With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream.
- When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin.
- Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
- With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should.
- When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.
Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Other things you can do to help:
Take medicine as prescribed. Get diabetes self-management education and support. Make and keep health care appointments.
More than 37 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is the No.1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled,
How bad is it to live with diabetes?
How do people die from type 2 diabetes? – Diabetes can make it more likely for a person to develop other health conditions, such as kidney and heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
How do people cope with diabetes?
Having diabetes can be overwhelming at times. The good news is that there are things you can do to cope with diabetes and manage stress. – When all of this feels like too much to deal with, you may have something called diabetes distress. This is when all the worry, frustration, anger, and burnout makes it hard for you to take care of yourself and keep up with the daily demands of diabetes.
Pay attention to your feelings. Almost everyone feels frustrated or stressed from time to time. Dealing with diabetes can add to these feelings and make you feel overwhelmed. Having these feelings for more than a week or two may signal that you need help coping with your diabetes so that you can feel better. Talk with your health care providers about your feelings. Let your doctor, nurse, diabetes educator, psychologist, or social worker know how you’ve been feeling. They can help you problem-solve your concerns about diabetes. They may also suggest that you speak with other health care providers to get help. Talk to your health care providers about negative reactions other people may have about your diabetes, Your health care providers can help you manage feelings of being judged by others because you have diabetes. It is important not to feel that you have to hide your diabetes from other people. Ask if help is available for the costs of diabetes medicines and supplies. If you are worried about the cost of your medicines, talk with your pharmacist and other health care providers. They may know about government or other programs that can assist people with costs. You can also check with community health centers to see if they know about programs that help people get insulin, diabetes medicines, and supplies (test trips, syringes, etc.). Talk with your family and friends. Tell those closest to you how you feel about having diabetes. Be honest about the problems you’re having in dealing with diabetes. Just telling others how you feel helps to relieve some of the stress. However, sometimes the people around you may add to your stress. Let them know how and when you need them to help you. Allow loved ones to help you take care of your diabetes. Those closest to you can help you in several ways. They can remind you to take your medicines, help monitor your blood sugar levels, join you in being physically active, and prepare healthy meals. They can also learn more about diabetes and go with you when you visit your doctor. Ask your loved ones to help with your diabetes in ways that are useful to you. Talk to other people with diabetes. Other people with diabetes understand some of the things you are going through. Ask them how they deal with their diabetes and what works for them. They can help you feel less lonely and overwhelmed. Ask your health care providers about diabetes support groups in your community or online. Do one thing at a time. When you think about everything you need to do to manage your diabetes, it can be overwhelming. To deal with diabetes distress, make a list of all of the tasks you have to do to take care of yourself each day. Try to work on each task separately, one at a time. Pace yourself. As you work on your goals, like increasing physical activity, take it slowly. You don’t have to meet your goals immediately. Your goal may be to walk 10 minutes, three times a day each day of the week, but you can start by walking two times a day or every other day. Take time to do things you enjoy. Give yourself a break! Set aside time in your day to do something you really love; it could be calling a friend, playing a game with your children or grandchildren, or working on a fun project. Find out about activities near you that you can do with a friend.
Remember that it’s important to pay attention to your feelings. If you notice that you’re feeling frustrated, tired, and unable to make decisions about your diabetes care, take action. Tell your family, friends, and health care providers. They can help you get the support you need.
Can you live an active life with diabetes?
4. Ignoring It Won’t Make It Disappear – You can’t feel diabetes when it is out of control, so you may think you don’t need to worry about it. But diabetes ignored and left unmanaged can cause damage to your body. Yes, odds are good that you can live a long, healthy life with diabetes, but only if you are working to control it now, not sometime later.
Can early diabetes be stopped?
Type 2 diabetes, in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly, is on the rise in the United States. There are more than 35 million people with the condition, and many are diagnosed when they are young, even in adolescence. Perhaps more astonishing—and worrying—is that prediabetes, the condition that leads to type 2 diabetes, now affects 96 million people.
That’s one in three of us. The good news is that prediabetes can be seen as a warning sign—it’s the body’s way of saying that your insulin levels are rising, but you can still reverse it before developing type 2 diabetes. And reversing the process is key because type 2 diabetes can be a devastating disease.
The condition usually begins with insulin resistance, in which the fat, liver, and muscle cells do not use insulin properly, so that eventually the body needs more insulin than it can produce, causing blood glucose to rise. And those elevated levels can lead to a number of serious health issues if they are not managed properly.
The problem is that you may not even know you have prediabetes or diabetes—you can be symptom-free for years. But once the complications of diabetes start to occur, nearly every aspect of your health can be affected. That’s because the excessive sugar in your blood is damaging to blood vessels and nerves throughout your body.
Diabetes expert explains the dangers of prediabetes
So, how do you know if you have prediabetes? Can children get it? How can you reverse it? Below, Yale Medicine experts answer these commonly asked questions (and more) about prediabetes.