Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease which affects millions of people every year. It happens when your body isn’t producing enough insulin or it can’t use the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it can be treated and can be prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medications. It is important to be aware of the signs, so you can identify whether there is a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health problem (long-lasting) that alters how your body converts food into energy. It happens when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, or fails to use it as efficiently as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and utilize glucose, also known as sugar. People with type 2 diabetes aren’t able to make enough insulin or their bodies don’t make it in a proper way.
In both forms of diabetes, the blood sugar levels get too high over time. This can cause problems with your feet, eyes and kidneys. It can also cause damage to the heart and brain arteries as well as your brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The destruction can take place over months or years, eventually leading to the total absence of insulin.
Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day. They also need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and levels of exercise to keep their blood sugar within the normal range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not utilize insulin in the way it should. Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells to remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells, where it can be used to create energy.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes need to treat their diabetes through a healthy diet and regular exercise. They may also need to take medications to control their blood glucose levels.
Signs of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects all races, ethnic groups and ages as well as genders. Women are more susceptible than men.
Women with diabetes are at a greater risk chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most common diabetes complication) and loss of vision.
One of the early signs of women with diabetes is increased thirst and urine, a condition known as polydipsia. This is due to diabetes causing excessive sugar to accumulate in the blood and the kidneys aren’t able remove it in a proper manner.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when cells are unable to utilize glucose (blood sugar) as energy source. This usually happens because the pancreas ceases to produce enough insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body then attempts to reduce these levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream via urine.
Diabetes patients are often thirsty, and need to drink plenty of fluids.
Men can also experience weight loss because their bodies break down muscle for energy instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar level remains high for prolonged periods of time.
Making a balanced diabetes diet is a key element in managing your condition. It can help regulate blood sugar levels and weight, as well as reduce the risk factors for heart diseases.
Your diet should consist of plenty of whole foods, including fruits whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be low in added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).
You may be advised to limit your consumption of sweetened drinks with sugar. These drinks usually contain high levels of sugar which can result in elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor might prescribe diabetes medications to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes, such as eating habits and exercise to help manage your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t being well controlled by one medicine it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor will assist you to select the best medicine for your specific needs and preferences.
The latest medications, including sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonists, lower blood sugar levels and are beneficial for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, while reducing the chance of developing complications. They are also useful for weight loss and are available in tablets and injections.