Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people every year. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when it can’t use the insulin it does have effectively.
Exercise, diet and medication can all help in preventing or delaying the progression of the disease. It is also essential to be aware of symptoms to determine the signs of a problem and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects the way your body turns food into energy. It happens when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it as effectively as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and utilize sugar, which is called glucose. People suffering from type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to use it properly.
The blood sugar levels increase as time passes in both types of diabetes. This can lead to issues with the kidneys, eyes and feet. It can also damage the blood vessels in your heart as well as the brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, and destroys them. This process can last for months or even for years until it leads to a complete lack of insulin.
People suffering from type 1 diabetes must take insulin each day. They also need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food and activity levels in order to keep their blood glucose within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes your body doesn’t make 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 so that it can be used to create energy.
Type 2 diabetics have to exercise and eat a balanced diet. They may also need to take medications to control their blood sugar levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
It is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnicities and genders. However women are at greater risk than men.
Women who suffer from diabetes have a higher chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most frequent diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One of the early signs of diabetes in women is a higher thirst and increased urination, called polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excessive sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream and your kidneys don’t have the capacity to filter it out properly.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
In diabetes the cells are unable use blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This is usually because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This leads to high blood sugar levels. Your body then tries to lower these levels by flushing excess glucose out of your bloodstream through urine.
Patients with diabetes are usually thirsty and require to drink lots of fluids.
Men may be able to experience weight loss too as their bodies break down muscle for energy instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar level remains high for extended periods of time.
Developing a healthy diabetes diet is a crucial aspect of managing your condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, manage your weight, and lower heart disease risk factors.
Your diet should comprise plenty of whole foods, including fruits, whole grains, vegetables, beans and low-fat dairy. 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 are usually packed with sugar, which can cause blood sugar levels to increase.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes, such as eating habits and physical activity to manage the condition.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t being well managed by one medication then a second medication could be added. Your doctor will work with you to determine the most appropriate medication for your requirements and preferences.
Newer medications such as glucagon-like receptor agonists, peptide-1, and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar levels, offer kidney and cardiovascular benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.