Diabetes: Ways to Cope  Youth on Health

Diabetes: Ways to Cope Youth on Health

Diabetes: Ways to Cope Youth on Health

Diabetes is one the most common health problems faced by teenagers today. It is a chronic condition characterised by high blood sugar levels in the body. This can occur either due to lack of insulin in the body or the body’s non-responsiveness to insulin production. Young people suffer from two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is due to the body’s failure to produce insulin and requires insulin injections as part of the treatment.

Type 2 Diabetes is due to insulin resistance, where the body cells are not able to utilize insulin properly.

In this article, we focus on Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Earlier called ‘adult-onset’ diabetes, this disease is now being found more and more in adolescents – and sometimes even in children under 10. Increasing levels of obesity and sedentary lifestyle are said to be responsible for this phenomenon. It’s the most common type of diabetes, found in 90 to 95 % of the diabetic population.

In order to keep a check on diabetes it’s important to know the symptoms and to go for necessary tests. The classical symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. Blurred vision is a common complaint as well. Dehydration caused by drinking high-sugar drinks is a symptom of Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetic and lifestyle factors whereas Type 1 is partly inherited and then triggered by certain infections like the Coxsackie B4 virus.

Living with diabetes requires a lot of care and a lifestyle geared towards health. One of the first steps towards control is a diet that is high in fibre and low in fat. Despite a common belief that table sugar contributes to the development of diabetes, it has medium (55-69) glycemic index or GI that actually produces lower blood glucose levels than the same amount of carbohydrates. Studies show that a low-carbohydrate diet or low GI diet may be effective in dietary management of type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise and giving up smoking contribute toward keeping both short-term and long-term glucose levels within acceptable bounds.

Oral medication is required for Type 2 diabetes and insulin injections for Type 1 diabetes. Several groups of drugs, mostly given by mouth, are effective in Type 2, often in combination. The therapeutic combination may include insulin, not necessarily because oral agents have failed completely, but in search of a desired combination of effects. The great advantage of injected insulin in Type II is that a well-informed patient can adjust the dose, or even take additional doses according to the blood glucose levels measured.

Patients with foot problems are recommended to wear diabetic socks and possibly diabetic shoes. Diabetes raises the blood sugar level that increases risk of foot ulcers. Diabetic socks are made to control moisture, which can reduce the risk of infection, and they are made without seams or wrinkle-prone material to reduce pressure and blistering.

A great way to accept and even embrace a diabetic lifestyle is through peer support. This involves interaction with other young people who are going through the same thing. Phone calls, text messages, online support groups, group meetings, home visits and even grocery shopping can be quite helpful and fun. Living with the condition does not have to be debilitating. Remember that you are not alone.

Although there is no foolproof way to prevent diabetes, its chances of striking can be reduced. Prevention of type 2 diabetes involves improvement of insulin resistance. This means that the body cells do not interact with insulin secreted by the pancreas. To maintain normal blood glucose, the pancreas secretes additional insulin. Glucose builds up in the blood resulting in high blood glucose or type 2 diabetes.

Regular exercise and diet are important factors in preventing diabetes and improving overall health. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and veggies, limit junk food to once a week outings and keep saturated fat consumption down. Exercise at least 3 hours every week to maintain a healthy metabolism and heart rate. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.

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