September 02, 2017
By Laura Lehnus, Meadows Achieve Wellness Coordinator
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy. People get diabetes when their blood glucose levels are too high. The body produces glucose from the foods you eat for energy. Glucose is vital to your health because it is an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It is also your brain’s main source of fuel. When you have diabetes, the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use sugars for energy. Insulin circulates in your body and allows sugars to enter your cells.
There are three types of diabetes. For Type 1 diabetics, the body does not produce insulin or makes low levels of insulin. Only five percent of people have this form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. For Type 2, the body makes insulin but does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. The third type is Gestational Diabetes. This occurs during the 24th week of pregnancy.
Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with pre-diabetes or type 2 may not experience symptoms until the condition worsens over time. Common symptoms for Type 1 diabetes are frequent urination, increased thirst, extreme hunger though you have eaten, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, and extreme weight loss, even though you are eating more. Common symptoms for Type 2 are tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet, frequent infections such as in the gums, skin infections, and UTIs.
There are things that can be done to manage diabetes and prevent its problems. Make healthy food choices and eat foods that have less sugar or less starch. Also, eat fruits and veggies and drink water. Regular exercise can help prevent pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Exercise can also help those who already have diabetes to maintain better blood sugar control.
Whether you are trying to prevent diabetes or already have it, there are plenty of tips and preventions to take! Remember to always identify yourself with either a bracelet or necklace in case something was to occur. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Don’t forget to schedule yearly physicals and regular eye exams. Your regular diabetes checkups aren't meant to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams. Be aware of all the ways you can take control over diabetes.
Meadows offers a full-range of senior living options — independent living, Independent Living-Plus!, assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory care, respite care, and Achieve! Wellness & Rehab Therapy. They have two locations: Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community in Chenoa and Meadows at Mercy Creek in Normal. To learn more about senior living options at Meadows, visit www.meadowscommunities.org or call 309-268-1501.
Back to Top