Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that affects millions of people each year. It is caused because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or utilize the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it is treatable and avoided or delayed with diet, exercise and medication. It’s also important to be aware of the symptoms to know what’s wrong and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic illness (long-lasting), which impacts the way your body converts food into energy. It happens when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, or fails to use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells absorb and use sugar, also known as glucose. Type 2 diabetics aren’t producing enough insulin, or their bodies are unable to use it effectively.
In both forms of diabetes, the blood sugar levels can become too high over time. This can cause issues with the eyes, feet, and kidneys. It can also damage your brain and heart arteries.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks the pancreatic insulin-producing cells and destroys them. This process can take months or years before eventually resulting in the total absence of insulin.
Insulin is a requirement for people with type 1 diabetes every day. They also need to monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust insulin, food and activity levels to keep their blood glucose within the healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes your body doesn’t utilize insulin in the way it should. Insulin is a hormonal substance that assists your cells in moving glucose (blood sugar) from your blood into your cells, where it can be utilized to generate energy.
People with type 2 diabetes have to manage their condition with a healthy diet and exercise. They may also have to take medication to manage their blood sugar levels.
Women with diabetes are afflicted with symptoms
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects people from all races, ethnicities, ages and genders. However women are at greater risk than men.
Women with diabetes are more prone to develop complications, like heart disease (the most frequent complication of diabetes) and loss of vision.
Polydipsia can be a warning sign for diabetes in women. This is because diabetes can cause excess sugar to accumulate in your bloodstream and kidneys can’t filter it out.
Men who suffer from diabetes show signs
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when cells are unable to utilize glucose (blood sugar) for energy. This usually happens because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body will then attempt to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream via urine.
Patients with diabetes typically have a thirsty feeling and must drink large amounts of fluids, as much as four liters per day.
Men can also experience weight loss because their bodies break down muscle for energy, instead of fat. This is due to their blood sugar levels remain high for long periods.
The development of a healthy diabetes diet is a key element in managing your diabetes. It can help you control blood sugar levels, manage weight and decrease the risk factors for heart diseases.
Your diet should consist of plenty of whole food items, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as beans and dairy that is low in fat. It should be free of added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).
You may also want to limit the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks you consume. These drinks are typically high in sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in an acceptable range. These medications are usually combined with lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity, to manage the condition.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled by one medicine it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best medicine for your needs and preferences.
Newer medicines like glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose inhibitors that lower blood sugar levels, have cardiovascular and kidney benefits, and reduce the risk of complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.