Diabetes refers to a group of relatively common disorders that are characterized by high blood sugar levels over long periods of time. Managing the disease is relatively simple, but it does require some knowledge and lifestyle changes. We think it is important for everyone to try to understand it so that they can minimize their risk or their symptoms with as little stress as possible.
What Causes Diabetes?
The human body relies on insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. Diabetes occurs when the body either fails to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use insulin properly. There are three types of diabetes and each one has its own unique set of risk factors.
Type 1 is relatively rare. It happens when the pancreas simply cannot make enough insulin. It is often called juvenile diabetes because it tends to develop in children.Type 2 is the most common type, and it is generally a result of lifestyle factors. Obesity and insufficient exercise are the biggest risk factors. The third type is gestational diabetes which develops during a pregnancy when a woman experiences a sudden increase in her blood sugar levels. That can happen to anyone, but being overweight or having a family history of diabetes can increase the odds. It tends to have fewer symptoms than the other types, but it can lead to birth complications.
Tips for Managing Diabetes
The key to managing diabetes in most cases is making lifestyle changes to reduce the impact of the disease. We advise everyone to talk to a medical professional to work out a personalized plan, but there are a few techniques that are reasonably easy and generally useful.
Diet has a big impact on blood sugar levels, so it is a good place to start. We encourage people to plan their diet out in advance to cut down on impulse eating, which can easily lead to overeating or unhealthy choices. It can also be a good idea to measure portions out with a measuring cup rather than estimating them to prevent overeating.
Exercise is also vital, especially for people who are overweight. This is another area where it pays to make a plan in advance. Make a special effort to stick to the plan for the first few weeks. That will make it more likely to turn into a habit, which will make it much easier to keep exercising in the long run.