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What Happens If You Have Diabetes


What Can Happen If Diabetes Is Not Under Control

What Happens After You Have Gestational Diabetes

Out-of-control blood sugar levels can lead to short-term problems like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. In the long run, not controlling diabetes can damage important organs, like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. This means that heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems can happen to people with diabetes.

These problems don’t usually show up in kids or teens who have had the disease for only a few years, but they can happen to adults with diabetes. Kids and teens with diabetes who don’t control their blood sugar levels can be late going into puberty and might not end up as tall as they would have otherwise.

The good news is that keeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening later.

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How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed

Doctors can say for sure if a person has diabetes by testing blood samples for glucose. If the doctor suspects that a kid or teen has diabetes, he or she may send the person to see a pediatric endocrinologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating children and teens living with diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and growth problems.


Can I Use Artificial Sweetener Instead

Artificial sweeteners contain no carbohydrates. Some of them are low in calorie, and some contain none at all. Some examples are:

  • Stevia. Truvia is a common brand of Stevia. It is from the Stevia plant and is now found in some brands of diet soda.
  • Saccharin. Also known as Sweet-N-Low, it is okay for baking but has an aftertaste.
  • Aspartame. Equal is the most popular brand of Aspartame. It is advised that you not bake with this because it cant withstand the heat.
  • Sucralose. Popularly known as Splenda, it is made from sugar with some chemical changes. It can be used in baking, but using large amounts will add calories.

All of these are safe according to the Food and Drug Administration. The only precaution is that people with a disease called PKU should stay away from Aspartame. Some people claim that these artificial sweeteners give them headaches, although that is not common.

Artificial sweeteners are a great way to still sweeten foods or drinks without adding all of the extra sugar. Just be sure that you are reading the label for the other nutritional information as well.

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Effect Of Diabetes On Your Heart

Diabetes can affect your body by influencing high blood pressure and can affect the heart. When you have diabetes, you may be at an increased risk for other serious health problems like narrowing of arteries, high blood pressure, heart attacks, coronary heart disease, stroke and various other heart diseases. Moreover, complaints like chest pain may not be appreciated well, due to reduced pain sensation in people having diabetes.


How To Cut Down On Your Sugar Intake

What happens if you ignore signs of diabetes?

Follow the below-mentioned guidelines and tips in order to cut down on the total sugar intake in your body:

Avoid Sugary Beverages

Sugary beverages comprise of empty calories while also carrying a high glycemic index load. You should particularly avoid them if you are above 40 years of age.

Physical Activity

Even if you are in taking sugar within the recommended quantity, it is advisable for you that you indulge yourself in physical exercise for at least 20 minutes in a day. Even a simple walk will help.


Avoid Fast Food

Fast and processed foods comprise a lot of sugar and hence it is necessary that you avoid the same.

Avoid Over Eating Food that Consist of Natural Sugar

You will tend to overeat food that consists of natural forms of sugar. This includes honey, fruits, etc. Do not overeat as that may cause harmful health effects.

While you look into the ingredients list, look into the following which counts as natural forms of sugar:


  • Agave

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What Are The Complications Of Diabetes

If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.

Complications include:

  • Dental problems.

Complications of gestational diabetes:


In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.

In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.

Wash Your Feet Every Day

Wash your feet with soap in warm, not hot, water. Test the water to make sure it is not too hot. You can use a thermometer or your elbow to test the warmth of the water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get too dry.

After washing and drying your feet, put talcum powder or cornstarch between your toes. Skin between the toes tends to stay moist. Powder will keep the skin dry to help prevent an infection.

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How Do You Treat A Cut On A Diabetic Foot

As we mentioned before, broken skin on the foot is more likely to become infected because of diabetes. This means that treatment for diabetic cuts or wounds should be almost immediate. So what are some treatments for a cut on a diabetic foot?

The most common treatment for open wounds or ulcers in people with diabetes is using a cleanliness regimen and dressings to promote rapid wound healing and prevent infection. Cleaning the wound/ulcer meticulously with soap and water removes all dead tissue such as slough from the surface making it a less perfect environment for bacterial growth and improves the healing process. A wet dressing can use material from previous incisions which have healed as well as dry non-adherent dressings available over-the-counter at pharmacies, grocery stores, to help maintain a moist environment around the wound/ulcer which can speed up the healing process and prevent infections around the affected area.

Here are some basic steps on how to treat a wound on a diabetic foot:

Who Is More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes

What Happens in Gestational Diabetes?

You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older, have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight. Physical inactivity, race, and certain health problems such as high blood pressure also affect your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes or had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant. Learn more about risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

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Controlling Carbohydrates And Added Sugars

Counting carbohydrates is a way to control the amount of carbs you eat each day. Having 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal works well for most people, according to the ADA. To include sweets in your meal, compensate so you stay within the 45- to 60-gram range or the range recommended by your dietitian. The goal is to keep your meal balanced. To best control your diabetes, save desserts and other sweets for special occasions.

  • Counting carbohydrates is a way to control the amount of carbs you eat each day.
  • To include sweets in your meal, compensate so you stay within the 45- to 60-gram range or the range recommended by your dietitian.

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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed

Diabetes is diagnosed and managed by checking your glucose level in a blood test. There are three tests that can measure your blood glucose level: fasting glucose test, random glucose test and A1c test.

  • Fasting plasma glucose test: This test is best done in the morning after an eight hour fast .
  • Random plasma glucose test: This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
  • A1c test: This test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. This test measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. You dont need to fast before this test.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: In this test, blood glucose level is first measured after an overnight fast. Then you drink a sugary drink. Your blood glucose level is then checked at hours one, two and three.
Type of test

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Rethinking Mainstream Carb Recommendations

Over the years its been pretty common practice to recommend a low fat, high carbohydrate diet to people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.


Even as little as a few months ago, the American Diabetes Association were still stating that: A place to start is at about 45-75 grams of carbohydrate at a meal.

That would equate to around 135-225 g carbohydrates per day, excluding snacks.

And globally, diabetes associations have kept emphasizing that people with type 2 diabetes should eat the same as the general population , that everything in moderation is fine .

So quite frankly, these large organizations have had you fooled none of their dietary information has been based on real science!

And the fact is, 45-75 g per meal of carbohydrates per meal is way too high!


If youve been eating 225+ grams of carbs per day and wondering why you cant get your blood glucose levels or A1c under control, theres a simple answer youre eating too many carbs!

What the science shows is you must forget the mainstream carb recommendations and flip the nutrition circle on its head. Because the goal is to keep your carb intake to less than 25%, not 60% as these large health organizations have been pushing for years.

As you can see, these recommendations suited for the general public are highly flawed recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes, and are in fact, keeping you sick!

Like we always say: Diabetes prevention and diabetes treatment are two completely different things.

Other Warning Signs Of Type 1

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Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children and young adults, though it can occur at any age. A child may experience these additional symptoms:


  • sudden, unintentional weight loss
  • wetting the bed after a history of being dry at night
  • a yeast infection in a prepubescent girl
  • flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, breath that smells like fruit, problems breathing, and loss of consciousness

Flu-like symptoms are caused when undiagnosed diabetes causes ketones to build up in the bloodstream. This condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.

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Use Insulin If You Need It

Depending on the type and severity of your diabetes, you may take insulin to help manage it. After eating excess sugar and experiencing hyperglycemia, you may require insulin to help your blood sugar stabilize. However, this is unique to every individual. The type of insulin, dosage, and time of dosage is different for everyone. You must consult with your doctor or endocrinologist about your specific insulin needs, and follow the recommendation they provide you. If dosed and used correctly, insulin helps to stabilize the blood sugar after eating too much sugar.

How Can I Include Sweets Into My Meal Plan

You first need to understand how much carbohydrates you are allowed to eat every day for each meal. You can find this out from your doctor or your dietician. If you are only allowed 90 grams per meal, you dont want it to consist of sweet foods because then you will most likely be lacking nutrients that your body needs.

If you stick with your carbohydrate count without considering what else the food is made of, then your blood sugar may be stable, but other things such as protein will be lacking. Also, since sweets are usually high in calories, your weight will increase which can worsen your diabetes by making your body more insulin resistant.


So how can you include sweets into your diet?

One way is by eating a small piece of dessert that contains only 15 grams of carbohydrates instead of the regular sized piece that has 45 grams. You can also eat desserts that are baked with artificial sweeteners, although you still need to be aware of the calorie content for them.

My favorite option? Choose nutrient rich options such as a fruit salad with yogurt dressing.

The recipe includes:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Mix together those ingredients and pour it over a few cups of your favorite fresh fruit. This provides you with something sweet while also giving you the nutrients that you need.


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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes include:

Type 1 diabetes symptoms: Symptoms can develop quickly over a few weeks or months. Symptoms begin when youre young as a child, teen or young adult. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting or stomach pains and yeast infections or urinary tract infections.

Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes symptoms: You may not have any symptoms at all or may not notice them since they develop slowly over several years. Symptoms usually begin to develop when youre an adult, but prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in all age groups.

Gestational diabetes: You typically will not notice symptoms. Your obstetrician will test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss

What Happens When a Type 1 Diabetic Doesn’t Take Insulin?

Scientists dont have firm answers yet but there appears to be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study found that hearing loss was twice as common in people with diabetes versus those who didnt have diabetes. Also, the rate of hearing loss in people with prediabetes was 30% higher compared with those who had normal blood glucose levels. Scientists think diabetes damages the blood vessels in the inner ear, but more research is needed.

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What Happens In Your Body When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Carbohydrates in the blood no longer properly reach the cells of the body, which is deprived of such a major source of energy. And when your blood sugar is high, a number of vital organs and functions are altered, so it is important to know what the risks are and how to prevent them.

When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your body still produces insulin. But as time goes by, the pancreas will release less and less insulin, which will hinder the bodys ability to maintain its blood sugar within an optimal range.

If your blood sugar increases too much and stays high for too long, the risk of other health problems increases. Time does not work in your favor when you do not follow the medical recommendations. Many parts of the body can be damaged.

Cholesterol And Triglyceride Tests

Have a cholesterol and triglyceride test at least once a year. Aim for total cholesterol less than 4.0 mmol/L and triglycerides less than 2.0 mmol/L.

There are a number of causes of high cholesterol, including your family history and your diet. Too much saturated fat in your diet can increase the LDL cholesterol in your blood and result in the build-up of plaque in your blood vessels.

Foods high in saturated fats include full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, pastries, biscuits, cakes, coconut cream or coconut milk, palm oil and fatty take-away foods.

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How Do You Count Carbohydrates

You can count grams of carbohydrates or carbohydrate choices. A carbohydrate choice is a portion of food from one of the carbohydrate food groups that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate.

1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate. For example, 1 slice of bread from the starch group, 1 small apple from the fruit group, 1 cup of milk from the milk group, and ½ cup of ice cream from the sweets group are each called a carbohydrate choice and contain 15 grams of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate choices can also be calculated by referring to the total carbohydrate content on a food label. Do not count meats, non-starchy vegetables, or fats as carbohydrate choices.

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Tips For Aging Well With Type 2 Diabetes

What happens to your body when you have diabetes?
  • Lean on your medical team, which may consist of an endocrinologist, a podiatrist, an RDE and a CDE, and other specialty health professionals. In many cases, your primary care physician will be your main healthcare provider for diabetes care.
  • Stick to your medication regimen, and be open to potential medication adjustments.
  • Take insulin if your doctor says you need it.

Everyday Health editors attend the AADEs annual meeting to connect with certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and people like you, who are looking for ways to better manage blood sugar, diet, medication, and more. Check out information on this years meeting in Houston.

The ADA is considered the leading nonprofit for type 1 and type 2 diabetes education. The ADA’s free yearlong program Living With Diabetes offers top-of-the-line resources for anyone new to living with diabetes. Youll get access to their newsletter, expert Q&A session, and online support system, among other perks.

One of our favorite features from the AHA is a go-to resource for preventing heart disease: Know Diabetes by Heart. The ADA-supported initiative lays out a step-by-step guide for keeping your heart healthy while living with diabetes.

For more on the association between diabetes and heart disease, check out our article “Heart Disease The Diabetes Connection.”

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What Insulin Medications Are Approved To Treat Diabetes

There are many types of insulins for diabetes. If you need insulin, you healthcare team will discuss the different types and if they are to be combined with oral medications. To follow is a brief review of insulin types.

  • Rapid-acting insulins: These insulins are taken 15 minutes before meals, they peak at one hour and work for another two to four hours. Examples include insulin glulisine , insulin lispro and insulin aspart .
  • Short-acting insulins: These insulins take about 30 minutes to reach your bloodstream, reach their peak effects in two to three hours and last for three to six hours. An example is insulin regular .
  • Intermediate-acting insulins: These insulins reach your bloodstream in two to four hours, peak in four to 12 hours and work for up to 18 hours. An example in NPH.
  • Long-acting insulins: These insulins work to keep your blood sugar stable all day. Usually, these insulins last for about 18 hours. Examples include insulin glargine , insulin detemir and insulin degludec .

There are insulins that are a combination of different insulins. There are also insulins that are combined with a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication .

What Are The Acute Complications Of Diabetes

  • Severely elevated blood sugar levels due to an actual lack of insulin or a relative deficiency of insulin.
  • Abnormally low blood sugar levels due to too much insulin or other glucose-lowering medications.
  • Acute complications of type 2 diabetes

    In patients with type 2 diabetes, stress, infection, and medications can also lead to severely elevated blood sugar levels. Accompanied by dehydration, severe blood sugar elevation in patients with type 2 diabetes can lead to an increase in blood osmolality . This condition can worsen and lead to coma . A hyperosmolar coma usually occurs in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. Like diabetic ketoacidosis, a hyperosmolar coma is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment with intravenous fluid and insulin is important in reversing the hyperosmolar state. Unlike patients with type 1 diabetes, patients with type 2 diabetes do not generally develop ketoacidosis solely on the basis of their diabetes. Since in general, type 2 diabetes occurs in an older population, concomitant medical conditions are more likely to be present, and these patients may actually be sicker overall. The complication and death rates from hyperosmolar coma is thus higher than in diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Blood glucose is essential for the proper functioning of brain cells. Therefore, low blood sugar can lead to central nervous system symptoms such as:

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    How Do I Know If I Have Diabetes

    Work through a series of simple questions designed to deduce whether you’re showing the common symptoms of diabetes.

    Can’t see the quiz? 

    Diabetes is on the rise, with 4.6 million adults currently diagnosed with the condition in the UK alone, according to Diabetes UK. Around 10% of sufferers have type 1 diabetes – an autoimmune condition in which the body stops producing insulin. However, 90% of cases are type 2 diabetes, usually caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices .

    Diabetes In Older People

    The importance of exercise if you have diabetes

    Diabetes is a serious disease, and it affects many older adults. People get diabetes when their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. The good news is that you can take steps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease to develop in older adults. If you already have diabetes, there are steps you can take to manage the condition and prevent diabetes-related health problems.

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    Your Vision’s Getting Increasingly Blurry

    Blurry vision is a commonand often ignoreddiabetes symptom in women. What does diabetes have to do with your vision? Kellis explains that fluid can form in your eye’s lens as sugar levels increase .

    Diabetes can cause significant, unexplained weight loss. Think: 10 or 20 pounds.

    A buildup of fluid in the eye blurs vision, causes nearsightedness, and sends many people to the optometrist for a new glasses or contacts prescription.

    Fortunately, getting your blood sugar levels under control can clear up blurred vision, she adds.

    What Causes Diabetes

    The cause of diabetes, regardless of the type, is having too much glucose circulating in your bloodstream. However, the reason why your blood glucose levels are high differs depending on the type of diabetes.

    • Causes of Type 1 diabetes: This is an immune system disease. Your body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Without insulin to allow glucose to enter your cells, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Genes may also play a role in some patients. Also, a virus may trigger the immune system attack.
    • Cause of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes: Your bodys cells don’t allow insulin to work as it should to let glucose into its cells. Your body’s cells have become resistant to insulin. Your pancreas cant keep up and make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Glucose levels rise in your bloodstream.
    • Gestational diabetes: Hormones produced by the placenta during your pregnancy make your bodys cells more resistant to insulin. Your pancreas cant make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Too much glucose remains in your bloodstream.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:

    • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
    • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
    • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
    • blurred vision

    Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.

    Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.

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