A Guide to Diabetes: What You Need to Know


If you develop diabetes, it’s going to be a chronic health condition that will require monitoring for the rest of your life. Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body converts your food to energy. Normally, when food is broken down into glucose (or sugar), your pancreas releases insulin to allow that sugar to convert to energy. When you have diabetes, the process is disrupted, either by your body being unable to release enough insulin, or not being able to use insulin in the proper way.

While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways you can control it, manage it and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What Causes Diabetes?

There are several causes of diabetes, including genetic and lifestyle factors. The most common of these are:

  • Being overweight. Naturally, being overweight can cause many health problems, and if you have a large amount of extra weight, it could disrupt the proper use of insulin in the body.
  • Being inactive. You can still be at risk of diabetes if you are highly inactive, even if you are not overweight. Periods of inactivity not only develop the risk of becoming overweight anyway, but lack of exercise can lead to health problems.
  • Genetic factors. It may be that certain genes in your family make it more likely that you will develop diabetes. There may also be genetic health problems which run in the family, which in turn will lead to an increased likelihood of diabetes.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.

How Can You Manage Diabetes?

It’s firstly important to seek medical advice and get a test if you suspect you may have diabetes, so that the proper management plan can be put in place as soon as possible.

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will be able to help you decide on a suitable management plan and discuss what you need to do.

In terms of managing diabetes, you can do the following:

  • You will need to have good blood glucose monitoring to keep track of when your blood sugar levels are low so that you can know when you need to take insulin and medication
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet and exercise plan
  • Take care with drinks that are high in sugar, like soda. While these can be a good boost if you blood sugar level is low, it’s best to avoid them in general in order to better control your intake of sugar.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

For type 2 diabetes, the symptoms can be:

  • Needing to urinating frequently
  • Feeling extremely thirsty all the time
  • Cuts and wounds bleeding profusely and failing to heal easily
  • Feeling tired
  • Losing weight
  • Blurred vision

Final Thoughts

To reduce your risk of developing diabetes, make sure to have a healthy diet, a good exercise routine and avoid becoming overweight and inactive. Even if you do these things but suffer with symptoms of diabetes, always be sure to speak to your doctor for advice.

Mike Miller
InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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