Living with diabetes can be a challenging. You don’t get to eat or drink what you like. Sometimes, it can get very frustrating but just keep calm and take a deep breath as we will be discussing about some tips to help manage high blood glucose (diabetes) in this article.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Commonly known as (diabetes). Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time. Symptoms often include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased appetite. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, damage to the nerves, damage to the eyes and cognitive impairment.
What are the causes of high blood sugar?
- Too much food
- Too little exercise or physical activity
- Skipped or not enough diabetes pills or insulin
- Insulin that has been marred after being exposed to extreme heat or cold
- Stress, illness, infection, injury or surgery
- A blood glucose meter that is not reading accurately
Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced. There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
- Type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”. Type 1 diabetes must be managed with insulin injections.
- Type 2 diabetes begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and insufficient exercise. Prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes involves maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. Type2 diabetes may be treated with medications such as insulin sensitizers with or without insulin.
- Gestational diabetes is the third main form, and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby.
How you monitor your blood sugar?
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by recurrent or persistent high blood sugar, and is diagnosed by demonstrating any one of the following:
- Fasting plasma glucose level ≥ 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL)
- Plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) two hours after a 75 gram oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
- Symptoms of high blood sugar and casual plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL)
- Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) ≥ 48 mmol/mol (≥ 6.5 DCCT %)
The good thing is that we can monitor our blood sugar using blood glucose meters at home or anywhere
This is a table of how you can monitor your reading
|Condition||2-hour glucose||Fasting glucose|
|Normal||< 140||< 110|
|Impaired fasting glycaemia||< 140||110 -126|
|Impaired glucose tolerance||> 140||< 126|
You should not wait for the numbers to get so high. If you notice any increase in your blood glucose, please consult your doctor.
How can we properly manage high blood glucose?
Diabetes management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal, without causing low blood sugar. This can usually be accomplished with dietary changes, exercise, weight loss, and use of appropriate medications (insulin, oral medications).
Weight loss can prevent progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes type 2, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, or result in a partial remission in people with diabetes. No single dietary pattern is best for all people with diabetes. Healthy dietary patterns, such as the mediterranean diet, low-carbohydrate diet, or DASH diet are often recommended, although evidence does not support one over the others. For overweight people with type 2 diabetes, any diet that achieves weight loss is effective.
Most medications used to treat diabetes act by lowering blood sugar levels through different mechanisms. There is broad consensus that when people with diabetes maintain tight glucose control and keeping the glucose levels in their blood within normal ranges they experience fewer complication.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:
- Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity.
- Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
- Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not go over 140/90.
- Decrease or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems.
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Disclaimer: Please note that this information should not take the place of doctor’s advice