Controlling Diabetes for your comfortable life

Diabetes was noticed by primordial civilizations and even treated in the Middle Ages; however the specific cause of this disease remains a mystery to modern day science. Also for unknown reasons, rates of diagnosis steadily increased over the last 20 years and the American Diabetes Association now declares diabetes an epidemic.

Adequate care and funding for years was substandard despite the spike in diagnosis - and only recently has the bar been raised to where it is today. Through grassroots efforts, both international and national, the standard of care has been raised. This has been vital in the life expectancy, quality of life and equal opportunity employment for those affected by the disease.

The disease is not to be taken lightly as resulting complications can include but are not limited to heart disease, blindness, nerve damage, kidney damage, and blood vessel damage. A dedication to rigid management and control is the fundamental armor needed for the daily battle against the disease.

Diabetes is a physiological syndrome in which the body does not produce or adequately use insulin; the vital hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. Climbing rates and jumping statistics now lead researchers to believe that genetics is not the only role in a diabetes diagnosis. Obesity, specifically a “Western-diet,” may be key players in this potentially debilitating disease.

Whether newly diagnosed or a life long diabetic, it is never too late to begin a diabetic care regimen. As an active participant in their own health care, the patient should work out a detailed health plan stating diet and exercise requirements, as well as consistent intake of pills and insulin. Specifically, managing the body’s blood glucose level and keeping it as close to normal as possible helps patients feel better in their day to day life and reduces the risk these long term complications.

Every patient should have a blood glucose meter, using their doctor’s guidance in choosing such a tool. This meter gives a blood glucose level at any one time and the number on the monitor should be documented. Keeping a log of these levels is an essential addition to the process; the pattern can potentially shed light on the body’s response (or lack of) to treatments. Changes can then be made accordingly and systematically.

Medical management of diabetes, for many, is not as frustrating as the emotional management. Meters and tools spit out numbers, levels and percentages – tangible, comprehensible data that can be adjusted. These numbers however, if not up to par, can trigger feelings of anger, depression, and frustration within the patient.

Patients should always keep in mind that numbers and levels should not be used as the mode for judgment. They are simply a way to track patient care plans and do not reflect the person behind the disease.

However, this is always easier said than done. The American Diabetes Association maintains a thorough website loaded with information and should be used as an available tool for gaining knowledge and support ( ). For many diabetics, as well as their loved ones, volunteering in the fight against diabetes is a rewarding way to gain control and find community support. Gaining power over diabetes is not only physically beneficial, but mentally and emotionally stabilizing.

By: Maryann Loprete