Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that 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 can be treated and can be avoided or delayed with diet, exercise and medication. It’s also important to be aware of the symptoms so you can tell if something is wrong and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) disease that affects the way your body turns food into energy. It happens when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or is unable to use it properly.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and utilize glucose, also referred to as sugar. Type 2 diabetics don’t produce enough insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to use it effectively.
The blood sugar levels rise as time passes in both types of diabetes. This can cause issues with the eyes, kidneys and feet. It may also cause damage to the coronary arteries and 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. The process of destruction can last for months or even years until it eventually leads to a total lack of insulin.
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin each day. They also need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and levels of activity to maintain their blood sugar within the normal range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin the way it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells get 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 condition with a healthy diet and regular exercise. They may also have to take medication to manage their blood sugar levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects people of all races, ethnicities, and genders. However women are at higher risk than men.
Women with diabetes are at a greater risk chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most commonly reported diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One early warning sign of women suffering from diabetes is a rise in thirst and urine, a condition known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your blood, and your kidneys cannot eliminate it.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which cells are unable to utilize glucose (blood sugar) as energy source. This is typically because the pancreas produces insufficient insulin.
This causes elevated blood sugar levels. Your body will then try to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream via urine.
People who have diabetes often feel thirsty and need to drink large amounts of fluids, as much as four liters per 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 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, control your weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing risk factors.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables beans, and low-fat dairy. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You might want to limit your intake of beverages sweetened with sugar. These drinks are usually high in sugar and can cause blood sugar levels in the body to increase.
Your doctor might prescribe diabetes medications to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within an acceptable range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise 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 can help you select the right medicine to meet your needs and preferences.
Newer medications such as glucagon-like receptor agonists, peptide-1, and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels, offer cardiovascular and kidney benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They are also beneficial for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.