Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that affects millions of people each year. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it isn’t able to use the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it is curable and can be prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medications. It is also essential to be aware of the signs, so you can determine if 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 stops producing enough insulin or isn’t able to use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells absorb and use sugar, which is called glucose. Type 2 diabetics don’t make enough insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to utilize it correctly.
In both forms of diabetes, blood sugar levels get excessively high over time. This can cause problems with your feet, eyes, and kidneys. It can also harm the blood vessels in your heart as well as the brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic cells and destroys them. The destruction can happen over many months or even years, eventually resulting in an absence of insulin.
Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day. They also have to keep track of their blood glucose levels and adjust food, insulin and activity levels in order to keep their blood glucose within an acceptable range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes the body does not make insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone which helps your cells get blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells, where it can be used as energy.
People with type 2 diabetes must treat their condition with a healthy diet and exercise. They may also need to take medication to manage their blood glucose levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
It is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnicities, ages and genders. However, women are at a greater risk than men.
Women with diabetes are more prone to suffer from complications, including heart disease (the most frequent complication of diabetes) and loss of vision.
One of the first signs of women with diabetes is a higher thirst and increased the frequency of urination, which is known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excessive sugar to accumulate in the blood, and your kidneys aren’t able to get rid of it correctly.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
In the case of diabetes the cells are unable use blood sugar (glucose) for energy. This is typically due to the fact that the pancreas produces too little insulin.
This leads to high blood sugar levels. Your body will then try to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream through urine.
People with diabetes are typically thirsty, and they have to drink lots of fluids.
Men may also experience weight loss since their bodies break down muscle to make energy, instead of fat. This is due to the fact that the blood sugar level stays high for long periods of time.
A healthy diet with a low-carbohydrate diet can be an essential part of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, manage weight and decrease the risk factors for heart diseases.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods, including fruits, whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be low in saturated fats and sugars as well as added sugars (unhealthy).
You may want to limit your intake of drinks sweetened with sugar. These drinks often have high levels of sugar, which can lead to high blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes like eating habits and exercise to manage your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t managed on one medication another medicine could be added. Your doctor will help you determine the most appropriate medicine for your preferences and needs.
Newer medications like glucagon-like receptor antagonists for peptide-1 and sodium-glucose COtransporter-2 inhibitors decrease blood sugar levels, provide kidney and cardiovascular benefits and lower the risk of complications. They also help with weight loss, and come in both tablets and injections.