Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that affects millions of people every year. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot utilize the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it is curable and avoided or delayed with diet, exercise and medication. It’s important to be aware of symptoms to know the signs of a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition (long-lasting), which alters the way your body converts food into energy. It occurs when the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or doesn’t utilize it as efficiently as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells absorb and use sugar, also known as glucose. People with type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or their bodies don’t utilize it correctly.
In both types of diabetes, blood sugar levels become too high in time. This can lead to problems in the kidneys, eyes and feet. It may also damage the heart and brain arteries as well as your brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is 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 months or even years and eventually lead to an absence of insulin.
People suffering from type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food and levels of activity to maintain their blood sugar within the healthy 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 hormone which helps your cells to remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells, where it can be used as energy.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes need to treat their diabetes by eating a balanced diet and regular exercise. They may also need to take medication to regulate their blood glucose levels.
Symptoms of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects all races, ethnic groups as well as ages and genders. However women are at a higher risk than males.
Women with diabetes are at a greater risk chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most common diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One of the first signs of women suffering from diabetes is increased thirst and urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can cause excess sugar to build up in your blood and kidneys can’t remove it.
Diabetes in men: Symptoms
In diabetes the cells are unable make use of blood sugar (glucose) to generate energy. This is usually due to the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.
This causes high blood sugar levels. The body then attempts to lower these levels by flushing out the excess glucose in your bloodstream through urine.
People suffering from diabetes frequently feel thirsty and need to drink large amounts of fluids. It can be as much as 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 stay high for prolonged periods of time.
Developing a healthy diabetes diet is a vital aspect of managing your diabetes. It can help you manage your blood sugar, control your weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing risk factors.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods like fruits vegetables, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy. It should also be low in saturated (unhealthy) fats and added sugars.
You may also consider limiting the amount of drinks that contain sugar you consume. These drinks are typically packed with sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to increase.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in an acceptable range. These medications are usually combined with lifestyle changes, like physical activity and diet, to manage the condition.
If your blood sugar is not being managed well with one medication, you may require a second medication. Your doctor will work with you to pick the most appropriate medicine for your requirements and preferences.
Newer medicines, such as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like antagonists of the peptide-1 receptor, reduce blood sugar levels and are beneficial for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, while decreasing the risk of complications. They’re also helpful for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.