Tabitha Moche NP-C
October 6, 2014
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a common group of chronic metabolic diseases that cause high blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body due to defects in insulin production and/or function. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas when we eat food. Insulin allows sugar to go from the blood into the cells. If the cells of the body are not using insulin well, or if the body is unable to make any or enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes/formerly known as juvenile diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is less common, and is mainly in children and young adults.
In this type of diabetes the pancreas does not produce insulin which is needed to convert/turn sugar, carbohydrates/starches and food into energy which the body can use.
This is treated with insulin with frequent/regular blood sugar monitoring is needed in addition to exercise and a healthy diet.
Type 2 diabetes
This is the most common form of diabetes. Seen mainly in adults, but seen increasingly in children and young adults.
Blood sugar/glucose levels in body are higher than normal because body does not produce enough insulin/insulin resistance.
Prediabetes/ ‘’borderline diabetes”
The condition of pre-diabetes is becoming more common. It means that you are at an increases risk of developing diabetes in future. If you begin a management and prevention program with your nutritionist and health care provider, you may be able to avoid getting diabetes or needing to take medications to control you blood sugar.
Signs/symptoms of diabetes
There are many signs and symptoms of being diabetic. Feeling very hungry, feeling very thirsty, frequent urination, extreme fatigue/tiredness, slow healing wounds, weight loss (more common in type 1 diabetes), numbness/tingling/burning in hands or feet and blurry vision.
These are the most common symptoms. However, often patients have no symptoms and feel fine. This is why it is important to screen yearly, or more often if you are at a high risk, to see if you might have diabetes. All that is needed is a simple finger prick to see if you could be developing diabetes.
At Manassas Clinical Research Center we screen every patient, at no charge to see if they could be developing diabetes. This way we can catch people who may be in the pre-diabetic stages. Further testing is needed to determine if a person has diabetes.
Complications of uncontrolled diabetes
Diabetes affects all of the systems in the body. Eyes, heart, kidneys, circulation, skin can all be affected by the disease. Left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to kidney failure, increased cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, and even death.
If you don’t have diabetes the best way to prevent diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Keep moving- exercise has been shown to help your body use insulin which lowers blood sugar, burn extra body fat, build muscle strength, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, lower LDL/bad cholesterol, and increase HDL/good cholesterol, lower risk for stroke and heart attack and increase energy.
Choose foods wisely. Lean towards low glycemic index foods (foods that do not raise blood sugar a lot) such as: beans, dark green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts and low fat dairy.
Low glycemic index foods such as: beans, dark green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts, low fat dairy
A resource we suggest is the food plate
If you have diabetes, take all your medications as prescribed. Also inform your doctor of side effects that you may be experiencing. A consultation with a nutritionist might also be advised.
Keep your doctor’s appointments as scheduled. Even if you feel fine, your diabetes might not be properly controlled. Be sure to tell you doctor any concerns or questions you may have.
Keep moving- exercise has been shown to improve blood sugar (especially in prediabetes/type 2 diabetes) exercise has been shown to help your body use insulin which lowers blood sugar, burn extra body fat, build muscle strength, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, lower LDL/bad cholesterol, and increase HDL/good cholesterol, lower risk for stroke and heart attack and increase energy.
If you are a type 1 diabetic- make sure you monitor glucose levels as directed because exercise may cause drops in blood sugar for some patients.
Eat diabetes friendly foods. Know your carbohydrates/carbs. Familiarize yourself with the glycemic index (foods that do not raise blood sugar a lot). Low glycemic index foods such as: beans, dark green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts and low fat dairy products.
Keep cholesterol and blood pressure controlled.
Know your glycosylated hemoglobin (HgbA1c) level- usually checked in the blood every 3 months to monitor diabetes control.
Check your feet daily for cuts and wounds- diabetes can affect circulation/sensation in some people (hence the need for visual inspection) and also cause slow wound healing.
Invest in a good pair of diabetic shoes.
If you notice a wound- please go and have it checked out as early as possible so that treatment can be started early. Keep wound care appointments as scheduled.
Get a diabetic eye exam every year.
Because the treatment and prevention of Diabetes is important to us at Manassas Clinical Research Center, we offer FREE health screenings.
We also have a nutritionist on staff that can help you plan a healthy lifestyle to prevent or maintain your diabetes or to help you with weight loss.
We also offer many clinical research opportunities so that our patients can have access to cutting edge treatments, that they might otherwise not have access to.
Call today to schedule your FREE health screening, or to make an appointment with our nutritionist.