Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people every year. It happens when the body is unable to make enough insulin or use the insulin that it produces effectively.
The good news is that it can be treated and avoided or delayed with diet, exercise and medications. It is also crucial to know the symptoms, to determine whether there is a problem and seek 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 does not produce enough insulin or isn’t able to properly use it.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and utilize glucose, also known as sugar. People with type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to make it work properly.
In both types of diabetes, the blood sugar levels are excessively high over time. This can cause problems in the kidneys, eyes and feet. It can also damage your heart arteries and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition which means that your body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The destruction can take place over months or even years until it leads 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 sugar levels and adjust their the levels of insulin, food and activity levels in order to keep their blood sugar within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, your body is not using insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells to remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used to create energy.
People with type 2 diabetes need to treat their condition through a healthy diet and exercise. They may also need to take medication to control their blood glucose levels.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects people of all races, ethnicities, and genders. However, women are at a higher risk than men.
Women who suffer from diabetes have a higher chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most commonly reported diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One of the early warning signs of women with diabetes is a higher thirst and increased urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your blood and your kidneys are not able to remove it.
Men who suffer from diabetes show signs
In diabetes the cells are unable make use of blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This is usually due to the pancreas ceases to produce enough insulin.
This leads to elevated blood sugar levels. Your body attempts to lower these levels by flushing the excess glucose out of your bloodstream via urine.
Patients with diabetes typically are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids, as much as four liters a day.
Men may also lose weight as their bodies rely on muscle for energy rather than fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels remain high for long periods of time.
Developing a healthy diabetes diet is a key element in managing your diabetes. It can help regulate blood sugar levels, manage weight and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
You should include whole foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, low-fat dairy products and legumes are good choices. It should be free of saturated fats and sugars as well as added sugars (unhealthy).
You may also need to limit the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages you consume. These drinks are often packed with sugar and can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes-related medications to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes such as exercising and diet to help manage your diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels are not being controlled by one medicine, you may need to take a different medication. Your doctor will work with you to choose the most appropriate medication to meet your needs and preferences.
The latest medications, including sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like antagonists for the peptide-1 receptor, decrease blood sugar levels and are beneficial for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, as well as decreasing the risk of developing complications. They’re also helpful for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.