Being diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes can be heartbreaking. But it’s also a wake-up call that you need to start taking better care of your health. One of the first things a diabetes patient needs to do is manage their blood sugar to limit any symptoms of diabetes from negatively affecting their health and daily lifestyle.
Millions of people around the world live with diabetes. It afflicts people from all walks of life, and no one knows precisely what causes the disease. But people who fail to manage their blood sugar closely put themselves at additional risk for their diabetes to cause complications such as kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation.
Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes. These three conditions affect how the body turns the food you eat into glucose, providing the energy you need to live. Type 1 is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that prevents the body from creating insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that facilitates turning the food we eat into glucose that is absorbed into the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in younger people.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body cannot manage insulin well. It’s the most common type of diabetes, and its symptoms can be eased by the careful management of your blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar level can be changed by adopting a healthier lifestyle, exercising regularly, and eating a healthier, more consistent diet. This is the type of diabetes that afflicts up to 95% of the world’s diabetics.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never before had the condition. It is usually diagnosed through a fasting blood sugar test, where the woman’s blood sugar levels are measured after an overnight fast.
Although gestational diabetes can go away after the baby is born, it causes problems for both the mother and child. For instance, the baby is more likely to suffer from obesity, and there is a heightened risk of the mother developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Using a Blood Sugar Level Metre
All the blood sugar metres on the market operate in the same basic way. They help you manage your blood sugar levels by testing your blood through a sample taken from a fingertip. You have to get used to the fact that you’ll have to take a blood sample regularly. And you have to train a loved one in how to use the metre in case you’re incapacitated. They use test strips that absorb a small amount of the blood sample. The test strip is inserted into the metre, and after a few seconds, a reading will appear.
The doctor will recommend your ideal blood sugar level as a target you should aim to hit every day. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation as they will account for your individual health and condition.
Record Your Test Results
Successful management of your blood sugar levels is about being consistent and providing information about your diet and daily activities. Record your level, the time of day, what you had to eat and the exercise you performed that day. It’s possible and desirable to reduce your symptoms by eating healthy and exercising regularly. But it all starts by carefully managing your blood sugar levels.
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