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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Terrifying Threats of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, like a child, can be nice and easy for some, and a terrible nightmare for others!

3 simple steps make the difference between convenient and successful diabetes prevention and treatment on the one hand, and mounting costs with deteriorating quality of life on the other.

These 3 critical steps are:

- Regular, correct, and comprehensive glucose metabolism tests

- Adherence to the principles of diet and nutrition

- Judicious exercise

Why do tests have to be regular, correct, and comprehensive?

I may not have diabetes today. That does not mean that I will free from it for all time. I could even have pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is notorious for raising its head all of a sudden, and after many years of normal results. Tests done over 6 months back are not relevant anymore for adults, and children should be tested once a year.

A test with a defective meter or with a fake strip (these things happen!) is worse than no test at all. You could live under false pretences, or suffer risks of hypoglycemia, if you become a victim of amateur testing. Always have your blood tested at a facility recommended by your doctor, or use a valid and quality self-use device.

Some people test their fasting blood glucose levels, without repeating the procedure 2 hours after a normal lunch. Others do the afternoon test, but skip the fasting one in the morning. You simply cannot arrive at a proper diagnosis about diabetes in such a haphazard way. There are tests for diabetes in which you do not have to fast, and for which blood is drawn only once, but these matters should be discussed with your doctor, and you have to honor the prescription completely once it has been written.

Eating measured quantities of food at the right time, and keeping tabs on the fat, sugar, and salt intakes, can work miracles in terms of keeping type 2 diabetes away. Your doctor can write such a diet which suits your age and sex, or direct you to a specialist for this purpose. Unplanned eating and giving in to tempting food on the table causes more type 2 diabetes than we know!

“I do not have the time”. This common excuse for copping out on exercise schedules can be a recipe for disaster equal to indulgent eating. Excess loads of work, overly-packed schedules, frequent travels, television, and computer games are some prime villains of the ‘couch potato’ world. Your best interests are at stake when you make a trade-off between time for exercise, and everything else. Not all exercise is the same, and anything you try without your doctor’s approval could even harm you seriously. However, walking over long distances (2.5 miles) at least thrice a week should work well for most adults with normal physiology. Jogging is best for younger people, but only if your doctor permits you to do it!

The three simple steps of regular, correct, and comprehensive glucose metabolism tests, adherence to the principles of diet and nutrition, and judicious exercise, are really worthwhile in terms of diabetes prevention.

Consider what unchecked diabetes can do:

- Take away eyesight

- Cause feet to be amputated

- Weaken your heart

- Damage your kidneys, and

- Cost a bomb!

Now is diabetes prevention a good deal or what?

A last word: expecting mothers can develop high blood sugar during pregnancy. This kind of gestational diabetes can harm a fetus. Help your doctor when you expect a baby by following orders strictly when it comes to keeping blood sugar under control. Remember that you may be free of diabetes in general, and still develop dangerously high blood sugar during pregnancy if you are not diligent in following your prescriptions to the letter!



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