Frequent Questions

1) I just found out that I am diabetic for the first time. What should I do?
Just like learning a new language, a diabetic patient must how to control the illness step by step. It is advised to learn the course of diabetes through this website and realize exactly why it is important to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly. Please don’t be alarmed if you find out that you are diabetic for the first time, and try to avoid food that results in an increase in blood sugar. It is important for a diabetic patient to exercise regularly and to control his or her blood sugar level regularly. If patient are overweight try to find the way to reduce the weight. A doctor may prescribe medicine for diabetes if the patient’s blood sugar level is over than 120 before eating breakfast and does not fall under 170 after dinner. Just because a patient’s blood sugar level falls below 120 and 170 after meals does not mean that he or she is not diabetic anymore, rather this means that the patient is successfully controlling his or her blood sugar level and it must be sustained.

2) How can I maintain a healthy diet?
Having a healthy diet plays an important role in a diabetic patient’s life. A diabetic patient should not simply eat less, but he/she must prevent eating foods that cause high blood sugar such as sugary food, honey, and noodles. Instead, he/she should eat foods such as vegetables, meat, fish, tofu, eggs, and milk along with mixed grain rice, bread, and fruit in moderation. It is important for a patient to learn how to maintain a diet according to his or her body weight. Although this may sound difficult to do, just as it is necessary for one to learn how to drive in order to use a car for his or her lifetime, it is important for the patient to give an effort to follow this diet in order to be healthy for life.

3) How should oral medications be taken by diabetic patients?
Just as a person who does not see well will require the assistance of eyeglasses for better vision, the diabetic patient will need assistance from a physician to be healthier. This must be done in conjunction with establishing an exercise program and learning some important things about nutrition and proper eating habits.And just as there are varying degrees of lens strength requirements there are different types of those taking oral diabetic medication. Those with a higher glucose level of 120 over a fasting period of several hours and then over 200 after a meal, despite having an exercise regimen and eating in a fairly decent manner, will need to be on medication.Orally medicated patients are divided into two groups: the first is direct medication which serves to stimulate insulin secreted from the pancreas and should be taken before a meal while the second is indirect medication that helps to open the cell receptor in order to pass glucose easily and is taken after a meal due to disturbance in the stomach. The former group might have a low sugar level side effect however the latter group does not.Since diabetics have different degrees of insulin deficiency the treatments too will be different as prescribed medication for one patient could be very dangerous to another.

4) What determines if the diabetic patient needs insulin injections and how should these injections be administered?
If maximum dosages of the oral medications do not adequately control the disease then insulin injections will be required. However, since injected usage can cause a low sugar side effect it should only be used upon the advice of the physician.A patient who is knowledgeable about the various kinds of insulin on the market that may be purchased without a prescription will be familiar with these lettered insulin types:

R – (regular) – a short time lasting about 4 hours..
N – (nph) – lasts about 24 hours with 8 hours of peak time.
70/30-(R30%+N70%)-combination short and long acting.
L – (lantus) – also lasts about 24 hours without any peak time period and found to be good to use with the R type insulin.

An insulin bottle once opened must not be refrigerated but stored at room temperature. Placement of injections can move from the arms to the abdominal area and to the front of the feet but it is recommended that the same placement area not be used for about 30 days. Patients should prepare in advance candy or other sweets for sudden low sugar symptoms.

5) Importance of blood sugar monitoring and how often is testing required?
Just as a traveler needs a map when in an unknown area diabetes patients need to check their blood sugar to know ‘where they are’ as to their sugar level. The tests are to be performed before and after meals and a record of the results kept religiously.It is also important to record any exercise activity ? type, length of time and the time between finishing a workout and testing before a meal as well as the specific foods taken. The obvious reasoning behind all of the above is to be able to better ascertain what actions result in the better blood sugar test level results; lower than 120 before meals and lower than 170 after are the levels desired.There are two other types of testing as well as the glucose test. They are the urine test and a hemoglobin A1c test. A ‘negative’ urine test is of course the goal and the hemoglobin test, which is conducted once every three months, needs a 7.0 reading to be a good result.

6) Is there a type of medicine that will cure diabetes?
Diabetes is an illness that results when the body does not produce enough insulin in order to compensate for its glucose level. Unfortunately, there is no medicine that will allow the body’s production of insulin to return back to normal. Since there is also no other method to cure diabetes, this illness should be controlled by the patient. There are many diabetic patients who do not bother to control their diabetes just because it is an incurable illness: however, this is a big mistake because, if a patient does not control his/her diabetes, this can lead to more complications. In order to control diabetes, one must maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and have daily blood sugar tests. The patient may also visit a doctor and take additional prescribed medicine if patient require. It is unwise to fall for any information that has no evidence.

7) Is having private treatment helpful?
Since diabetes is an incurable illness, many patients can be tempted to receive private treatment in hopes of getting cured. However, when patients complain that private treatment is not helpful at all, they may be told that diabetes cannot be cured easily and may also be encouraged to continue with the treatment. By doing so, patients are more likely to lose valuable time learning how to control their diabetes, and they may complicate their illness further. Nowadays, it is difficult to believe that such treatments actually do work because they have no evidence of curing the disease or improving the quality of life for diabetic patients. It is best to follow information that is proven to be correct and to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle in this way.

8) I have a high blood sugar level, but I have not experienced any uncomfortable symptoms. Is this normal?
It is not necessary for a patient to always have uncomfortable symptoms while having a high blood sugar level. Because of this reason, there are many diabetic patients who neglect controlling their blood sugar level. If a patient wonders what would happen to him/her even though he/she has had no uncomfortable symptoms regarding diabetes, this is the same as waiting for a storm to hit before a hurricane. It is always possible for diabetic complications to suddenly appear without previous notice. Once a patient experiences complications, there is no going back because the symptoms will continue to occur once they start to appear. Such patients need to figure out what is causing their blood sugar levels to rise to such a high level.

9) Necessary precautions for diabetics when buying food and/or traveling.Patients must have a regular routine in their eating habits?
meals at the same time each day is best – and also ensure they are checking for sugar content in all foods purchased. It is also therefore very important for diabetics to be careful whenever eating out or during trips when their normal lifestyle or ability to check sugar content and caloric intake is difficult to check.Preparing for unforeseen situations is required, so be sure to have more than the required amount of medication available whenever traveling.

10) How to handle extreme blood sugar level changes?
Ordinarily sugar levels do not waver very much below or above the necessary target areas but when they do it is a sign from the body’s defense system and needs to be addressed quickly.When the patient experiences a low sugar level for not having eaten he will then overeat as compensation and that triggers a boost in his level. However, eating, fasting and urination should not be considered as methods to raise or lower level because they will make the patient tired more often, cause blurred vision and result in weight loss.A physician must be consulted in order to run tests to ascertain the cause of abnormal changes in the sugar level and a remedy prescribed.

11) What causes a low sugar level and how best to prevent it?
The three major symptoms of a low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are feeling chilly, trembling and cold sweats. These result from skipping meals, having exercised too much, misuse of medication and/or alcohol intake. In order to prepare for this a patient must have candy or any high sugar content food available or he could become unconscious. If sugar level tests have been recorded regularly they will provide the patient with enough information to how best prevent hypoglycemia from occurring.

12) Diabetic complications that can occur and some preventive measures.
Strokes, eye disease (retinopathy) and kidney disease (nephropathy) causing dialysis are some of the more severe complications that can attack a diabetic patient. Nerve disease (neuropathy) that can cause limb amputation, infectious diseases due to improper circulation and, in women, serious gynecological disorders may occur as well. To make matters worse, the above very dangerous complications are many times sudden attacks that give patients little or no warning at all of the severity of their state of health. Over a period of time with high blood sugar level can surely result in damages to large and small blood vessels and to nerve cells and these damages are the major causes of those complications described above.Two of the major culprits in the cause of vessel and cell damage in diabetics are smoking and drinking of alcohol beverages. It is therefore imperative that the patient resist both of these and follow the required maintenance guidelines to keep the sugar level controlled.