DIABETES management is a process aimed at controlling and minimising major complications from the disease.
The key is diabetic patients leading healthy lives includes regular exercise, frequent check-ups, complying with medication, eating healthy food, and self-monitoring blood sugar levels (SMBG).
Keeping blood glucose levels within the range recommended by a doctor can be very challenging for patients because many things or factors make blood glucose change, sometimes unexpectedly.
KPJ Pahang Specialist Hospital diabetic educator Nur Marlyna Aminah Mokhtar Annuar says diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. Hyperglycaemia, also called raised blood glucose or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
"Over time, diabetes can damage blood vessels in the heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. People with diabetes have a higher risk of health problems including heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure."
Diabetes can also cause permanent vision loss by damaging blood vessels in the eyes. Many people with diabetes develop problems with their feet as well, from nerve damage and poor blood flow. This can cause foot ulcers and may lead to amputation.
Nur Marlyna Aminah says early diagnosis can be determined through relatively inexpensive testing of blood glucose.
IF YOU HAVE IT, TREAT IT
One of the most important ways to treat diabetes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle but some people with type 2 diabetes will need to take medicines to help manage their blood sugar levels. These can include insulin injections or other medicines.
"Along with medicines to lower blood sugar, people with diabetes often need medications to lower their blood pressure and statins to reduce the risk of complications."
Additional medical care may be needed to treat the effects of diabetes such as foot care to treat ulcers, screening and treatment for kidney disease and eye exams to screen for retinopathy (which causes blindness).
Healthcare professionals determine appropriate screening tests and intervals based on factors such as age, risk factors, medical history, and guidelines specific to their region.
Regular screening and early detection enable timely interventions and effective management of diabetes and its complications.
Diabetes - prevention/delaying onset
*A healthy diet
*Regular physical activity
Maintaining a normal body weight
*Avoiding tobacco use
Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
Diabetes - symptoms
*Feeling very thirsty
*Needing to urinate more often than usual
*Losing weight unintentionally
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