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Diabetes – What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious condition that is affecting millions of people each year. It happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it’s unable to utilize the insulin it does produce effectively.

The good news is that it can be treated and prevented or delayed with diet, exercise and medications. It is also essential to understand the symptoms so you can tell whether there is a problem and seek treatment.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health issue that affects how your body turns food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or isn’t able to properly use it.

Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and utilize sugar, which is known as glucose. Type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to utilize it effectively.

The blood sugar levels rise over time in both types of diabetes. This can lead to problems in the kidneys, eyes and feet. It could also harm your heart arteries and brain.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a disease caused by an autoimmune reaction, which means that your immune system attacks the insulin-producing pancreatic cells and destroys them. The destruction can happen over months or even years, eventually resulting in the complete absence of insulin.

Insulin is a requirement for people who suffer from type 1 diabetes each day. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food and activity levels to keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range.

Type 2 diabetes

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes your body isn’t making the insulin it needs to. Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells in moving glucose (blood sugar) from your blood into your cells which can then be used to create energy.

People suffering from type 2 diabetes have to manage their condition through a healthy diet and exercise. They may also have to take medicine to control their blood sugar levels.

Women with diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects people of all races and ethnic groups, ages, and genders. However, women are at a higher risk than men.

Women who suffer from diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications, such as heart disease (the most common complication associated with diabetes), and vision loss.

Polydipsia is a sign of warning for women suffering from diabetes. This is because diabetes can result in excess sugar accumulation in your bloodstream and your kidneys are not able to eliminate it.

Men with diabetes: Symptoms

In diabetes the cells are unable to use blood sugar (glucose) for energy. This is typically because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.

This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body then tries to lower the level by flushing the excess glucose in your bloodstream through urine.

People who have diabetes often are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids, as much as 4 liters a day.

Men may also experience weight loss as 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 long periods of time.

Diabetes diet

A healthy diet with a low-carbohydrate diet can be an essential part of managing the condition. It can help manage blood sugar levels, manage weight and reduce the risk factors for heart disease.

Your diet should comprise plenty of whole foods, including fruits, whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).

You may need to limit your consumption of drinks that are sweetened with sugar. These drinks typically contain plenty of sugar in them that can cause elevated blood sugar levels.

Diabetes medications

Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within the normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes like eating habits and exercise to help manage your diabetes.

If your blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled on one medicine then a second medication could be added. Your doctor will assist you select the right medicine to suit your preferences and needs.

Newer medicines like glucagon-like receptor agonists for peptide-1 as well as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits and lower the risk of complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.