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Understanding Diabetes: 1. What is Diabetes?

Understanding Diabetes: 1. What is Diabetes?

The prevalence of diabetes is ever increasing, but the awareness of diabetes management is still remained at “You are okay if you do not eat sweet food.” Is it really that simple?

Diabetes is a chronic disease with which sufferers must control their diet and may change their life style appropriately; otherwise high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, overtime it leads to many health complications. There are different types of diabetes, including Type I Diabetes, Type II Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is the most common one, sufferers’ pancreas not only does not produce enough insulin, their body cannot effectively use insulin because of poor insulin sensitivity of their cells.

Chronic high blood glucose levels damage blood vessels, leading to long term complications such as vision deterioration or even vision loss, kidney failure, and amputations. People with uncontrolled diabetes also have much higher risks of heart diseases, stroke, and cancer, especially in people with the following characteristics:

– High blood lipids and cholesterols
– Abdominal obesity
– High blood pressure
– Smoker

Therefore, people with diabetes must receive appropriate treatments as soon as they are diagnosed. The priority includes improving diet and eating habits, as well as adopting healthier life styles. Regular blood glucose monitoring together with a healthy diet and regular physical activities are the keys to reduce the risks of long term complications. Although diabetes cannot be cured at this stage, you can still live well with it. Be proactive!

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