As a diabetes patient, you are well aware of your guilty pleasures and bad habits. Whether you or a loved one have diabetes, managing it can seem pretty overwhelming, especially if you have only recently been diagnosed.
Diabetes primarily affects your metabolism, and since every person metabolizes food at different rates, the condition is different for every patient.
There are also different types of diabetes, and each affects your metabolism in different ways. Various factors such as type, severity, age, and development can affect your condition, and by extension your individual treatment plan.
Diabetes is a disorder that directly affects the metabolism by impeding your body’s ability to produce insulin.
Normally, consumed sugars and carbohydrates help give the body the glucose it needs to fuel cells. However, the middle man between sugar, carbohydrates, and glucose is insulin, a hormone found in your blood that regulates blood sugar. Without insulin, blood sugar can reach dangerous levels, causing blurred vision, numbness, and in extreme cases, diabetic comas.
A child can have two different types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Out of both types, Type 1 is generally more prevalent in children.
Type 2 is generally diagnosed in adults who are over 40 and are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, since child obesity has been on the rise, more and more children have been diagnosed with Type 2, as well.
Type 1, often found in children, can make it so that the glucose builds up in the blood. Although it is most commonly found in ages 5-6 and ages 11-13, it still can be found in every stage of childhood.
Along with having high blood sugar, the main symptoms of diabetes also include…
- Increased urination and thirst
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss
Type 2, often found in adults who are obese or overweight, can also develop in children who have poor dietary and exercise habits.
Although people with Type 2 diabetes may only experience minor symptoms, or even no symptoms, it can still be found and diagnosed through a routine blood test.
The main symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include…
- Increased appetite
- Increased thirst and urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
Diabetes can also affect your mood,your interactions with others, and even close relationships. In fact, a study from the American Diabetes Association found that many patients with diabetes also suffer from depression.
Tips for Managing Diabetes
Whether you were diagnosed as a child with Type 1, or later on with Type 2, know that you are not alone. There are many tips and tricks out there to help you manage your diabetes.
Here are a few that can help:
1. Keep a Daily Routine
A diabetes treatment plan organized with and by your doctor can help you maintain and monitor your blood sugar levels. Normally, you can do this several times throughout the day. As a child, this might take some getting used to, but it is vital to prevent sudden drops and surges in blood sugar.
2. Keep a Meal and Exercise Plan
Sticking with these plans can help you adjust your diet and routine to help keep you healthy. With everything recorded, you can keep track and easily modify your schedule as needed. This can mean keeping a food and exercise journal or diary.
3. Keep Stress Levels Under Control
Stress negatively impacts the body, especially for a patient with diabetes. Stress causes a fluctuation in glucose levels, but eating well, exercising regularly, and getting a good night‘s sleep can help keep stress under control.
4. Always Be Prepared
You should also be well stocked in case of an emergency. You might need extra medication, a glucose meter or test strips, diagnosis paper, or an emergency contact. Snacks with sugar also help, as does a first aid kit. Some doctors may suggest that you wear a medical ID at all times.
5. Make Sure Those Around You Know
Telling your family and friends about your diabetes ensures that you have a support network that can be there for you in case of emergencies. You can also look into contacting community support groups to help you cultivate a healthy and supportive environment around yourself.
Managing Your Diabetes With MississippiCare
Whether you or your child has diabetes, you should contact your doctor about getting a treatment plan in place.
Our Mississippi doctors can help with diabetes management after an individualized assessment. They can also help with nutrition education, meal planning, exercise classes, and support group meetings.
Contact us today to make an appointment for you or your loved one, and start developing your diabetes management plan with a diabetes specialist today.