If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ve got some things to learn. Are you insulin dependent? Are you taking oral medications? Will you need an insulin pump or will injections do the trick?
Here are some thoughts on the topic, as well as ways to help you stay as healthy as possible in the years to come.
What is Diabetes?
Simply explained, diabetes is a condition of the body, in which the body (human or animal) cannot produce enough insulin or cannot utilize it properly if it does produce some insulin. This causes sugar to build up in the bloodstream, and results in a number of health conditions.
Some of the health complications that may result from diabetes include:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Skin complications
- Kidney failure
- Kidney disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Conditions that require toe or foot amputations
- Diabetic retinopathy and blindness
- Nerve damage and neuropathy
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the pancreas, used to keep glucose levels in the blood in balance. Insulin is a component of the metabolic process, and specifically the anabolic process, that helps convert food into glucose. Glucose is one of the two sources of energy for the body, and the other is fat.
Someone whose body does not produce enough insulin, or does not efficiently use insulin, has either insulin intolerance issues, or diabetes. These conditions can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.
What Is an Insulin Pump?
If someone has insulin-dependency, meaning he or she cannot live without insulin therapy, that person may need something called an insulin pump. Insulin pumps are small, computerized machines that are worn on a belt or in the pocket.
How Does an Insulin Pump Work?
A diabetic pump, another name for an insulin pump, is attached via catheter – and delivers insulin throughout the day as necessary, for someone with diabetes. There are three basic deliveries provided by a diabetic pump.
1. Basal Dose
A basal dose, meaning baseline dose, is administered throughout the day. These doses are fast-acting and help keep the body regulated.
2. Bolus Dose
A bolus dose is given by pump to a diabetic person who has consumed carbohydrates during a meal or snack. This dose helps prevent spikes in blood sugars caused by carbohydrates, which are in essence, sugar.
3. Correction Dose
A correction dose is given when there is any kind of spike in blood sugar, or for someone who’s levels are uneven for some reason.
What Else Can I Do to Help My Diabetes?
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, you will need to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. You may need an insulin pump or insulin injections, or you may not. There are oral medications that do a variety of things.
In addition to medications, there are other things you can do to care of your medical condition, or as a potential means of prevention of developing full-blown diabetes after being diagnosed with prediabetes.
1. Eat Well
Not only should you eat lots of vegetables and fruits that are low on the glycemic index, but you should also avoid an excess of carbohydrates and sugary treats. If you have a penchant for bread, try finding savory substitutes that will satisfy your cravings, without spiking your blood sugar levels.
If you’re more of a fan of junk food, like pizza and potato chips, wean yourself off of these foods, and supplement with savory snacks that are lower in carbohydrates.
If your sweet tooth is out of control, try finding fruits that you love from the low glycemic range, and use these are your desserts and snacks instead.
2. Get Exercise
Your body needs a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. The best ways to get this exercise without pushing too hard is through swimming, cycling, brisk walking, or light jogging. Rowing machines set on lower resistance are also a fun alternative for the moderate cardio your body needs.
3. Regularly Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
It seems simple, and it is, but monitoring your blood sugar levels daily, or several times a day, can make the difference between staying healthy and getting into danger. One Touch has some great options to check out, along with a variety of other brands. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure which ones might suit you.
Living Well with Diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may need an insulin pump, or you may not. You’ll need to exercise, eat right, and regularly check your blood sugar levels.
Stay on top of things to stay healthy.
Be sure to budget for your supplies, including healthcare, and make sure you know the insulin pump cost information that will help you stay up on your finances, which will help to cut out stress.