Diabetes Is A Medical Condition With Potential Complications Than Affect Other Aspects Of Your Life
Some medical conditions confine themselves to only one part of a person’s life. That isn’t true of diabetes. Pegasus home care experts in Winnetka and elsewhere understand how diabetes affects other aspects of your life.
Glucose is the form of sugar that your blood transports to your cells to use for energy. Diabetes means that your cells aren’t able to take up glucose. It accumulates in your blood, where it can adversely affect your health.
Insulin is a hormone that allows the cells to use glucose. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. The insulin circulates in your bloodstream and keeps glucose from accumulating.
Diabetes Takes Different Forms
There is more than one type of diabetes:
- Type 1 is an immune system disorder. It’s also known as juvenile diabetes, as it usually begins in childhood. For reasons not yet fully understood, the body’s immune system destroys certain cells within the pancreas. Insulin production is stopped. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin for their lifetime. Type 1 cannot be prevented.
- Type 2 is a metabolic disorder. It’s also known as adult-onset diabetes, as it usually occurs in adults. The pancreas still produces insulin, but the cells become resistant to it. Eventually, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance and glucose accumulates in your bloodstream. Lifestyle changes can slow the progress of Type 2 and sometimes reverse it. It doesn’t require insulin injections in the early stages.
- Gestational diabetes occurs in some pregnancies. Hormones during pregnancy can create insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes can result in the baby’s death if not treated. It often resolves itself after the baby is delivered. Both the mother and the baby are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later.
Prediabetes is blood sugar that is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. It can be reversed with lifestyle changes.
Diabetes is a demanding medical condition. It requires monitoring what you eat and when you eat. Your level of activity also has an effect.
Nearly everything you do has to follow a schedule to keep your diabetes in control. Frequent “finger sticks” are necessary to measure blood sugar unless you wear a monitor. There’s always the worry of complications if blood sugar remains too high or too low.
Sometimes you have to do finger sticks and insulin injections in public places. That can generate stares or derogatory comments from onlookers, as well as unwarranted advice. The reactions of others can make you skip going out.
It’s easier to keep diabetes under control when families and friends understand. When they do, you can enjoy social activities with them. If you feel isolated, depression can soon set in.
Many individuals with diabetes are overweight. That often subjects them to shaming and stigmatization. Some health care providers erroneously accuse patients of being “non-compliant” when they aren’t able to keep their diabetes tightly controlled.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious when trying to manage diabetes. When diabetes steals away your quality of life, ask for assistance. A Pegasus home care professional can help you cope with management and treatment.
Diabetes Complications Affect Your Whole Life
Health complications are the primary way diabetes affects other aspects of your life. Your risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease is significantly increased. Diabetes can also affect your:
- Digestive system
As well as your body, diabetes takes an emotional and psychological toll. Your life can become a discouraging series of testing and monitoring. Most activities require planning, which decreases the spontaneous fun things in which you can participate.
Individuals with diabetes often have a healthcare team of specialists, especially if they develop complications. Medical care and the skyrocketing cost of insulin creates a significant financial impact for many.
You Should Always Be Alert
You learn to be aware of everything that can affect your blood sugar. That includes scrutinizing every aspect of your life in an attempt to prevent a diabetic crisis. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, your blood sugar rises or drops unpredictably.
If you become ill, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate. The illness itself may cause fluctuations. Additionally, your eating and activity levels change when you’re sick.
Medications you take for temporary or chronic illness can affect the control of your diabetes. Over-the-counter remedies can cause changes in your blood sugar. You also “count the carbs” with your meals, as well as measuring portion sizes.
You’re expected to “know your numbers.” That means you keep records of the results of your finger sticks and units of insulin taken. That’s in addition to recording what you ate, exercise, and medications.
Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can create stress. Trying to monitor everything and making necessary adjustments leads to more stress. Stress can increase your blood sugar.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home care services in Winnetka and our other locations can help you achieve and maintain control of diabetes. We here to provide whatever level of care you or your loved ones require to live safely at home.