tests? They are very simple tests and not that expensive at all. For instance, you would have to do a cholesterol test, if it is too high then you will have to check your food plan it would be the reason for it. You would also have to do few eye, kidneys and food tests because sometimes when diabetes levels go too high as we mentioned previously these parts of body get damaged. 

Three Diabetes-Friendly Fruits

Certainly, hearing the news of having diabetes 
 was not a good one for all. Many people think that they will not be able to practice their life
as they used to do it before. Others believe that they will not be able to eat or drink some of the things they truly like. However, we are here to tell you that this is not true at all. We will show you three diabetes-friendly fruits that you can include in your diet totally risk free. What are the features of these fruits? Well, the three diabetes-friendly fruits we are going to offer you have low carbohydrates and blood sugar (glucose), and they are rich in other vitamins. Here are the best three diabetes-friendly fruits:

1- Raspberries:

Raspberries are rich in fiber than any other berries that

 exists, and it contains only 15 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fibers per a fruit piece making it perfect to both diabetes and cholesterol patients. Nevertheless, having this high amount of fibers slows down blood sugar risings and makes your stomach feel full.

2- Cherries

Cherries are low in glucose and are a smart 
addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. One cup of cherries has 19 grams of carbohydrates and around 78 calories. Cherries are full of antioxidants,which is good for people with heart diseases and cancer. However, if you are buying cherries canned,or frozen, you always have to check the labels because sometimes they add sugar and other industrial materials and colors, which minimizes any benefits.

3- Peaches

Certainly, we all like peaches, as they are juicy, 
tasty, full of vitamins A, and C. Nevertheless, peaches
 are also full of potassium, fibers, and low amount of sugar.
 If you find yourself in need for a fresh and healthy juice, then two Peach fruits sliced, mixed with some ice and a spoon of ginger would be just perfect for you to start your day with it. 

Tips “on the go” for Diabetics

When it comes to eating, we are all different. Some one us ma
 only stick to one meal a day, whereas another would eat 2 or 3   times a day. Nevertheless, we also differ in the way we eat; some of us eat very fast, and some eat slowly. Now, if we add diabetes to the mix, we will be experiencing a really tough situation regarding what to eat, what not to eat, and how we should eat. How can diabetes be that difficult? When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, you can no longer eat the same meals you used to eat. Rather, your meals become more regular or boring we can say. This would make your frustrated because certainly we all do enjoy eating food and we all do hate living a boring life. Here we provided you with some lifestyles tips that would make you enjoy the meals you like and in the same time balance it with diabetes.

Tips ‘on the go’

Take down weekly notes of what you have to eat, when to eat it and how much you should actually eat. You have to also bare in mind the activities you have to exercise every week.

Always prepare a healthy breakfast even if you are running out of time. If you have a busy day, try to prepare it the night before it. You have to include a good source of protein in your breakfast without adding much sugar into it. Thereby, adding peanut butter would be just perfect for your case. Add a slice or two of bread and always add a piece or two of both vegetables and fruits. You can also combine berries or cherries with low-fat milk, it would just taste delicious. If you would grape breakfast from outside try not to go for anything that has high sugar in it like pastries and muffins for instance.

Buy a snack box and have it with you whenever you go outside or even to work. Pack it with vegetables, and diabetes-friendly fruits. Always make sure not to have anything that is high in sugar or fats. You can also go for boiled eggs, beans, popcorn or anything that has no salt or sugar, they are just perfect for you.

We did not forget drinks; always go for low-fat milk without adding any sugar or cream. Bare in your mind that most coffee shops or cafés offer drinks that are high in calories and unfriendly to diabetes, so always be cautious.