Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that affects millions of people each year. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it’s not able to use the insulin it does have effectively.
Exercise, diet and medications can aid in preventing or reducing the development of the disease. It’s also important to be aware of the symptoms to determine the signs of a problem and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health issue that affects the way your body turns food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin or isn’t able to use it as well as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body absorb and use glucose, also referred to as sugar. People suffering from type 2 diabetes don’t make enough insulin, or their bodies can’t make it in a proper way.
In both forms of diabetes, blood sugar levels get too high over time. This can lead to issues with your eyes, kidneys and feet. It can also damage the heart and brain arteries as well as your brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells within the pancreas. The destruction can happen over many months or even years before resulting in the absence of insulin completely.
Insulin is a requirement for people with type 1 diabetes all day. They also have to keep track of their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food and levels of exercise to keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes your body isn’t functioning as insulin should. Insulin is a hormone which helps your cells remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used as energy.
Type 2 diabetes sufferers need to treat their condition by eating a balanced diet and exercise. They also may need to take medication to control their blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects all races, ethnic groups and ages as well as genders. However, women are at a greater risk than men.
Women with diabetes are more prone to develop complications, such as heart disease (the most common diabetes-related complication) and loss of vision.
One early warning sign of women suffering from diabetes is increased thirst and the frequency of urination, which is known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your bloodstream, and your kidneys cannot eliminate it.
Men with diabetes: Symptoms
In diabetes the cells are unable to make use of blood sugar (glucose) for energy. This usually happens because the pancreas produces too little insulin.
This can result in high blood glucose levels. Your body then tries to reduce these levels by flushing the excess glucose out of your bloodstream via urine.
People suffering from diabetes frequently are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids. This can be up to 4 liters a day.
Men can also experience weight loss because their bodies break down muscle to make energy instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar level remains high for long periods of time.
A healthy diet for diabetes is a crucial aspect of managing your condition. It can help you control blood sugar, manage your weight, and lower risk factors for heart disease.
Your diet should comprise plenty of whole food items, including fruits, whole grains, vegetables, beans and low-fat dairy. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You may consider limiting your consumption of sweetened drinks with sugar. These drinks often have a lot of sugar which can result in elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may recommend diabetes medications to help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in an acceptable range. These medications are usually combined with changes in lifestyle, like exercise and diet to manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t managed by one medication it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor will work with you to select the best medicine for your specific needs and preferences.
Newer medications such as glucagon-like receptor antagonists for peptide-1 and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar levels, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They also aid in weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.