Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people each year. It happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when it’s not able to use the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it is curable and can be prevented or delayed with diet, exercise and medications. It is also important to know the symptoms, to determine if there is a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) health issue that affects how your body turns food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or isn’t able to use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and utilize sugar, also known as glucose. Type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to use it in a proper way.
In both types of diabetes, the blood sugar levels are too high over time. This can cause problems with the eyes, feet and kidneys. It could also harm your heart arteries and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks pancreatic insulin-producing cells and destroys them. The destruction can take place over several months or even years before resulting in the complete absence of insulin.
People suffering from type 1 diabetes require insulin every day. They must also keep an eye on their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and activities to keep their blood sugar in an acceptable range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2, your body is not functioning as insulin should. Insulin is a hormonal substance that aids in the movement of glucose (blood sugar) from your blood into your cells where it is used to create energy.
Type 2 diabetics must exercise and eat a healthy diet. They may also need to take medicine to control their blood sugar levels.
Diabetes in women symptoms
It is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnicities and genders. However women are at higher 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.
One early warning sign of women with diabetes is a rise in thirst and urination, called polydipsia. This is because diabetes can cause excess sugar to accumulate in your blood and your kidneys are not able to eliminate it.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
In diabetes the cells are unable to make use of blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This usually happens because the pancreas produces insufficient insulin.
This leads to high blood sugar levels. The body then attempts to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream via urine.
People who have diabetes often are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids. It can be as much as 4 liters a day.
Men can also experience weight loss because their bodies break down muscle for energy instead of fat. This is because blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods.
A healthy diet with a low-carbohydrate diet is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, reduce your weight and the risk of heart disease by reducing risk factors.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods, such as fruits vegetables, whole grains beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fats and added sugars.
You may consider limiting your consumption of drinks sweetened with sugar. These drinks often have a lot of sugar in them that can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within the normal range. These medicines are usually combined with lifestyle changes such as exercising and diet to help control your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t being well controlled by one medicine another medicine could be added. Your doctor will help you select the right medicine to suit your preferences and needs.
Newer medications, like sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon like peptide-1 receptor antagonists, lower blood sugar levels and provide benefits for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, while decreasing the risk of developing complications. They’re also helpful for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.