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Diabetes and its complications: how to lead a healthy life

Key points

  • There are several types of diabetes, the most common being type 1 and type 2.
  • Insulin is a great ally in the treatment of diabetes.
  • Being diagnosed with diabetes does not mean a sentence of a complicated disease, its proper control can ensure living a full life without complications.

Living with diabetes is not equivalent to living differently, patients with this disease can have a normal and full life just like those who live without it. The key is to be informed and have good diabetes education that gives patients the tools to make good decisions in their day-to-day life.

How to detect it?
In addition to routine laboratory tests, there are some signs that can tell you if you have diabetes and do not know it yet.

  • Feeling very thirsty and having a strong desire to go to the bathroom.
  • Being hungry all the time.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Dark skin.
  • Urinary or skin infections.

When a patient and their family faces a diabetes diagnosis, it is understandable that many doubts and fear arise, since practically all of us know someone who lives with it and, in many cases, they have had discouraging experiences.

Before the diagnosis, the first thing you have to do is go to a health professional trained in the subject, who must explain what it entails, what is happening in your body, and the care that you must now have. It is important that you know the therapeutic options and together decide which is the best treatment for you, in addition to clearly explaining the frequency of medical visits, their importance, how essential adherence to your treatment will be, and the changes in your lifestyle.

Complications

The most known complications are blindness, amputations, heart attacks, and chronic kidney disease, however, any organ in our body can become ill if it is exposed to high glucose levels for a long time.

These are divided into micro and macrovascular:

Microvascular

  • Retinitis (eye complications).
  • Neuropathy (complications in the nerves).
  • Kidney disease (kidney complications).

Macrovascular

  • Peripheral vascular disease (occurs in the heart and arteries).

The main factor that determines their development is chronic exposure to high levels of glucose, which gradually damages the arterial vessels, compromises the proper blood flow, and damages the tissues.

5 myths about insulin as a treatment for your diabetes

There are many misconceptions regarding the use of insulin as a treatment for diabetes which leads patients to reject this diagnostic tool. Therefore, we share 5 myths about its use:

  • If I start using insulin it will be forever. Sometimes it is advisable to control glucose with insulin and once the condition has been solved, many patients return to their previous treatment.
  • If I am prescribed insulin, it is because I have very advanced diabetes. Insulin is one more tool for the treatment of diabetes, its choice is always based on the patient’s context and it can be prescribed in the early stages of the disease, always to achieve adequate glycemic control to avoid future complications.
  • It is a very expensive treatment Currently, the costs of insulin are even lower than other treatments.
  • It is very difficult to take insulin and requires a lot of care. Currently, pen-type devices allow storage outside the refrigerator since they have been used for the first time; in addition, the needles are considerably smaller and the application is practically painless. The care that a patient must have in this treatment is similar to that of other oral hypoglycemic agents.
  • Insulin makes you blind. The use of insulin is not related to changes in vision, neither transient nor permanent.

A new lifestyle
You must know that to be successful in the treatment, three things must be combined: medications, adopting a lifestyle that includes a good diet and regular physical activity.

Here we share 5 tips to start a healthier life if you have diabetes:

  • If you smoke, quit! Smoking is the worst ally of high glucose.
  • Be active! Give up sedentary lifestyle. Mild physical activity can help improve glucose levels in the short and long term.
  • Do not restrict any food group. Remember that all macronutrients are important to fulfill bodily functions.
  • Check your glucose levels! The only way to know the disease is to know how your blood glucose levels behave.
  • Invite your friends and family to follow the meal plan with you. We all benefit from eating healthier, with more fiber and more nutrients.

Your life can be the same as that of any person who lives without diabetes, the key is good education and knowledge of your disease. Your doctor and the rest of the interdisciplinary team that includes nutrition, psychology, and sports will teach you how to live a full life without complications.

At ABC Medical Center we are more than ready to welcome you and help you with an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for diabetics.
https://centromedicoabc.com/en/internal-medicine/diabetes-clinic/

If you need to perform clinical tests, contact our Clinical Laboratory at:
Campus Observatorio: 55 5230 8000
Campus Santa Fe: 55 1103 1600
If diagnosed, contact any of our Campuses to schedule an internal medicine follow-up appointment.

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