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Everything your Doctor Forgot to Tell you About DiabetesDiabetes affects nearly 300 million people across the world and over 25 million in the United States alone.  Experts have estimated that this rising epidemic will afflict twice as many people by the year 2030.

There are 2 types of diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is a disorder that inhibits pancreatic insulin production, and is present at birth.  Type 2 diabetes is a disease that usually occurs later in life (though there are more and more cases of children developing type 2 diabetes).  It arises out of a combination of hereditary and lifestyle factors, usually poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.  With type 2 diabetes, the body develops insulin resistance, meaning that it’s cells develop an inability to recognize and process the body’s own insulin.

If you or a loved-one is managing the challenges of diabetes, you know that managing diabetes isn’t just about insulin shots or blood glucose meters – it’s a lifestyle.  If you have a good doctor, there’s no doubt he/she has shared a lot of tips to help you achieve healthy living with diabetes.  Your doctor has probably given you plenty of information about how to manage living with diabetes, including how to eat right, to lose weight, to stick to a certain diet, how to take your medications/shots, and when to get tested.  But here are some tips and facts that your doctor may or may not have shared with you.

Warm Insulin To Room Temperature

Cold insulin that’s right out of the fridge is more likely to hurt.  You can save yourself some stinging by letting the insulin warm naturally to room temperature prior to use.

Working Out Affects Insulin Absorption

Do you know that burning feeling you get in your muscles after a tough workout?  That burning feeling means that your muscles will absorb insulin quicker.  Take your insulin shot after a hard workout to increase the speed of insulin absorption.

Insulin Isn’t Just For Type 1 Diabetics

If you’re a type 2 diabetic, there may be a day where you need insulin to help manage your blood glucose levels.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t properly managed your condition, in many cases it’s simply an unfortunate reality.

Test Your Blood Glucose Meter Before Using

It’s important to utilize the control solution to test your meter prior to checking your blood glucose.  Don’t neglect it.

Although Meters Are Usually Free, The Strips Can Be Pricey

Although your health care provider or insurance company might provide you with a free blood glucose meter, the strips are where the costs really add up.  You might want to verify how many strips your insurance will cover.

People Around You Can Save Your Life

As a diabetic, it’s important that the people around you know how to recognize if you need help.  It’s not just your close friends and family who should know what to do. – your co-workers and employer should be able to recognize a blood glucose low and ensure you get proper treatment.  If you need to keep a glucagon kit on you, make sure the people you spend time with are able to use it.

Don’t Always Take The Newest Drug

Just because there is a new advance in diabetes treatment doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for your situation.  Drugs will work differently on different people.  Be sure to thoroughly discuss your options with your doctor before switching to newer drugs.

Kidney Failure Symptoms Aren’t Apparent Until It’s Too Late

High blood glucose over extended periods of time can cause serious damage to the kidneys.  Kidney damage doesn’t lead to kidney failure right away.  In fact, there are often little to no noticeable symptoms of kidney damage until the kidneys are already on the verge of failing.  That’s why it’s extremely important to have kidney function screenings at least once a year.  Once your kidneys fail, the only option is either kidney dialysis and/or a transplant.

Get Annual Eye Checkups

Even if you don’t need glasses, it’s important for diabetes patients to get checked for diabetic eye diseases.  Have an optometrist check for dilated eye and perform visual exams.

Managing The Challenges Of Living With Diabetes

Living with diabetes certainly isn’t easy.  Managing diabetes requires preparation, careful vigilance, and good communication with your doctor.    If you have type-2 diabetes, it’s crucial to manage your diet and exercise regularly.  Studies have shown that even minor weight loss and lifestyle changes can have a significant effect.


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