LifeCare Alliance offers diabetes management education through its wellness program and the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. We can assist with blood sugar testing, corporate events, meal planning, and much more.
When it comes to understanding diabetes, there are some basics that should be covered. Our Columbus Foundation fellow, Radhika Pandit, explains what diabetes is and some ways patients can live their best life with it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the insulin produced by your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is extremely important in maintaining proper blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is released into the bloodstream following a meal to stimulate the uptake of the glucose in your meal into the cells to be utilized for energy. If this hormone is not working properly, glucose is trapped in the bloodstream, blood sugar levels spike, and cells are deprived of energy.
What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2?
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Patients require insulin therapy.
- Type 2 diabetes results when the body starts to become resistant to the effects of insulin. Type 2 tends to present later in life, although it is becoming increasingly common for children to present with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 in children can be influenced by family history, genetics, eating habits, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.
Diabetes can lead to a range of complications if not properly managed. These include peripheral nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), eye disease (glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy), and kidney failure.
How Can I Manage Type 2 Diabetes?
In order to manage your type 2 diabetes, make sure to follow these 5 tips!
- Transition to a more plant-based diet: Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals and limit processed foods and sugary drinks
- Exercise regularly: At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week
- Take your diabetes medication as directed by your physician
- Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly
- Schedule regular doctor’s visits