Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of metabolism. Metabolism is the way the body uses digested food for energy and growth. Food is broken down into glucose, a form of sugar in the blood, which is the principal source of fuel.
With digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream. Cells use glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter the cells without insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which it needs to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. Insulin is a hormone. The pancreas releases insulin to move glucose in the blood into cells, and lowers blood sugar levels.
A diabetic has a condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high. The diabetic does not produce enough insulin, produces none or the cells do not respond properly to insulin. The result is too much glucose in the blood. The excess glucose eventually passes through the urine. Thus, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells cannot get it.
Newly diagnosed diabetics and caregivers have a lot to learn, with many life changes to make. Here are some basic things caregivers can help diabetics do:
Recognize Symptoms of Diabetes quickly
Caregivers must remain alert about this disease. Recognize symptoms early, or it may lead to further complications. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes are increased urination – if insulin is not effective, this causes glucose build up in the blood. Frequent urination can result in dehydration. Increased thirst – dehydration from the inability to filter sugar can result in extreme thirst. Unexplained weight loss – when glucose is denied, maintenance of a healthy weight becomes difficult. Hunger – losing calories through urination can result in constant hunger. Fatigue – if the body is not using glucose properly, the body will not produce energy, which can lead to sluggishness, and overall feelings of weakness. Blurred vision – high levels of glucose results in the body taking fluids from the lenses of the eyes, which results inability to focus. High levels of glucose in the blood also slow the body’s natural healing process.
What is Hyperglycemia?
High blood sugar is a life-threatening condition caused by too little insulin or too much sugar. It occurs when blood sugar levels are high and acidosis (inability of the body to excrete toxins) is present. Though the onset is gradual, the condition requires immediate care.
Elevated blood sugar can cause diabetic coma, which can result in death. Hyperglycemia can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, numbness in fingers and toes, stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems.
Signs of Hyperglycemia
The list of medical symptoms for hyperglycemia may include:
- increased urination
- excessive thirst
- abdominal pain
- dry skin
- flushed face
- heavy breathing
- loss of consciousness
- breath has a fruity scent
What is Hypoglycemia?
What is hypoglycemia? Low blood sugar is the condition resulting from too much insulin or too little sugar. There is a danger of insulin shock when too much insulin is consumed, or too little food eaten. Hypoglycemia comes on suddenly.
Signs of Hypoglycemia
The list of medical symptoms for hypoglycemia may include:
- lethargy, weakness, dizziness
Exercise Is Crucial to Overall Diabetic Health
Most diabetics need to lose weight. A health care provider may suggest increasing activity levels. Stick to a diet and exercise regimen, and do it with them. Another way to ensure adherence is to prepare meals for them. Limit any forbidden foods at home. In addition, a little encouragement goes a long way.
Exercise decreases the risk of getting diabetes, but once diagnosed, diabetes is a key to control. Exercise helps manage stress, and improves glucose tolerance. Exercise helps with weight control, while it lowers the development of diabetic complications.
A caregiver can help manage control by encouraging the diabetic to exercise with friends or a trainer. Or purchase an exercise tape, and offer to exercise together with them. On the other hand, if they are not capable of an exercise routine help them to do simple things they enjoy outdoors.
Emotional Support Comforts
Perhaps the most important role of a caregiver is to provide emotional support. Simply be there to listen to concerns, and provide encouragement. This is an excellent way to keep them on a path toward better health.