Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly – either because your body doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, it is important because it helps your body process sugars.
Diabetes can affect the body in many other ways, including eye disease, foot ulceration, kidney failure, amputation and a higher risk of heart disease. Keeping your blood sugar at a safe level means you’re less likely to experience other health problems.
If diabetes is diagnosed and managed effectively, you can still live a long and happy life as long as you stay in control.
There are also many people in Fiji living with diabetes who may not even know it because they don’t have the symptoms, it is important to get your blood sugar tested regularly to avoid Diabetes related complications further down the track. The 2002 STEPS survey identified that out of the 16% diabetics, 50% of them were previously unrecognised which is an alarmingly high number. Given the fact that 30% of Fijians have Diabetes, you have a 1 in 3 chance of having or developing diabetes. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. The best way to check if you have diabetes or are at risk is to visit your local health centre.
This chart shows the different levels of blood glucose, what are safe levels and what are dangerous levels depending on when you last ate. Even if you have no symptoms at all, it is important to get tested as you may still have diabetes. You can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes through adopting a healthy lifestyle. By changing your diet, increasing your level of physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, you can stay healthier, live longer and reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells have become insulin resistant or your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep you healthy.
Monitoring and testing your blood sugar is an important task, specifically if your are a diabetic or are caring for a diabetic. They may need to check more often when they're sick or if there are changes in their diabetes treatment or daily habits. Sometimes parents need to check their child's blood sugar levels in the middle of the night.


To get a blood sample, a small needle called a lancet is used to prick the skin (usually on a finger or the forearm) to draw a drop of blood.
Cost: Although most insurance plans cover the cost of glucose meters and test strips, there may be a limit to the number of test strips they cover (and test strips are the most expensive part of monitoring blood sugar levels).
Special features: Glucose meters are available in both large, easier-to-handle sizes as well as small, more portable sizes.
You or your child's doctor might want to get an even more detailed look at blood sugar level fluctuations. The glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c) test will give you an overall picture of what your child's blood glucose control has been over the 2 to 3 months before the test and is usually done during regular clinic visits with the diabetes health care team.
Hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. The most commonly measured type of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it is called HbA1c.
Another important test checks for ketones, chemicals that show up in the urine and blood after the body breaks down fat for energy. Having lots of ketones in the body can put a child at risk for a major diabetes emergency called diabetic ketoacidosis, which can make kids very sick. The diabetes health care team will let you know how and when to test for ketones (usually when your child is having consistently high blood sugar test results or is ill with vomiting or other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis).
While glucose meters can help keep track of your child's blood sugar tests, writing down the results will make it easier for you and the diabetes management team to see patterns and trends. Currently almost 1 in every 3 Fijians is being diagnosed with diabetes, that’s 30% of the population.
You can always visit your nearest diabetes hub to get your sugar checked ad learn how to stay in control of your diabetes. They can check your blood glucose (sugar) levels there and assess any symptoms you may have.
In general, most kids with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and at bedtime. They may also need to check more often if they use an insulin pump or another management plan that aims for very close control of blood sugar levels. For example, kids having problems with hypoglycemia episodes may need middle-of-the-night tests.
Blood sugar levels can be tested with a blood glucose meter, a computerized device that measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample.


The drop of blood is placed on a testing strip that goes into the glucose meter, and the blood glucose reading appears on a screen within a few seconds. For example, a glucose meter that doesn't require large blood samples might be better for young kids, while an easy-to-calibrate meter might be better for teens taking on more of their own diabetes care. Other features may include memory storage and the ability to record additional information like date, time, food intake, and exercise. Adjustable lancets can make finger pricks less painful by changing the depth to which the needle enters the skin. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are wearable devices that measure blood sugar every few minutes throughout the day and night by using a sensor that is inserted under the skin. In general, the lower (and closer to the levels seen in people without diabetes) your child's HbA1c, the better controlled the blood sugars have been over the preceding 2 to 3 months. The body will break down fat when it can't use glucose; for example, when there isn't enough insulin to help the glucose get into the cells or not enough food has been eaten to provide glucose for energy (such as when a child is ill). They'll also teach you how to interpret the results as part of your child's overall treatment plan.
Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1, it is also more easily avoided if the correct healthy lifestyle is adopted.
However, some people with Type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed so it is always best to get your blood sugar levels tested by a medical professional.
If you have diabetes, blood glucose testing is an important tool for managing your treatment.
The ability to download glucose readings into a computer program is an attractive feature for many families. Certain glucose meters can use blood drawn from a forearm or other body parts that may be less sensitive than a fingertip.
By providing a more detailed profile of a child's blood sugar levels, CGMs can help some kids with diabetes do an even better job of "fine-tuning" their blood sugar control. And once hemoglobin picks up glucose, the glucose stays on it for the life of the red blood cell, which is about 2 to 3 months. Having lower HbA1c levels over years is associated with a lower risk of future health problems related to diabetes.




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Checking blood sugar levels with gestational diabetes 2013


Comments

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