Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by an insufficiency or lack of insulin in the body and by reduced ability of the body’s cells to utilise insulin. Insulin is the most important hormone produced by the body to regulate blood sugar (blood glucose) levels. It is required to convert sugar and starches into energy. If left uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to key organs in the body, including blood vessels, the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves and it can even cause foot ulcers which could lead to amputations. A substantial proportion of people with diabetes are found to have related complications at the time of diagnosis. Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to increase, which can cause symptoms such as
Ø excessive thirst
Ø frequent urination
Ø blurred vision.
It is impressive that one understands the severity of the disease. In addressing diabetes care, focus must be directed towards alleviating complications that arise from heart disease, blindness, foot amputations, skin ulcers, kidney failure and diabetic neuropathy. It is possible to reduce the risk of these complications by;
Ø keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible
Ø limiting the intake of foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol
Ø limiting the use of salt and foods high in salt
Ø controlling the blood pressure and lipid levels
Ø stop smoking
Ø exercise regularly
Ø undergoing regular medical checkups
There is also evidence that tight control of blood glucose levels reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications. To ensure that blood glucose levels are controlled efficiently, glycaemic control should be monitored regularly. Diabetes is a problem for all of us, rich or poor, young or old, wherever we live. Anyone can get diabetes, even you! A diabetes person can experience good and bad days, but important aspect is that one should take appropriate measures to control one’s blood glucose.