Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease which affects millions of people every year. It is caused because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or utilize the insulin it produces effectively.
The good news is that it is treatable and can be treated or delayed through diet, exercise and medication. It’s important to be aware of symptoms to be able to tell what’s wrong and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) health issue that affects the way your body transforms food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or isn’t able to use it properly.
Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells absorb and use sugar, which is known as glucose. Type 2 diabetics aren’t producing enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to use it in a proper way.
The blood sugar levels rise with time in both forms of diabetes. This can lead to issues with the kidneys, eyes and feet. It can also cause damage to 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. This destruction can occur over months or even years before resulting in the absence of insulin completely.
Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day. They also must monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust their food, insulin and activity levels in order to keep their blood sugar within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not utilize insulin in the way it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells take blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells so that it can be used as energy.
Type 2 diabetes sufferers need to treat their condition with a healthy diet and regular exercise. They also may need to take medication to control their blood sugar levels.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Women are at higher risk than males.
Women who suffer from diabetes are more likely to develop complications, like heart disease (the most common diabetes-related complication), and vision loss.
One of the early signs of women with diabetes is increased thirst and the frequency of urination, which is known as polydipsia. This is due to diabetes causing excess sugar to build up in the blood, and your kidneys aren’t able to remove it correctly.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
In the case of diabetes, cells are unable to use blood sugar (glucose) for energy. This is typically because the pancreas is producing too little insulin.
This results in high blood sugar levels. Your body then tries to lower these levels by flushing the excess glucose out of your bloodstream through urine.
Diabetes patients are often thirsty, and need to drink lots of fluids.
Men can also experience weight loss as their bodies break down muscle for energy instead of fat. This is because their blood sugar levels remain elevated for long periods.
A healthy diabetes diet is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help you manage your blood sugar levels, manage your weight, and lower heart disease risk factors.
Your diet should consist of a wide range of whole foods, such as fruits whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of saturated fats and sugars as well as added sugars (unhealthy).
You might want to limit your intake of beverages sweetened with sugar. These drinks are usually high in sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor might prescribe diabetes medication to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within an acceptable range. These medications are typically paired with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise to help control your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled by one medicine then a second medication could be added. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best medicine for your specific needs and preferences.
Newer medicines, such as sodium-glucose -cotransporter-2 inhibitors, and glucagon antagonists for the peptide-1 receptor, decrease blood sugar and offer benefits for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, as well as decreasing the chance of developing complications. They’re also helpful for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.