Diabetes Treatments & Medications
Diabetes is classified as a group of conditions in which there is too much glucose in the blood. When glucose enters the body, it is broken down by a hormone called insulin which converts it into energy. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas cannot produce any insulin at all, and Type 2 is where some insulin is being produced but in insufficient amounts.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. The body attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas and none can be made. It can develop at any time in life but it is most commonly diagnosed in children. Type 1 diabetes sufferers require daily insulin injections for survival.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease. It can be brought on by a number of factors such as a poor diet, lack of physical activity, and being overweight or obese. It is most common in those over the age of 40. With the right lifestyle changes, sufferers may be able to manage their condition without treatment, however, most sufferers need to take medication and may need insulin injections.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes occur suddenly. They include excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained hunger, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, nausea and vomiting.
Type 2 symptoms have a gradual onset. They include blurred vision, tiredness, excessive thirst, numbness in feet and legs, recurrent infections, frequent urination.
Treatment & Medications
Diabetes sufferers need to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet low in sugar, and exercise regularly. Diabetes sufferers’ main goal is to keep their blood glucose levels within normal range. This will reduce the risk of any long or short term complications. Many sufferers are required to take daily insulin injections. If the body is producing some insulin, they may just be required to take tablets to keep their symptoms under control.
Diabetes Management & Prevention
At this stage there is nothing to prevent Type 1 diabetes. However, Type 2 can be prevented by changing lifestyle habits. Switching to a healthy diet low in fats, sugar, and salt can greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also be beneficial. Finding exercise for at least 30 minutes per day is also ideal.
Most sufferers can live a normal lifestyle if their diabetes is well managed. They need to be well organised and take extra precautions when working, studying, driving, travelling and when unwell. Diabetes can have many complications such as nerve damage, blindness, stroke, and kidney damage, so regularly speaking to your doctor or pharmacist will give you the best information to reduce your risk of complications and help you if you have any concerns.
At Michael’s Health Care Chemist, our highly trained pharmacists can help manage your blood glucose meters and provide access to new test strips and needles. Contact us at either our Claremont, Wembley or North Perth stores for more information.