What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Advancements in technology have given us another way to monitor glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring uses a tiny sensor inserted under your skin. You don’t need to prick your finger. Instead, the sensor measures your glucose and can display results anytime during the day or night. Ask your healthcare provider about continuous glucose monitors to see if this is an option for you.
See Your Diabetes Educator
Work with a diabetes care and education specialist for help avoiding health complications such as heart disease. Youll get support and solutions and hear about the latest advances in managing diabetes. Find out more about how diabetes education can help you take the best care of yourself. And be sure to ask your doctor for a referral if you dont already have a diabetes educator.
Effect Of Diabetes On The Kidneys
The kidneys are another organ that is at particular risk of damage as a result of diabetes and the risk is again increased by poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Diabetic nephropathy is the term for kidney disease as a result of diabetes.
Damage to the kidneys takes place over a period of years and can picked up by nephropathy screening before it gets too serious. Treatment includes lifestyle changes and may include medicine to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol.
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Diabetes And Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially around the abdomen, helps to lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
It can be difficult trying to lose weight, so to get started set yourself a short-term, achievable goal. Try thinking about the food you are eating, whether you really need it, if it’s a healthy choice, and consider the portion size. An accredited practicing dietitian can help you set a realistic meal plan and answer any food related questions you may have.
Diabetes And Its Effect On Digestion
Diabetes can affect digestion in a number of ways. If diabetes has caused nerve damage, this can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhoea.
An alternative cause of disturbed digestion can be the result of diabetes medication.
Some type 2 diabetes medications for instance are prone to causing digestive issues, although these tend to settle down after the body gets used to them.
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How Does The Endocrine System Work
Although the glands and hormones that comprise the endocrine system are diverse, they share one goal: to maintain homeostasis or a stable and balanced condition inside the body. The endocrine system works together with the nervous and immune systems to sense changes in your body’s condition and return things to normal. To do this, it releases hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones travel through the bloodstream to other organs and tissues, where they influence cells to behave differently.
Diabetes And Its Effects On The Nerves
The effects of diabetes on the nerves can be serious as the nerves are involved in so many of our bodily functions, from movement and digestion through to sex and reproduction.
The presence of nerve damage is commonly noticed by:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Lack of arousal in the penis or clitoris
- Excessive sweating or
- Diagnosis of delayed stomach emptying
Treatments for neuropathy concentrates on reducing pain but medication such blood pressure lowering drugs may also be prescribed to help prevent development of the condition.
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Can Prediabetes Type 2 Diabetes And Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented
Although diabetes risk factors like family history and race cant be changed, there are other risk factors that you do have some control over. Adopting some of the healthy lifestyle habits listed below can improve these modifiable risk factors and help to decrease your chances of getting diabetes:
- Eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean or Dash diet. Keep a food diary and calorie count of everything you eat. Cutting 250 calories per day can help you lose ½ pound per week.
- Get physically active. Aim for 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. Start slow and work up to this amount or break up these minutes into more doable 10 minute segments. Walking is great exercise.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Dont lose weight if you are pregnant, but check with your obstetrician about healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.
- Lower your stress. Learn relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation, yoga and other helpful strategies.
- Limit alcohol intake. Men should drink no more than two alcoholic beverages a day women should drink no more than one.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep .
- Take medications to manage existing risk factors for heart disease or to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as directed by your healthcare provider.
- If you think you have symptoms of prediabetes, see your provider.
How Diabetes Affects The Skin
Diabetes affect on the skin is usually a result of its affect on the nerves and circulation which can lead to dry skin, slow healing of cuts, burns and wounds, fungal and bacterial infections and loss of feeling in the foot.
People with diabetes are recommended to have their feet checked at least once a year. The effect of diabetes on the feet is often referred to as diabetic foot
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Does Eating Sugary Foods Cause Diabetes
Sugar itself doesn’t directly cause diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar content can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Eating more sugar than recommended American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons for men leads to all kinds of health harms in addition to weight gain.
These health harms are all risk factors for the development of diabetes or can worsen complications. Weight gain can:
- Raise blood pressure, cholesterol and trigelyceride levels.
- Increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cause fat buildup in your liver.
- Cause tooth decay.
How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease And Other Problems From Diabetes
Controlling blood sugar is the best way to protect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. It lowers your risk for all health problems from diabetes. This is true for all people with diabetes with or without kidney damage. Ask your healthcare provider what you need to do to control your blood sugar.
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How Is Diabetes Treated
Treatments for diabetes depend on your type of diabetes, how well controlled your blood glucose level is and your other existing health conditions.
- Type 1 diabetes: If you have this type, you must take insulin every day. Your pancreas no longer makes insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes: If you have this type, your treatments can include medications , insulin and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, making healthy food choices and being more physically active.
- Prediabetes: If you have prediabetes, the goal is to keep you from progressing to diabetes. Treatments are focused on treatable risk factors, such as losing weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising . Many of the strategies used to prevent diabetes are the same as those recommended to treat diabetes .
- Gestational diabetes: If you have this type and your glucose level is not too high, your initial treatment might be modifying your diet and getting regular exercise. If the target goal is still not met or your glucose level is very high, your healthcare team may start medication or insulin.
Oral medications and insulin work in one of these ways to treat your diabetes:
- Stimulates your pancreas to make and release more insulin.
- Slows down the release of glucose from your liver .
- Blocks the breakdown of carbohydrates in your stomach or intestines so that your tissues are more sensitive to insulin.
- Helps rid your body of glucose through increased urination.
A Note On Diabetic Foot:
When the blood glucose levels for a diabetic patient are too high, over a period of time, foot problems may develop. There are two ways in which these foot problems are caused:
- There is an extensive nerve damage in the blood vessels of the foot leading to various problems such as extreme itching, numbness caused in the legs, etc.
- When the flow of blood to the area is hindered, it takes a longer time for the wound and sores to heal. This problem is also known as âPeripheral Vascular Disease.â
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What Should I Expect If I Have Been Diagnosed With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, the most important thing you can do is keep your blood glucose level within the target range recommended by your healthcare provider. In general, these targets are:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
You will need to closely follow a treatment plan, which will likely include following a customized diet plan, exercising 30 minutes five times a week, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Always take your medications and insulin as instructed by your provider.
Bladder And Sex Organs
Uncontrolled blood sugar forces your bladder to handle a lot of urine because your body retains more fluid. You may wake often at night to use the bathroom. The interrupted sleep can be one reason diabetes leaves you tired.
Or diabetes can damage your nerves so you wont feel that your bladder is full. You could leak pee. Weakened urinary muscles can make it harder for you to empty your bladder fully. Or you may pee too much.
Poor bladder control, plus high blood sugar and immune system problems, can lead to urinary tract infections .
When it comes to sex, men with diabetes are three times more likely to have trouble getting or keeping an erection . For women, their sex drive could drop, lubrication drops, and sex may hurt. Lowered blood flow or nerve problems could make it harder to have an orgasm.
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Can Diabetes Kill You
Yes, its possible that if diabetes remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled it can cause devastating harm to your body. Diabetes can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and coma. These complications can lead to your death. Cardiovascular disease in particular is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.
Get Help With Diabetes
The invention of synthetic insulin has transformed diabetes from a death sentence into a completely survivable condition. With proper management, you can compensate for the endocrine dysfunction that diabetes has caused. To learn how to take control of your Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, contact us today.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Red, painful skin that is spreading quickly
These symptoms can quickly get worse and become emergency conditions .
Also call your provider if you have:
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your feet or legs
- Problems with your eyesight
- Sores or infections on your feet
- Symptoms of high blood sugar
- Symptoms of low blood sugar
- Frequent feelings of depression or anxiety
What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are caused by problems with insulin production or response and are, as a result, inextricably linked to the endocrine system. The difference is in the type and cause of the malfunction:
- Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own endocrine system. Over time, the pancreas loses all of its insulin-producing cells, and the patient becomes fully reliant on synthetic insulin to manage their blood glucose.
- Type 2 Diabetes develops over a longer period of time when the body becomes resistant to insulin. As this resistance builds, the pancreas must work harder and harder to meet the body’s demand for insulin until it can no longer keep up.
A patient with Type 2 diabetes may be able to help their pancreas regulate their blood sugar through exercise and diet. However, people with Type 1 diabetes are completely unable to produce insulin, so they must essentially act as their own pancreas by monitoring their blood glucose and administering enough insulin to cope with any changes.
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The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body
When you hear the word diabetes, your first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood sugar is an often-underestimated component of your health. When its out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes. Diabetes affects your bodys ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose into energy. Heres what symptoms may occur to your body when diabetes takes effect.
Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage.
Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells. To accomplish this, your pancreas needs to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it in the cells for use, or energy.
If you have diabetes, your pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all. The insulin cant be used effectively. This allows blood glucose levels to rise while the rest of your cells are deprived of much-needed energy. This can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system.
Testing For Heart Disease
Your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight will help your doctor understand your overall risk for heart disease. Your doctor may also recommend other tests to check your heart health, which could include:
- An electrocardiogram to measure your hearts electrical activity. Your heartbeat is the result of an electrical impulse traveling through your heart.
- An echocardiogram to examine how thick your heart muscle is and how well your heart pumps.
- An exercise stress test to see how well your heart functions when its working hard.
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How Is The Endocrine System Related To Diabetes
Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder in the United States, with over 10% of Americans struggling with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. But what exactly is an endocrine disorder, and how is the endocrine system related to diabetes?
Quite simply, diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot release the normal regulatory hormones, or when the body cannot respond properly to those hormones. The result is an inability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can cause serious and wide-reaching symptoms. To understand how this happens, we first have to understand how the pancreas functions in a healthy endocrine system.
Mental Health And Diabetes
Living with and managing either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. This can affect your blood glucose levels and how you manage your diabetes in general. Over time, this can affect your health.It is important to talk to your doctor if you are going through times of stress, depression or anxiety. Your doctor can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist by providing a diabetes mental health plan. This is Medicare rebated.Other help is available, including:
- online resources
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What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease includes several kinds of problems that affect your heart. The term cardiovascular disease is similar but includes all types of heart disease, stroke, and blood vessel disease. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol deposits, which make the inside of arteries narrow and decrease blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke.
Hardening of the arteries can happen in other parts of the body too. In the legs and feet, its called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is often the first sign that a person with diabetes has cardiovascular disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- In women: Dry and itchy skin, and frequent yeast infections or urinary tract infections.
- In men: Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle strength.
Type 1 diabetes symptoms: Symptoms can develop quickly over a few weeks or months. Symptoms begin when youre young as a child, teen or young adult. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting or stomach pains and yeast infections or urinary tract infections.
Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes symptoms: You may not have any symptoms at all or may not notice them since they develop slowly over several years. Symptoms usually begin to develop when youre an adult, but prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in all age groups.
Gestational diabetes: You typically will not notice symptoms. Your obstetrician will test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of your pregnancy.
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