Diabetes might not be the end of the road for you. While it is a chronic disorder, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize its effects. Before that, you should know what diabetes is and its various types.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the sugar in your blood is not metabolized by the body. This leads to a situation wherein sugar accumulates in your blood; this condition is known as high blood sugar. Now, this can happen in two ways:
Type 1 Diabetes: In this type, the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin (hormone that metabolizes sugar) are destroyed by the immune system of the body. This leads to reduction in insulin levels, causing blood sugar to shoot up.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein the body cannot effectively utilize the insulin to metabolize sugar. This again leads to accumulation of sugar in the blood.
Now that you know the various types of diabetes, it is time to focus on preventive measures. The various tips for high blood sugar level are:
Steer Clear of Sugar: Think of sugar as your enemy, as it is something that you have to stay away from. Sugar will only add to the high blood sugar content that you are already diagnosed with.
Welcome whole grains with open arms: Refined grains are a big no; that means no more of those delicious white bread sandwiches. Instead, opt for whole grains such as brown bread, brown rice and oats. Refined grains come under simple carbohydrates that cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up.
Avoid over-consumption of fruits: While fruits are healthy, they do contain fructose which is again, a form of sugar. So, yes eat them but limit their consumption to one serving a day.
High time you realize nothing substitutes exercise: Regular exercise can help you burn calories and also keep your blood sugar levels low. It allows you to maintain healthy weight levels and improves your overall wellbeing.
Take no stress: Stress has been shown to increase blood sugar, so if you are feeling stressed and can’t seem to get out of with, take steps to deal with it. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation that can help you reduce stress and improve focus.
For people who need to keep an eye on their blood sugar level, a glucose meter is a handy thing to keep around. There are many different types of glucose meters available with continuous glucose monitor being one of them. Unlike other glucose monitoring devices that merely detect the amount of glucose present in your system, a continuous glucose monitoring device also detects trends and patterns thus, gives your doctor a more comprehensive picture of your condition.
A continuous glucose monitor is not available over the counter and will need to be prescribed by your doctor. It uses a tiny sensor that is placed under the skin of your abdomen to measure the glucose level in the fluid within your body. This insertion is quick and quite painless. The sensor has a transmitter that sends the information about your glucose levels to a small pager-like device. The data collected can be seen in the form of readings every 1,5 or 10 minutes. If your sugar levels drop to an extremely low level to go up to a very high level, the monitor will sound and alarm to notify you.
The data collected by a continuous glucose monitor can also be downloaded to your smartphone, laptop or tablet. By looking at the readings over a period of time, you will be able to notice trends and patterns in your sugar levels. This data helps diabetic patients and their doctors to decide on a number of things such as:
Diabetics who use an insulin pump can also link this to the continuous glucose monitor so that they do not need to manually program the pump. This is known as a sensor-augmented pump. This device can also help record blood sugar levels as you sleep thus, detecting spikes and lows that would otherwise go undetected. It also helps understand the relationship between your diet as well as exercise and your blood sugar levels.
A continuous glucose monitor needs to be changed every 3 to 7 days. Also, it cannot be used to replace finger sticks or traditional home monitors. You may also need a little training on how to use the device correctly.
An Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP) provides a snapshot of a patient's glucose levels over a typical day for 14 consecutive days. This makes it easier for the patients and their doctors to spot trends and identify dangerous hypoglycemic (very low sugar) episodes and high sugars. So the doctor can customize the diet and the treatment for the patient for best blood sugar control. The AGP is done through a very small sensor which is waterproof and does not hamper your daily activities. The process is painless and no pricking the fingers and blood tests are required for this.