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What Happens If I Have Diabetes

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Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes

What really happens when you have Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakes the cells in your pancreas as harmful and attacks them.

Without insulin, your body will break down its own fat and muscle, resulting in weight loss. This can lead to a serious short-term condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This is when the bloodstream becomes acidic, you develop dangerous levels of ketones in your blood stream and become severely dehydrated.

This results in the body being unable to produce insulin, which is required to move glucose out of the blood and into your cells to be used for energy. This is called Type 1 diabetes.

Read more about the causes of type 1 diabetes

Watch How To Help Someone Who Is Having A Diabetic Emergency

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition that affects blood sugar levels. Normally, peoples bodies maintain the ideal blood sugar levels automatically. When a person has diabetes, their body fails to maintain the blood sugar balance, so they need to manage it through diet, tablets or insulin injections.

Sometimes, a person who has diabetes can suffer diabetic emergencies, which require first aid.

What are the signs and symptoms of a diabetic emergency?

Signs and symptoms vary, but common ones include:

  • hunger

What happens in a diabetic emergency?

In most cases, the persons blood sugar levels become too low. This is called hypoglycaemia. It can happen when the person has missed a meal or exercised too much. If left untreated, a diabetic emergency can become very serious.

What should I give them to eat or drink?

You can give them sugary drinks such as cola, lemonade, fruit juice and isotonic sports drinks, and sweet foods such as jelly beans, chocolate and sugar cubes. The person may also be carrying glucose gel or tablets. Avoid giving them a diet drink, as it wont have any sugar in it and will not help them.

But some people have high blood sugar levels, so wont giving them sugary drinks or food make their diabetic emergency worse?

Some people do have high blood sugar levels, but giving them sugary drinks or food is unlikely to do any harm.

How will I know if this is a long-term condition for the person?

How Is Gestational Diabetes Treated

If you have GDM, your prenatal care provider wants to see you more often at prenatal care checkups so she can monitor you and your baby closely to help prevent problems. At each checkup, you get tests to make sure you and your baby are doing well. Tests include a nonstress test and a biophysical profile. The nonstress test checks your babys heart rate. The biophysical profile is a nonstress test with an ultrasound. An ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer screen to show a picture of your baby in the womb.

Your provider also may ask you to do kick counts . This is way for you to keep track of how often your baby moves in the womb. Here are two ways to do kick counts:

  • Every day, time how long it takes for your baby to move ten times. If it takes longer than 2 hours, tell your provider.
  • See how many movements you feel in 1 hour. Do this three times each week. If the number changes, tell your provider.
  • If you have GDM, your provider tells you how often to check your blood sugar, what your levels should be and how to manage them during pregnancy. Blood sugar is affected by pregnancy, what you eat and drink, how much physical activity you get. You may need to eat differently and be more active. You also may need to take insulin shots or other medicines.

    Heres what you can do to help manage gestational diabetes:

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    When Should I Call My Doctor

    If you havent been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of diabetes. If you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels are outside of your target range, if current symptoms worsen or if you develop any new symptoms.

    How Is Diabetes Managed

    What Happens When You Have Diabetes

    Diabetes affects your whole body. To best manage diabetes, youll need to take steps to keep your risk factors under control and within the normal range, including:

    • Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by following a diet plan, taking prescribed medication and increasing your activity level.
    • Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
    • Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not be over 140/90 mmHg.

    You hold the keys to managing your diabetes by:

    • Planning what you eat and following a healthy meal plan. Follow a Mediterranean diet or Dash diet. These diets are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fats and calories. See a registered dietitian for help understanding nutrition and meal planning.
    • Exercising regularly. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Walk, swim or find some activity you enjoy.
    • Losing weight if you are overweight. Work with your healthcare team to develop a weight-loss plan.
    • Taking medication and insulin, if prescribed, and closely following recommendations on how and when to take it.
    • Quitting smoking .

    You have a lot of control on a day-to-day basis in managing your diabetes!

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    When To Contact A Medical Professional

    • Chest pain or pressure
    • Shortness of breath
    • Red, painful skin that is spreading quickly

    These symptoms can quickly get worse and become emergency conditions .

    Also call your provider if you have:

    • Numbness, tingling, or pain in your feet or legs
    • Problems with your eyesight
    • Sores or infections on your feet
    • Symptoms of high blood sugar
    • Symptoms of low blood sugar
    • Frequent feelings of depression or anxiety

    Oral Health And Diabetes

    People with poorly managed diabetes are at increased risk of tooth decay and gum infections. This is because the small blood vessels that help nourish your teeth and gums can become damaged. Poor oral care can cause the gums to become inflamed and loosen around your teeth. It’s also strongly linked with an increased risk of heart disease.To reduce your risk of teeth and gum problems:

    • See your dentist regularly for a check-up.
    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.
    • If you have dentures, make sure you brush your dentures and gums with a soft toothbrush.

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    Taking the ADAs 60-Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test can help you determine whether youre at a higher risk for diabetes based on a number of factors, including your race or ethnicity.

    Do You Have Insulin Resistance

    What Happens When a Type 1 Diabetic Doesn’t Take Insulin?

    How do you find out if youre insulin resistant? No one test will tell you, but if you have high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides , high LDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol, your health care provider may determine you have insulin resistance.

    Important note: Type 1 diabetes is different its thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction . People with type 1 diabetes dont make enough insulin and need to take it to survive.

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    How We Can Help

    If you would like to talk through your worries and concerns, please do call our helpline for specialist information and advice. You will be given as much time as you need and although the service is confidential, you can choose to remain anonymous if you prefer. Our online forum is also a place you can talk about and share your concerns with others who have had similar experiences.

    We’re also investing in research to help us identify and protect against diabetes complications. We’re determined to bring about improvements to treatments and care in people with diabetes, having already set up the first diabetes foot clinic in the UK, helping to reduce amputations.

    Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids

    These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.

    Take action
    • Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
    • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.

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    Can You Be Born With Diabetes Is It Genetic

    You arent born with diabetes, but Type 1 diabetes usually appears in childhood. Prediabetes and diabetes develop slowly over time years. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy.Scientists do believe that genetics may play a role or contribute to the development of Type 1 diabetes. Something in the environment or a virus may trigger its development. If you have a family history of Type 1 diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. If you have a family history of prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, youre at increased risk of developing prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.

    Mental Health And Diabetes

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    Living with and managing either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. This can affect your blood glucose levels and how you manage your diabetes in general. Over time, this can affect your health.It is important to talk to your doctor if you are going through times of stress, depression or anxiety. Your doctor can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist by providing a diabetes mental health plan. This is Medicare rebated.Other help is available, including:

    • online resources

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    How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Managed

    Special testing and monitoring of the baby may be needed for pregnant diabetics, especially those who are taking insulin. This is because of the increased risk for stillbirth. These tests may include:

    • Fetal movement counting. This means counting the number of movements or kicks in a certain period of time, and watching for a change in activity.

    • Ultrasound. This is an imaging test that uses sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function, and to look at blood flow through blood vessels.

    • Nonstress testing. This is a test that measured the babys heart rate in response to movements.

    • Biophysical profile. This is a measure that combines tests such as the nonstress test and ultrasound to check the baby’s movements, heart rate, and amniotic fluid.

    • Doppler flow studies. This is a type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure blood flow.

    Test Your Blood Sugar

    That’s the way you’ll find out how food, exercise, and medicine affect your glucose level so you get better at controlling your diabetes. Not testing is like never stepping on a scale when you’re trying to lose weight.

    You need some tools: a blood sugar meter, lancets , and test strips. Talk to your CDE about how to get these supplies and how to use them.

    Your doctor will let you know what your target blood sugar range should be and when to check. At first, you might do it a couple of times a day after meals.

    Keep a log of your numbers and show them to your doctor at your next visit.

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    Managing Carbohydrates Becomes A Fixture In Your Life

    Your body processes carbs as blood glucose. But some carbs are processed more quickly than others. As a diabetic, you learn which foods contain fast carbs and which contain slow carbs. For example, your body processes sugars found in bread and sweet treats quicker than the carbs found in fruits and vegetables.

    Avoiding High Blood Sugar And Dka

    Type 1 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

    No matter how well they take care of themselves, people with diabetes will sometimes have high blood sugar levels. But the best way to avoid problems is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to your desired range as possible, which means following your diabetes management plan. Checking your blood sugar levels several times a day will let you know when your blood sugar level is high. Then you can treat it and help prevent DKA from happening.

    High blood sugar levels don’t always cause symptoms, and a person who isn’t testing regularly might be having blood sugar levels high enough to damage the body without even realizing it. Doctors may use the HbA1c test to find out if someone has been having high blood sugar levels over time, even if the person has not had obvious symptoms.

    Here are some other tips for avoiding high blood sugar levels and preventing DKA:

    • Try to eat all your meals and snacks on time and not skip any.
    • Take the right amount of insulin.
    • Check your blood sugar levels regularly and your ketone levels when your diabetes management plan recommends it.
    • Stick to your diabetes management plan.

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    How Do You Beat Gestational Diabetes

    How to deal with gestational diabetes?

  • Consume a healthy diet: A dietician can help in creating a healthy meal plan for the pregnant mother to help control blood sugar levels. …
  • Stay physically active: Regular exercising can help to lower blood sugar levels and support the effective utilization of insulin.
  • Would I Know If I Had Gestational Diabetes

    Asked by: Coy Leuschke

    Most pregnant women don’t experience signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes. In fact, the only way to know is with a blood sugar test, typically given around 24 to 28 weeks gestation. A few women may notice subtle signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes, including: Increased thirst.

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    Itching And Yeast Infections

    Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for yeast, which can lead to infection. Yeast infections tend to occur on warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.

    The affected areas are usually itchy, but a person may also experience burning, redness, and soreness.

    Why Take Care Of Your Diabetes

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    Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel good today and in the future. When your blood sugar is close to normal, you are likely to:

    • have more energy
    • Ask your health care team what type of diabetes you have.

    • Learn where you can go for support.

    • Learn how caring for your diabetes helps you feel good today and in the future.

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    What Causes Diabetes During Pregnancy

    Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pregestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can change how a woman’s body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes.

    During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. In late pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen can block insulin. When insulin is blocked, its called insulin resistance. Glucose can’t go into the bodys cells. The glucose stays in the blood and makes the blood sugar levels go up.

    Heart Disease And Stroke

    In general, type 2 diabetes increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. However, the risk may be even higher if your condition isnt managed. Thats because high blood glucose can damage your cardiovascular system.

    People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than people who dont have diabetes. Theyre also one and a half times more likely to experience a stroke.

    The warning signs of stroke include:

    • numbness or weakness on one side of your body
    • loss of balance or coordination
    • difficulty talking

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    What Does Diabetes Do To The Kidneys

    With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.

    Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

    Diabetes And Healthy Weight

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    If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially around the abdomen, helps to lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

    It can be difficult trying to lose weight, so to get started set yourself a short-term, achievable goal. Try thinking about the food you are eating, whether you really need it, if it’s a healthy choice, and consider the portion size. An accredited practicing dietitian can help you set a realistic meal plan and answer any food related questions you may have.

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    Can Diabetes Be Prevented

    Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented.

    You may be able to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by managing your weight, staying active, and following a healthy diet. However, genetics and other risk factors may increase your risk despite your best efforts.

    If you have any risk factors for diabetes, its important to get regular checkups with your doctor or healthcare professional. This will help prevent diabetes from progressing and causing other serious health complications.

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