19 October 2012

Diabetes at the Personal Level

For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. Because studies have repeatedly shown that out-of-control diabetes results in complications from the disease, the goal for people with diabetes is a hemoglobin A1c less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher the risks of developing complications related to diabetes.

Some of the more serious complications can lead to amputations (more often feet and legs), permanent blindness, death. Neuropathy in the extremities, particularly feet, is common. In men impotence is often experienced.  Early detection, treatment and diet are imperative. Unfortunately, like hypertension (high blood pressure),  some people are unaware that they  even have the disease.

Glucose (blood sugar) has a glycemic index of 100.   When glucose levels drop below 100, diabetics become aware of different physiological effects in their bodies. People being what they are, the  differing levels and accompanying effects vary widely among individuals.

Fuzziness of vision, the shakes, copious sweating, are probably the three most common symptoms accompanying a severe drop in glucose levels. Worst consequence is diabetic coma followed by death.

Less severe symptoms can easily be corrected by eating peanut butter and being patient while the blood sugar level slowly rises to its original state. One should avoid a sudden spike by drinking something with a high sugar content. This is a mistake many people make.

After a blood sugar drop has been corrected, there is often a period of sleepiness or general loss of energy. This can last from a few minutes to an hour or so.

Fortunately, for me, I have been able to keep my diabetes in check.

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