Uncontrolled Diabetes: How It Affects Your Body

Spotlight
January 2017


  • Almost one in five people, of the UAE population between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes.
  • Individuals with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than people without.

Diabetes,the leading healthcare challenge of the 21st century, has today reachedepidemic proportions. World Diabetes Day marked annually on November 14th, aimsto create awareness and address the growing concerns about the escalatinghealth threat posed by this condition. 

Didyou know?  Ifyou have diabetes, your chances of having a stroke are 1.5 timeshigher than in people who don't.

Theconnection between diabetes and stroke has to do with the way the body handlesblood glucose to make energy. Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin,which helps glucose enter the cells in your body to be used as energy as wellas control the levels of glucose in your blood. If your body isn’t able toproduce insulin, or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly, diabetesis developed.

A diabeticpatient has high levels of glucose in their blood, this can damage bloodvessels, making them harder and narrower, with a tendency to get blocked. Ifthis happens in a blood vessel leading to your brain it causes a stroke.

Not only isit vital to understand the link between diabetes and stroke but one should alsobe aware of the risks involved and the necessary steps that can be taken toavoid this disease.

Risks

Some of themain risk factors for developing diabetes are:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • A family history of diabetes
  • Already having had a stroke or heart disease
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking

Whatcan you do?

Diabetescannot be completely cured, but there are ways in which blood glucose levelscan be maintained within the ideal range. This will help control symptoms andprevent any long-term complications:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Get active
  • Control your weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Take prescribed medications and check blood glucose regularly as recommended by your doctor

Some peopleare only diagnosed with diabetes after they have had a stroke, as per 70% ofpost-stroke patients at Amana Healthcare; a specialized hospital of long-termcare, post-acute rehabilitation, home transition care, and respite careservices.

“One of thecommon causes of stroke is diabetes, being important the early diagnosis.Diabetes can be controlled and stroke can be preventable,” said Raquel Neves,Stroke Coordinator at Amana Healthcare. “Coping with diabetes as well as theeffects of stroke can be tough, and it can take a while to adjust and managethe condition. The key to overcoming this is to take one step at a time andbegin making healthy lifestyle choices. Diabetics can live long, healthy lives,free from health problems, including heart disease and stroke.”

November, 2017

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