It is normal to feel anxious, upset , or have questions when diagnosed with diabetes. Keep reading for more information. Remember you are not alone!
Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body does not use insulin properly and/or the body does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas. Insulin moves sugar from your blood to your cells so that you have energy to do your everyday activities. If insulin is not being used properly, or the body is not making enough insulin, more sugar (glucose) stays in your blood. This can cause complications.
Symptoms of diabetes vary from person to person. You may experience some or none. Once your blood sugars (blood glucose) return to a normal range, these symptoms will lessen or stop.
Symptoms of Diabetes include:
This is diagnosed when fasting blood sugars are over 6 mmol but under 7.
This is an indication that your body is having difficulty processing the sugar in your blood. Diet, exercise and losing weight will help to slow down or stop you from developing diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or younger adults. In the past it was called Juvenille Diabetes. I you have Type 1 diabetes you must take insulin, as your pancreas no longer makes insulin.
This is the most common type of diabetes. It is most often diagnosed in older adults but can occur at any age. In the past it was called “Adult Onset Diabetes”. If you have Type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly.
During pregnancy some women develop high blood sugar because their body is not able to use insulin properly. This is called Gestational Diabetes. High blood sugars can affect the unborn baby. Listen to this Centre for Disease (CDC) Podcast about Gestational Diabetes.
Click HERE to visit the Canadian Diabetes Association Website
Click HERE to visit the Public Health Agency of Canada:
You may need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. You may need to take one or more medications to manage your blood sugars or you may also need to take insulin. If you have Type 1 diabetes you must take insulin as your body no longer produces any insulin. See the Medications section for more details.
This is a question that everyone asks. The number of times you need to test is very different for everyone. It depends on your type of diabetes, the medications that you take and your food and activity level. Many people are worried about low blood sugars when they have diabetes. For more information from our team on low blood sugars (hypoglycemia), click HERE. Your diabetes team will teach you how to use a blood glucose meter, how to test, how often to test and what the number means.
Yes, you will need to have regular tests and exams in order to stay healthy with diabetes.
Yes. You will be asked some questions on your driver’s license the next time you renew and your doctor may be asked to complete a special medical form if you are using insulin.
Click HERE to visit the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario website for more information.
You will also need to test your blood sugar before you drive to make sure your blood sugar is not too low (hypoglycemia).
Click HERE for more information from our team. (handout on Driving Safety and Diabetes)
Book regular checkups with your doctor, every three to six months.
Learn about diabetes with your diabetes education team
Reach out to others who are living well with diabetes for support.