Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body lacks insulin, a naturally-occurring hormone in the body that maintains blood sugar levels. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and the decrease in the amount of insulin inside can be caused by the malfunctioning of this gland.

Be sure to observe your body’s response after food intake. If you feel sleepy after meals and the feeling becomes even more uncomfortable, it might be a sign that your body is having trouble with balancing out the sugars inside it.

Those who are obese (with body mass index of more than 30) are more typically susceptible to having diabetes. The extra weight induces a constraint in the metabolic processes of the body, including the production of insulin. Too much food intake can make it difficult for the pancreas to keep up with the increase of blood sugar levels in the body, thus causing an insulin resistance.

To check for your BMI, simply take your body weight (in pounds) and multiply it by 703; take the product of that and divide it by the square of your height (in inches). The resulting answer to this calculation would give you your BMI, and if yours is more than 30, then you might want to consider having a medical check-up for diabetes. Regardless of what your weight may be, you must always be mindful of your eating habits and other factors that might aggravate your health risks.

Since type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in the sense that it could stay with you for a lifetime, it is best to integrate the concepts of healthy living into your own lifestyle.

The American Diabetes Association suggests that you maintain a healthy lifestyle (with a good diet and free from bad habits) to achieve the best results in preventing yourself from acquiring the condition.

It’s important for those with diabetes to focus more on prevention. This way, you can be assured that you will always be in good health and that your life is no longer at risk.

Managing Diabetes

The first thing to know about managing diabetes is how to properly assess your current medical condition. This is done by checking blood sugar levels.

In 2008, the National Health Services recommended that newly diagnosed diabetes type 2 patients to learn how to Self-monitoring of blood glucose. They can help prevent complications and need for medical attention.

Monitoring skills include:

• Testing and recording blood glucose.
• Proper diet and time of intake
• How to take medications.
• How to recognize and treat low and high blood sugar.
• How to handle sick days.
• Where to buy diabetes supplies and how to store them.

The common self-monitoring of blood glucose is done by checking the sugar content of a small drop of blood. A glucometer is a small device that gives an exact reading of blood sugar. Tests are done before meals and at bedtime. More frequent testing may be done during illness or stress.

Accurate record-keeping of test results will be more useful for planning how to best control one’s diabetes. Testing provides valuable information for the hospital and identifies high and low blood sugar levels before serious problems occur.

Several aspects such as lifestyle changes, lowering of other risk factors, and most importantly maintaining blood glucose levels in the normal range are keys to managing a diabetic life.

1. Lifestyle

Aerobic exercise is probably the best known natural medication for diabetes with a greater amount of exercise yielding the best result. It somewhat improves insulin resistance in a patient. A diabetic diet that promotes weight loss is also seemingly important. Since obesity is regularly associated with increased risk of being diabetic and of course fat add to the difficulty of insulin production. A regular regimen is generally suggested for those suffering from the illness.

2. Medication

There are different classes of medications available in the market. Metformin is the most commonly recommended as there is good evidence that it decreases deaths. Injections of insulin may either be used supplemental to oral medication as opposed to using by itself. Other classes of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus are sulfonylureas, nonsulfonylurea secretagogues, alpha glucosidase inhibitors, Nateglinide and repaglinide, Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors (also known as incretin enhancers) Thiazolidinediones (commonly called glitazones and pioglitazones) and Acarbose.

3. Insulin

When insulin is used, it is initially usually a long acting formulation and oral medications are continued. Doses of insulin are increased to effect.

The first insulin regimen is often chosen based on the patient’s blood glucose profile. Adding nightly insulin to patients failing oral medications may be best. Also, nightly insulin will combine better with metformin than with sulfonylureas. Insufficient nightly insulin often leads to either premixed insulin with a fixed ratio of short and intermediate acting or long acting insulins such as insulin glargine and insulin detemir.

3. Surgery

Gastric Bypass procedures are currently considered but with no universally accepted template to decide who should have the surgery.

4. Continuing Care

A thorough three-month evaluation includes a check for glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c. This test measures how much glucose has been absorbed by the red blood cells. It also tells how much glucose has been absorbed to other cells. A high HbA1c is an indicator of long-term complications. Currently, the American Diabetes Association recommends an HbA1c of less than 7% to protect patients from complications.