When people have issues with their bodies they often know what to do about it. This could be anything from restoring their glow with a collagen shot to taking ibuprofen. If you’re living with diabetes, you’ll know that it can be a challenge to manage the condition. For a start, you’ll never get a day off from checking your blood sugars or watching your food intake. In this article, we’ll discuss 8 common issues caused by diabetes, and explain how to deal with them.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high. There are two main distinctions of diabetes, type one and type two. Type one diabetes is where the body doesn’t produce insulin, and it usually starts in childhood. Type two diabetes can affect people of any age. It’s where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells don’t react to it.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll need to monitor your blood sugar levels and take medication to control them. With the right treatment, most people can lead normal, healthy lives.
Diabetics are more likely to develop this medical condition. This is because high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. In turn, this can cause the nerves to become damaged and stop working properly. Peripheral neuropathy affects the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Autonomic neuropathy affects the heart, digestive system, bladder, lungs, and sex organs.
Symptoms of neuropathy include numbness or tingling in the extremities (arms, legs, hands, and feet), diarrhea or constipation, impotence, urinary incontinence, and dizziness. Treatment for neuropathy includes managing blood sugar levels, taking supplements, and using pain relievers. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerves. If you go online you can learn about things like neuropathy socks and compression stockings, and receive help with choosing them. You can also discover more about the causes, symptoms and treatments of neuropathy.
- Unstable Blood Sugar Levels
This can be a result of either taking too much or too little insulin. It can also be caused by stress, illness or skipping meals. Symptoms of unstable blood sugar levels include feeling shaky, sweaty and dizzy – or having heart palpitations. If you experience any of these symptoms, check your blood sugar levels immediately and take corrective action if necessary.
The best way to avoid unstable blood sugar levels is to maintain a consistent routine with your insulin injections and meals. If you consistently battle with this issue, a doctor may recommend that you use a diabetic pump. This is because it can provide a more consistent and steady supply of insulin.
- Problems With Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when you take insulin or other diabetes medications. It can also occur if you exercise too hard, or drink alcohol. Low blood sugar can cause feelings of shakiness, dizziness, sweating, and hunger. If left untreated, it can lead to seizures or unconsciousness.
The best way to treat low blood sugar is to eat or drink something high in sugar right away. This could be fruit juice, regular soda (not diet), candy, honey, or glucose tablets. It’s important to eat or drink enough so that your symptoms go away and you feel better. You may need to check your blood sugars again after 15-20 minutes to make sure it’s rising. If you have trouble swallowing, use glucose gel instead. If you treat low blood sugar and it doesn’t go away (or gets worse), call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.
- Problems With High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is when your blood sugar is higher than your target range. It can cause you to feel tired, thirsty, and hungry. You may also have trouble breathing, feel flushed or feverish, and have stomach pain.
If you think you have high blood sugar, the best thing to do is check your levels. If it’s too high, address it according to your treatment plan (which may involve taking extra insulin). You’ll need to monitor your blood sugar closely until it goes back down to a normal level.
- Organizational Issues
With so many things to keep track of – blood sugar levels, medications, doctor’s appointments – it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. One way to combat this is by keeping a detailed record of everything related to your diabetes. This can include recording your blood sugar levels, when you take your medication and how much insulin you’ve used.
Another helpful tip is to set reminders for yourself. Whether it’s setting an alarm on your phone or writing a note to yourself, this can ensure that you’re taking care of yourself and staying on top of your diabetes. There are also many apps available that can help you stay organized and healthy.
- Difficulties With Carb Counting
Carb counting is a method of managing diabetes by tracking the number of carbohydrates consumed at each meal or snack. The goal is to maintain consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day. This can be difficult to do because carbs are found in many foods, including some that might not be expected (like ketchup or salad dressing).
One way to make carb counting easier is to create a list of common foods and their carb counts. This can be kept on your phone or in a notebook. Once again there are apps that you can use, and some connect to databases containing carb details for multitudes of food items. If carb counting is proving to be too difficult, talk to a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator. They can help you create a meal plan that fits your individual needs.
There are other possible issues that can affect diabetics, including weight gain/loss and developing Coeliac Disease. The key is to do the research, manage your blood sugar levels and diet, and involve professional help. When all these things come together you’ll be able to experience the best possible life – both now and for many years to come.