Diabetes

Even if your sugars are only a bit high, it means your body doesn’t “work” well with sugar. Some people are born with genes that can tolerate sugar, but people with metabolic disease develop a resistance to Insulin and their sugars go up with too much carbohydrates. If you control your glucose intake, you can lower the risk of heart problems, stroke, kidney problems and peripheral vascular disease. What is that? check the video below.

You can monitor your blood pressure at home and you can also monitor your sugars. Another important test to do at home every six months is a foot check to see if there is nerve damage. See the video below.

In Canada we have a help-line 1800 BANTING (18002268464) where a person can speak to a diabetes educator. There is also a Diabetes Prevention Program that can be accessed. 

Diabetes can be a source of great pain. Either from nerve pain – neuropathy, blood vessel blockages causing muscle pains and eventually muscle damage – as in heart attacks and peripheral vascular disease. It causes severe emotional pain from disability – heart failure, kidney failure and stroke. Pay attention to your disease or it will likely greatly affect your life.

When you have sugar problems there is information you need to know. Talk to your doctor or health care provider, but here is a summary of some information that could be helpful. 

You require an eye examination through an optometrist or specialist at least every 2 years. If you can afford it, yearly.

monitor your blood sugars. They should be around 4-7mMol/l  in the morning and less than 10mmol/l two hours after a meal. 

Your HBA1C – or A1C – is a blood test done every three months and that should ideally be below 7mMol/l. Less than 8 can be reasonable. Talk to your doctor. 

Your cholesterol bad fat, LDL, must be below 2 and the good fat, HDL, must be high – over 1.2, if possible. 

Foot exams – yearly – check if your feet are warm and if you can feel soft touch 

Get immunized. Diabetic patients should have a pneumonia vaccine (every 5 to 10 years roughly)  and flu vaccines yearly. If you are over 55, get the shingles vaccine. 

Your kidneys should be checked, including a urine check. Urine protein can increase from nephropathy – see above – check ACR in urine – less than 2.2.

Have your teeth checked at least yearly.

Blood Pressure must be lower than normal. Aim for around 120/80. If your BP is higher at home, speak to your physician. Ideally at home it should be less than 135/85 but I like it a bit lower in my patients, especially if they are younger.