Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious illness that affects millions of people every year. It occurs when your body isn’t producing enough insulin, or it’s not able to use the insulin it does produce effectively.
The good news is that it can be treated and can be prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medications. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms so you can tell whether something is wrong and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects the way your body turns food into energy. It happens when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or is unable to properly use it.
Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells absorb and use sugar, which is called glucose. Type 2 diabetics don’t produce enough insulin or aren’t able to use it in a proper way.
The blood sugar levels increase over time in both types of diabetes. This can cause issues with your feet, eyes, and kidneys. It can also cause damage to your heart arteries and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cell in the pancreas. The process of destruction can last for several years or even decades and eventually lead to a total lack of insulin.
Insulin is needed by people who suffer from type 1 diabetes each day. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their the insulin, food and activity levels to keep their blood glucose within an acceptable range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes the body does not make use of insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormonal substance that helps your cells move 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 need to take medication to manage their blood sugar levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects people from all races, ethnicities and genders. However women are at higher risk than males.
Women with diabetes have a higher chance of developing complications compared to men, such as heart disease (the most commonly reported diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One early warning sign of women suffering from diabetes is a rise in thirst and urination, called polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excessive sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream and the kidneys aren’t able remove it properly.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
In the case of diabetes the cells are unable use blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This usually happens because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This can result in high blood glucose levels. The body then attempts to lower the level by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream via urine.
People with diabetes are typically thirsty, and they need to drink plenty of fluids.
Men may also experience weight loss as their bodies break down muscle to make energy instead of fat. This is because blood sugar levels stay high for prolonged periods of time.
A healthy diet for diabetes can be a key part of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, manage weight and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Your diet should consist of a wide range of whole food items, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy. It should be free of added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).
You may want to limit your intake of drinks sweetened with sugar. These drinks typically contain high levels of sugar, which can lead to elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to help keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These drugs are often paired with lifestyle changes, like diet and physical activity, to manage the condition.
If your blood sugar is not being managed well with one medication, you may require a second medication. Your doctor can help you choose the best medicine for your personal preferences and needs.
Newer medicines like glucagon-like receptor antagonists for peptide-1 and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels, offer cardiovascular and kidney benefits, and reduce the risk of complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss, and are available in tablet and injection forms.