Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that is affecting millions of people each year. It occurs because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot utilize the insulin it has effectively.
The good news is that it is treatable and prevented or delayed with diet, exercise and medications. It is also important to know the symptoms, to determine 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 happens when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or is unable to use it properly.
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and utilize sugar, which is called glucose. People with type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or their bodies don’t make it work properly.
The blood sugar levels rise with time in both forms of diabetes. This can cause problems with your eyes, kidneys and feet. It can also damage your brain and heart arteries.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition which means that the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The process of destruction can last for months or years until it eventually leads to a total lack of insulin.
People with type 1 diabetes require insulin every day. They also need to monitor their blood glucose levels and adjust their insulin, food and activity levels in order to keep their blood glucose within a healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes the body does not make use of insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone that assists 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 need to treat their diabetes through a healthy diet and exercise. They also may need to take medications to manage their blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnicities and genders. Women are at higher risk than males.
Women who suffer from diabetes are more likely to experience complications, including heart disease (the most common complication associated with diabetes), and vision loss.
One of the early warning signs of women with diabetes is a rise in thirst and urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is due to diabetes causing excess sugar to build up in the blood, and the kidneys aren’t able filter it out effectively.
Symptoms of diabetes in men
Diabetes is a condition where cells are not able to use glucose (blood sugar) as energy source. This is typically because the pancreas produces too little insulin.
This causes high blood sugar levels. Your body then attempts to reduce these levels by flushing the excess glucose out of your bloodstream through urine.
People with diabetes are typically thirsty, and they have to drink a lot of fluids.
Men may also experience weight loss since their muscles are broken down by their bodies for energy instead of fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods of time.
Making a balanced diabetes diet is a key element in managing your diabetes. It can help you control blood sugar, manage your weight and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
You should include whole foods in your diet, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, low-fat dairy products and legumes are good choices. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You might consider limiting your consumption of drinks sweetened with sugar. These drinks are usually high in sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to help keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within an acceptable range. These drugs are often paired with lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity, to help manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t being well managed by one medication it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor can help you pick the best medication for your preferences and needs.
Newer medications like glucagon-like receptor agonists for peptide-1 as well as sodium-glucose inhibitors that lower blood sugar, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits and reduce the risk of complications. They are also beneficial for weight loss and are available in tablet and injectable forms.