Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions each year. It occurs when your body isn’t producing enough insulin, or it’s unable to utilize the insulin it does produce effectively.
The good news is that it is curable and prevented or delayed with diet, exercise and medications. It’s also important to be aware of the symptoms to know whether something is wrong and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) health issue that affects how your body converts food into energy. It happens when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin, or fails to use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and use glucose, also known as sugar. People suffering from type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, or their bodies can’t use it properly.
In both types of diabetes, blood sugar levels are excessively high over time. This can lead to issues in the kidneys, eyes and feet. It can also damage your heart arteries and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells inside the pancreas. The destruction can take place over months or even years, eventually leading to the complete absence of insulin.
Insulin is needed by people who suffer from type 1 diabetes each day. They also need to monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust their food, insulin and activity levels in order to keep their blood sugar within the healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes your body isn’t using 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 for energy.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes need to treat their diabetes through a healthy diet and exercise. They may also have to take medications to manage their blood sugar levels.
Signs of women having diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects all races and ethnicities as well as ages and genders. Women are at higher risk than males.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience complications, like heart disease (the most frequent complication of diabetes), and vision loss.
Polydipsia is one of the warning signs for women with diabetes. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your bloodstream and kidneys are unable to eliminate it.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
In the case of diabetes the cells are unable to use blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This is usually because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
This can result in high blood glucose levels. Your body will then attempt to lower the level by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream through urine.
People with diabetes frequently have a thirsty feeling and must drink large amounts of fluids, up to four liters a day.
Men may also experience weight loss since their bodies break down muscle 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 manage blood sugar levels, manage weight and reduce the risk factors for heart disease.
Include whole foods in your diet, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, low-fat dairy products, beans, and legumes are great choices. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You might be advised to limit your consumption of drinks that are sweetened with sugar. These drinks often have lots of sugar which can result in high blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may recommend diabetes medications to keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes, such as physical activity and diet, to manage 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 guide you to determine the most appropriate medicine to meet your needs and preferences.
Newer medications like glucagon-like receptor antagonists for peptide-1 and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar levels, offer kidney and cardiovascular benefits, and reduce the risk of complications. They are also beneficial for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.