Diabetes & Digital Health Care: How to be Proactive

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As part of our chronic diseases month, we’re taking a closer look at the many chronic diseases affecting people worldwide. This time, we’re talking you through diabetes and seeing how digital healthcare like Jinga Life can help you and your family be proactive in managing chronic diseases. 

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Ireland describe diabetes as: 

a lifelong condition caused by a lack, or insufficiency of insulin. Insulin is a hormone – a substance of vital importance that is made by your pancreas. Insulin acts like a key to open the doors into your cells, letting sugar (glucose) in. In diabetes, the pancreas makes too little insulin to enable all the sugar in your blood to get into your muscle and other cells to produce energy. If sugar can’t get into the cells to be used, it builds up in the bloodstream. Therefore, diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels.

There are two types of diabetes, known as Type 1 or Type 2.

Type 1 & Type 2: What’s the difference? 

Type 1 diabetes was once known as insulin dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes means the body alone produces very little insulin or does not produce any insulin at all. (Mayo Clinic)


Type 2 diabetes means your body produces insulin but can not use it properly. This is known as insulin resistance. (Diabetes.org)

Who does Diabetes affect?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Diabetes has risen from affecting 108 million people in 1980 to 422 million people in 2014 globally. Among the 18+ population, global prevalence was at 8.5% in 2014. In 2016, 1.6 million deaths worldwide were caused by diabetes. In Ireland, Irish Health says “there are 200,000 people in Ireland with diabetes, yet 50 per cent of those people is unaware of their condition.” 


Symptoms of Diabetes 

The two different types of diabetes can have different symptoms. It is important to be aware of the symptoms, both Type 1 and Type 2 can produce.  

Type 1 Symptoms: 

  • Extreme thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Weight loss

  • Hunger

  • Fatigue

(Diabetes Ireland)

Type 2 Symptoms: 

  • Increased thirst

  • More than usually frequent urination 

  • Feeling of constant hunger 

  • Constant tiredness

  • Blurred Vision 

(Medical News Today)

Photo:  GlucoMe , from Merck

Photo: GlucoMe, from Merck

Prevention 

Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent the onset of Type 1 diabetes. However, things that can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes include: 

  • Exercising (for at least 30 minutes most days)

  • Maintaining a healthy diet 

  • Avoiding tobacco related products, i.e smoking


Monitoring Diabetes 

Whilst the prevention is diabetes may be difficult, it can be monitored. The most traditionally used method of monitoring your blood glucose level includes a finger prick test. This involves making a small prick in the finger and allowing a small device to read your blood glucose level. This can be helpful as it helps you to adjust your lifestyle should the reading not be as expected. 

Monitoring and Jinga Life 

At Jinga Life we are all for advancements in the digital health realm. We believe you and your family should have control of your healthcare, allowing you to be proactive in monitoring your health. This is especially true when it comes to chronic illnesses such as Diabetes. Instead of pricking your finger and monitoring your glucose levels manually, new digital tech is allowing you to record your health data right in the palm of your hand, on your smartphone. With Jinga Life, you can keep a clear record of you or a family member’s glucose levels, you can also save time at the doctors by showing them the stats directly from your phone, rather than depending on memory recall. 

Have you signed up to Jinga Life yet? Click here to learn more, and download the app, and start being proactive in you and your family’s health care journey.