There are a number of different types of diabetes, with different causes and different treatment approaches. All people with diabetes have one thing in common though:
the tendency towards a high blood glucose (sugar) level.
Although diabetes is not a terminal condition in itself, it is associated with “increased morbidity and mortality”. This means a reduced quality of life and reduced life expectancy. Doing away with the medical lingo altogether,
diabetes has the potential to make your life less enjoyable, and
it can cause you to die earlier than you might otherwise.
The good news though, is that there are many things that you can do to slow down and possibly even stop the damaging effects (known as complications) of diabetes.
Treating diabetes requires attention to diet and activity levels, and often tablets or insulin injections are needed to help the body use the glucose that it gets from food. If diabetes is not well controlled then blood glucose levels may rise too high, or fall too low. Low blood glucose levels are unpleasant and may result in unconsciousness if left untreated. High blood glucose levels are also unpleasant and are harmful to many vital body organs in the long term. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels on a daily basis helps you and your health care team optimise your diabetes treatment.
Keeping blood pressure in check and looking after other cardiovascular risk factors (cholesterol, other blood fat levels, smoking, and so on) is also an important part of diabetes management.
Playing an active role in looking after your diabetes from day to day is the key to successfully living with the condition. This entails learning the ins and outs of diabetes, and finding out how you can best fit YOUR diabetes into YOUR life.
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