Diabetes Handout

Diabetes Handout
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) (n.d.) says that diabetes is a long-term disease that happens when the glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) in the body are high. Most glucose comes from what we eat. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas. It controls how much glucose is in the body.

Diabetes comes in three main forms: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. In all cases of type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Without enough insulin, the body can’t meet its own needs. It mostly affects kids and young people, but it can happen to anyone at any age. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes enough insulin, but it isn’t sensitive enough to use it properly. This type of diabetes is the most common and can happen at any age. A person with type 2 diabetes doesn’t need insulin injections as much as they used to. Instead, they take other medicines by mouth. Some women get gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but it always goes away after the baby is born. (American Diabetes Association, n.d.) If you have gestational diabetes, you are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Risk Factors

Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, can be caused by a number of things. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to happen to people over 45. Other risk factors include having a family history of diabetes, being overweight, having high blood pressure, prediabetes, your race or culture, and having diabetes during pregnancy.Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, eye and dental problems, and nerve damage over time. Because of this, people with diabetes need to take their medicines and take care of themselves. (NIDDKD, n.d).


The following steps should be done to make sure that no one gets diabetes. A good body weight and basal mass index are important to have and keep. (BMI). It is not good to have a BMI of more than 26, so it should be less than 25. Also, being physically active helps lower the risk. At least 150 minutes of moderately hard exercise should be done each week. Other things you can do are eat a healthy diet (without too many fats and sugars) and don’t smoke (American Diabetes Association, n.d.).

How to diagnose and treat

A blood sugar test, which is cheap and available at most hospitals, is used to make a diagnosis.Diabetes is a long-term disease, so the medicines and treatments need to be taken for the rest of your life. As part of the treatment, people are encouraged to exercise and eat healthy foods that are low in sugar and saturated fats. The methods help lower blood sugar levels and other risk factors that can damage blood vessels. Stopping smoking is also very important, as the World Health Organization (WHO) says. (2020).

Most people with type 2 diabetes are treated with pills they take by mouth, like metformin and acarbose, among others. Metformin is the one most often used. If the medicine doesn’t work, people with this type may also need insulin as they get older. Type 1 diabetes is mostly controlled by giving insulin. There is also care for the feet. Since diabetes can damage nerves, it’s important to keep your feet clean by wearing soft shoes, making sure there are no sharp objects in your shoes, and walking most of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019).

Other things that can be done are regular eye screenings because retinopathy can cause blindness, blood lipid control to keep cholesterol levels in check, and checking for problems in organs like the kidney. (WHO, 2020).

Important Tips

People can eat broccoli, carrots, greens, pepper, and other veggies. They can also eat fruits, whole grains, non-fat or low-fat dairy (yogurt, cheese), and protein (lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, peanuts, dried beans, and tofu).Always follow the directions on how and when to take your medicines, like taking them before or after meals, to get the most control over your blood sugar. Before giving yourself insulin, you can check your blood sugar regularly at home. Get your family to help you take your medicine. (NIDDKD, n.d; CDC, 2019)

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