Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that is affecting millions of people each year. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or it can’t use the insulin it does produce effectively.
Diet, exercise and medication can all help in preventing or delaying the onset of the disease. It is also crucial to understand the symptoms so you can tell whether there is a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic illness (long-lasting) that alters the way your body converts food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin or doesn’t utilize it as efficiently as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body to absorb and utilize glucose, also referred to as sugar. People suffering from 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 become too high in time. This can cause issues with the eyes, feet and kidneys. It can also harm the blood vessels in your heart and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The destruction can take place over several years or even decades, eventually leading to an inability to produce insulin.
Type 1 diabetics require insulin every day. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food and activities to keep their blood sugar in the normal 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 that helps your cells remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used as energy.
Type 2 diabetics must exercise and adhere to a healthy diet. They may also have to take medications to control their blood glucose levels.
Women with diabetes are afflicted with symptoms
It is a chronic illness that affects people from all races, ethnicities, and genders. However women are at a higher risk than males.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience complications, including heart disease (the most frequent diabetes-related complication) and loss of vision.
One early warning sign of women suffering from diabetes is a higher thirst and increased urine, a condition known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your blood, and your kidneys cannot filter it out.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when cells are unable to utilize glucose (blood sugar) as energy. This is usually because the pancreas produces insufficient insulin.
This leads to high blood sugar levels. Your body attempts to reduce these levels by flushing the excess glucose out of your bloodstream through urine.
Diabetes patients are often thirsty and require to drink a lot of fluids.
Men can also experience weight loss because their muscles are broken down by their bodies for energy, instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels stay high for prolonged periods of time.
A healthy diet for diabetes is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help manage blood sugar levels, manage weight and decrease the risk factors that can lead to heart disease.
Your diet should consist of plenty of whole foods like fruits whole grains, vegetables 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 usually contain plenty of sugar in them and can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor might prescribe diabetes-related medications to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are usually combined with changes in lifestyle, like exercise and diet 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 select the most appropriate medication for your needs and preferences.
Newer medications like glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits and lower the risk of complications. They are also beneficial for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.