diabetesmeter - March 22 is Diabetes Alert Day

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What makes a chronic illness? Chronic illnesses are mostly characterized by complex causes, many risk factors, long latency periods, a long illness and functional impairment or disability. Most chronic illnesses do not fix themselves and are generally not cured completely. Some can be immediately life-threatening, such as heart attack and stroke. Others linger over time and need intensive management, such as diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. This is a life-long disease. Symptoms include being very thirsty, excessive urination, blurry vision, being irritable, tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, feeling worn out, and reoccurring yeast infections.

Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and pregnancy. The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your diabetes well by taking medications and insulin on time, checking your blood glucose level, and not skipping meals. Eating a nutritious diet of foods that are low-sugar such as vegetables, fruit, and fiber in controlled portions is a key component of maintaining health with Type 2 Diabetes. Exercise is also an important part of living with this disease, and even if you can’t physically perform cardio, talk to your doctor about alternate forms of exercise to stay healthy.

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