Diabetes Mellitus

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Type 1 Diabetes

"once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself."

Type 2 Diabetes
"usually occurs in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin"
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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. In the past three decades the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 Diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself.

Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer make sufficient of the hormone (insulin) that lowers the sugar level in the blood.  It can also occur when the body is unable to utilize the insulin produced.  

 

Diabetes mellitus affects approximately one in every ten persons worldwide.  Could that person be you? Diabetes is not contagious. In other words, it is not spread from one person to another.  It is a non-communicable disease.  It is mainly developed through poor lifestyles, for example unhealthy diet or sedentary behaviors.   However it may be inherited.

What can you do if you are diagnosed with diabetes?

Depending on the level of sugar in your blood, life-style changes alone may be sufficient.  Stress can also make your blood glucose go up and make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. Life-style changes should therefore include eating a healthy diet, exercise and stress management. Sometimes drugs to lower your blood sugar may also needed. 

Healthy diets include those with low sugars, low salt, high fiber and decreased alcohol intake. Exercise should include 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. For stress management, bio-psycho-social methods can be used. These include support from family, friends and medical personnel as you work on self-care.  Finding someone you trust to talk to or other a support group can be helpful.

How can you know if you have diabetes?  

Sometimes you may develop symptoms or it can be detected through screening tests.  What are the main symptoms of diabetes?  The three main symptoms of diabetes are polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia.  During polyuria, the person urinates frequently.  With polyuria, the person drinks lots of fluids but still is thirsty.  In polyphagia, the person eats a lot but still craves for more food. 

There are several tests that can tell you about the level of sugar in your body.  These include urine tests and blood tests.  For screening, a simple finger prick of blood can be tested on a glucometer. This can then proceed to taking sample of blood after abstaining from food overnight (fasting blood sugar).

However that will only give you the level of your blood sugar at that time.  To obtain the average level of your blood sugar over the past 3 months – the test is HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c).  A person is diagnosed with diabetes mellitus if their HbA1c is 6.5% or above.

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Monitoring

 A person is diagnosed with diabetes mellitus if their HbA1c is 6.5% or above.

Zumba Fitness Class
Exercise & Stress Management

Exercise should include 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.

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Healthy Diet

Healthy diets include foods with low sugars, low salt, high fiber from fruits and vegetables and decreased alcohol use.