What is diabetes?Simply put, diabetes means that your body cannot process blood sugars (glucose) normally. Instead of moving the blood glucose to cells where you use it for energy, the sugars stay in your blood.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1: Sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it most often starts in children or young adults. Type 1 diabetes can happen at any age and is caused by an auto-immune disorder that destroys the cells that make insulin. Approximately 5-10% of diabetes patients have type 1 diabetes.
Type 2: Caused by a resistance to insulin where the pancreas can't make enough insulin to keep blood glucose under control. 90-95% of all cases of diabetes are type 2.
Diabetes EducationNo matter which type you have, diabetes education is important. Unlike other diseases, diabetes cannot be controlled by medication alone. You must pay attention to your blood sugar numbers, nutrition, and exercise each and every day. Education can help you do just that.
Whether in one-on-one counseling or a group setting, diabetes education can help you learn:
- How to monitor your blood glucose
- The basics of diabetes treatment options
- Healthy meal planning
- Living well with diabetes
Medicare will cover 10 hours of diabetes education (9 hours of group education and 1 hour of individual) and 3 hours of Medical Nutrition Therapy (group or individual) in the first year after enrollment in Medicare, or after diabetes education is first initiated. Medicare will also cover two hours of diabetes education and two hours of Medical Nutrition Therapy (either group or individual) annually after that. Often your private insurance will also cover classes but you should always check beforehand.
Common issues for those with diabetes include: gestational diabetes (diabetes when pregnant), how to handle the different prescriptions, how to inject insulin, healthy diets, monitoring diabetes and more. We've put together a free Diabetes Education resource to help answers these common questions.
Spotlight on women with diabetesAccording to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes can be especially hard on women. Diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects. Women with diabetes are also more likely to have a heart attack, and at a younger age, than women without diabetes.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can help you avoid complications. If you are experiencing any of these common symptoms of diabetes, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Women in Logansport, Rochester and all over North Central Indiana turn to Logansport Memorial Hospital when they need a primary care physician:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss - even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)