If you have begun following our column “Journeys in Home Care” in your local newspaper, you recently read about Daniel, a 77 year old retired teacher with diabetes and hypertension who was recently discharged from the hospital after becoming very ill due to a sharp rise in his blood sugar.
It seems almost everyone knows someone with diabetes. An estimated 23.6 million people in the United States or 7.8% of the population have diabetes which is a life-long condition. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, non-healing wounds and even lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
So, what exactly is diabetes?
Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as “sugar” or “sugar diabetes.”
There are 3 main types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
If you or someone you know is having difficulty managing the symptoms of diabetes, call your doctor or health care professional. To determine if you qualify for home health care services, contact our referral department at 800-333-4799 or refer on-line at:
Check back to this blog next week for more information about the types of diabetes and complications from the disease.