Adult Diabetes Management

Adult Diabetes Management

The goal of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as safely possible. Since diabetes may greatly increase risk for heart disease and peripheral artery disease, measures to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels are an essential part of diabetes treatment as well.

What is Glucose and Insulin ?

Your body is made of a different organ, which does many different things. One of these organs is the pancreas. The pancreas is where your body makes insulin.

When you eat something your digestive system breaks the food down so that it can move through your blood and into your cells. In this process, the Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is a form of sugar. Your cell uses Glucose as fuel. Insulin moves glucose out of your blood into the cells. So that your body can create enough energy to get you through the day.

How does insulin work

Types of Diabetes

Having Type 1 Diabetes means your pancreas does not produce enough insulin in order to keep your blood glucose levels steady. These usually occur in children. Treatments can help, but this disease cannot be reversed. 10% of Diabetic persons fall under this category.

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body does not use insulin properly. Of all people with Diabetes, 90% have Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

What tests are used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes?

Health care professionals most often use the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or the A1C test to diagnose diabetes. In some cases, they may use random plasma glucose (RPG) test.

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
The FPG blood test measures your blood glucose level at a single point in time. For the most reliable results, it is best to have this test in the morning, after you fast for at least 8 hours. Fasting means having nothing to eat or drink except sips of water.

A1C test
The A1C test is a blood test that provides your average levels of blood glucose over the past 3 months. Other names for the A1C test are hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, glycated hemoglobin, and glycosylated hemoglobin test. You can eat and drink before this test. When it comes to using the A1C to diagnose diabetes, your doctor will consider factors such as your age and whether you have anemia NIH external link or another problem with your blood.1 The A1C test is not accurate in people with anemia.

Random plasma glucose (RPG) test
Sometimes health care professionals use the RPG test to diagnose diabetes when diabetes symptoms are present and they do not want to wait until you have fasted. You do not need to fast overnight for the RPG test. You may have this blood test at any time.

Food Choices That Greatly Increase Your Diabetes Risk

The food choices we make every day greatly influence our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Highly Processed Carbohydrates
Heavily processed carbohydrates, such as those made with white flour, white sugar, and white rice, are essentially whole foods stripped of important bran and fiber, as well as healthy vitamins and minerals.

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
Sugary beverages like sodas, sweet teas, and lemonade are linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, presumably because the excess calories lead to weight gain and because the sugar load might increase insulin resistance. Did you know, that one can of cola contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar?

Saturated and Trans Fats
Unhealthy saturated and trans fats can increase cholesterol levels in the blood, and high cholesterol is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Trans fats appear in packaged baked goods and fried foods in restaurants, while saturated fats can be found in fatty meats, butter, and full-fat milk and cheese.

Red and Processed Meats
Red meat and processed red meat are both linked to type 2 diabetes. Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats are particularly bad because of their high levels of sodium and nitrites.

Control the ABCs of Diabetes

If you have diabetes, three key steps—the ABCs—can help you better manage your diabetes and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Learn about the ABCs and keep track of your progress for each one.

A1C Test
Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of hemoglobin proteins in your blood are coated with sugar (glycated). Hemoglobin proteins in red blood cells transport oxygen. The higher your A1C level is, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. A normal A1C level is below 5.7%, a level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. Within the 5.7% to 6.4% prediabetes range, the higher your A1C, the greater your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you are diabetic, it is suggested to have the test Every 3 months until it is where it should be, then every 6 months thereafter

Blood Pressure
Over time, diabetes damages the small blood vessels in your body, causing the walls of the blood vessels to stiffen. This increases pressure, which leads to high blood pressure.” The combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can greatly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that's made by the body and found in some animal-based foods. Blood cholesterol levels describe a group of fats also known as lipoproteins (lipids) which includes HDL-C, or "good" cholesterol, and LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol. Cholesterol is important to overall health, but when LDL-C levels are too high, it can contribute to narrowed or blocked arteries. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are more prone to high cholesterol, which contributes to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Diabetes Medications

Frequently missing doses can increase your risk for blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, and nerve damage. If you miss a dose of your oral diabetes medication, take it as soon as possible.

Adult Diabetes Management

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