Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people each year. It happens when your body isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s not able to use the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it can be treated and can be prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medications. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms to be able to tell if something is wrong and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic illness (long-lasting) that alters how your body converts food into energy. It happens when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin, or fails to use it as well as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and utilize glucose, also referred to as sugar. Type 2 diabetics aren’t producing enough insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to use it correctly.
In both forms of diabetes, the blood sugar levels become excessively high over time. This can lead to problems with your eyes, kidneys and feet. It may also damage your brain and heart arteries.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease caused by an autoimmune reaction, which means that your immune system attacks pancreatic cells that produce insulin and destroys them. This destruction can happen over months or years, eventually leading to the complete absence of insulin.
Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day. They must also monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust their insulin, food and activity levels to keep their blood glucose within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes your body may not use insulin the way it should. Insulin is a hormone which helps your cells take blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used to create energy.
Type 2 diabetes sufferers have to manage their condition by eating a balanced diet and exercise. They may also need to take medication to regulate their blood glucose 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 a higher risk than males.
Women with diabetes are at a greater risk chance of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most commonly reported diabetes complication) and loss of vision.
One of the first signs of women with diabetes is increased thirst and urine, a condition known as polydipsia. This is due to diabetes causing excess sugar to build up in the bloodstream and the kidneys aren’t able remove it properly.
Diabetes in men The signs and symptoms
Diabetes is a condition where cells are unable to use glucose (blood sugar) to generate energy. This usually happens because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body will then try to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream via urine.
Patients with diabetes typically feel thirsty and need to drink large amounts of fluids, up to four liters daily.
Men can also experience weight loss because their bodies break down muscle for energy, instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels are high for extended periods.
Making a balanced diabetes diet is a key element in managing your condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, control your weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing risk factors.
It is important to include whole foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, dairy products that are low in fat products such as beans, legumes, and beans are a good choice. It should be low in added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).
You might want to limit your intake of sweetened drinks with sugar. These drinks often have lots of sugar in them which can result in high blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in an acceptable range. These drugs are often paired with lifestyle changes, such as exercise and diet to help manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t managed on one medication another medicine could be added. Your doctor will work with you to select the best medication for your requirements and preferences.
Newer medicines, such as sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon like antagonists for the peptide-1 receptor, decrease blood sugar and have benefits for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, while decreasing the chance of developing complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss, and are available in tablet and injection forms.