Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how your body uses sugar. The sooner you begin treating diabetes and the better your blood sugar control, the better the long-term outcomes will be.
If you have diabetes
Once you are diagnosed with diabetes your doctor will suggest some changes to your diet. It is really important to stick to the food and exercise suggestions made by the doctor or dietician. You will be surprised at how quickly you start to enjoy the new healthier diet, the new healthier you.
Potential complications of diabetes
If you do not control your diabetes carefully you may develop some complications over the coming years. These may include damage to the small blood vessels in your body that will result in:
- reduced vision
- kidney damage
- slower wound healing
- nerve damage especially in the feet or toes
- increased chance of heart attack or stroke
- the possibility of and amputation of a foot or a leg
How to have the best possible outcomes
The key to remaining healthy with diabetes is to keep you blood sugar as ‘normal’ as possible. Once the blood sugar gets too high it will start to damage the small blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys and feet.
Depending on your particular diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medicines or insulin for you. By sticking to the diet that you doctor has given you and taking your medicine or insulin as your doctor suggests, you will be able to keep your blood sugar under control.
Two important points are:
- you need to keep blood sugar levels under control all the time. Once the blood sugar levels get to high, damage is being done, and this damage cannot be reversed.
- The progressive nature of type two diabetes means that medication will need to be adjusted over time to ensure you keep within safe blood sugar levels and prevent the complications associated with having diabetes.
Do not be concerned if you are asked to go onto insulin. Using insulin will give you better control and allow for closer adjustments to ensure you remain as healthy as possible. If you have just gone onto insulin, experts say you should have your dose reviewed and potentially adjusted after 3-6 months, to ensure you are achieving the desired results.
Some international data shows that between 30 and 80% of people started on insulin are not given sufficient insulin to achieve their treatment goals.
If you have diabetes and your medicines has not been reviewed in the last 12 months you can ask your doctor if you are meeting your “blood sugar level targets” and do you need your dose adjusted or a review of you medications.
There are several different sorts of insulins. You may be on one or more different insulins. Make sure you understand your insulin and how to use it. Your pharmacist will be able to answer questions like:
- Do you need to agitate your insulin before use?
- Do you have a different insulin to be used at mealtimes?
- How quickly does your insulin start working, how long does it work for?
- Is it long acting or short acting or pre-mix of both long and short?
This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The information contained in the blog and in any linked materials, are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.