Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease which affects millions of people every year. It occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin or cannot make use of the insulin it produces effectively.
Exercise, diet and medications can help to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. It is also essential to be aware of symptoms so you can tell the signs of a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body converts food into energy. It occurs when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin or can’t use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and use glucose, also known as sugar. People with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to use it properly.
In both forms of diabetes, the blood sugar levels become too high in time. This can lead to problems with your feet, eyes and kidneys. It can also cause damage to 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 pancreatic cells that produce insulin and destroys them. The destruction can happen over many 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 monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and levels of activity to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes your body may not make use of insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells to remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used to create energy.
Type 2 diabetics need to exercise and follow a healthy diet. They may also have to take medicine to control their blood sugar levels.
Signs of women having diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects people of all races, ethnicities, ages and genders. However women are at a higher risk than males.
Women who suffer from diabetes have a higher chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most frequent complication of diabetes) and loss of vision.
One of the early warning signs of diabetes in women is increased thirst and urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excess sugar to build up in your blood and your kidneys aren’t equipped to filter it out in a proper manner.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
In the case of diabetes the cells are unable make use of blood sugar (glucose) to generate energy. This is typically due to the fact that the pancreas produces too little insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body then tries to reduce these levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream through urine.
People with diabetes are typically thirsty, and they have to drink a lot of fluids.
Men can also experience weight loss because their muscles are broken down by their bodies for energy instead of fat. This is because blood sugar levels remain high for long periods.
A balanced diet for diabetes is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help you manage your blood sugar, manage your weight, and lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Your diet should comprise plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy. It should also be low in saturated (unhealthy) fats and added sugars.
You might want to limit your intake of sweetened drinks with sugar. These drinks often have lots of sugar in them that can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may suggest diabetes medications to help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in the normal range. These medicines are usually combined with lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet to help you manage your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t well managed on one medication it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor will work with you to pick the most appropriate medication to meet your needs and preferences.
Newer medications like glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels, provide cardiovascular and kidney benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They are also useful for weight loss, and come in both tablets and injections.