What is diabetes?
- A disease of high blood glucose (sugar) levels.
How does diabetes happen?
- Typically hereditary, the diabetes gene is activated with certain situations (obesity, age, stress, injury, sleep deprivation, smoking).
What about food and insulin?
- We get energy from food, primarily in the form of glucose.
- All food turns into glucose, and we have glucose stored internally in our liver.
- A gland behind the stomach called the pancreas should make enough of the hormone insulin to handle any food.
- Insulin unlocks the cells (the smallest component of the body) and allows glucose to enter.
- With diabetes, the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin or use insulin efficiently.
- Without enough insulin, the glucose piles up in the bloodstream and can cause many problems.
What are the goals of diabetes self-management?
- Lower your glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol to a safe level.
- Live a full life!
When to call the doctor?
- If your glucose is less than 70 or more than 250 for 2 days.
- If your glucose is less than 180 and you can't keep food down
(your medication dose may need changing).
- If you are vomiting or have diarrhea.
- If you are not tolerating your medication.
What do I do when I'm sick?
- Check glucose at least every 4 hours.
- Drink plenty of sugar-free, caffeine-free liquids (examples include water, tea, broth).
- You still need small amounts of carbohydrate food for healing.
- If you take diabetes medication and glucose is more than 180, continue the usual dose.