Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people each year. It happens when your body doesn’t produce 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 prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medication. It’s also important to be aware of symptoms to know if something is wrong and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body transforms food into energy. It happens when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or fails to use it properly.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells absorb and use sugar, which is called glucose. Type 2 diabetics don’t make enough insulin or aren’t able to use it effectively.
In both types of diabetes, the blood sugar levels get too high over time. This can lead to problems in the feet, eyes, and kidneys. It can also damage the blood vessels in your heart as well as the brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic cells and destroys them. The destruction can take place over many months or even years and eventually lead to the complete absence of insulin.
Insulin is needed by people with type 1 diabetes every day. They must also keep an eye on 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 have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make insulin as it should. Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells in moving glucose (blood sugar) from your blood into your cells, which is then used as energy.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes have to manage their condition with a healthy diet and regular exercise. They may also have to take medication to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects people of all races, ethnicities and genders. However, women are at a higher risk than men.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience complications, like heart disease (the most frequent complication of diabetes), and vision loss.
One of the early signs of diabetes in women is a rise in thirst and the frequency of urination, which is known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can create excess sugar in your bloodstream and kidneys can’t filter it out.
The signs of diabetes in men
In diabetes the cells are unable use blood sugar (glucose) for energy. This is typically because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body will then attempt to lower these levels by flushing out the excess glucose from your bloodstream via urine.
People suffering from diabetes frequently experience thirst and require to drink large quantities of fluids. This can be up to 4 liters a day.
Men can also experience weight loss because their muscles are broken down by their bodies for energy, instead of fat. This is because their blood sugar levels are high for prolonged periods of time.
A healthy diet with a low-carbohydrate diet is a crucial aspect of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar, reduce your weight and heart disease risk factors.
Your diet should consist of plenty of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of added sugars and saturated fats (unhealthy).
You might also need to limit the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages you consume. These drinks are often packed with sugar and can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels within an acceptable range. These medicines are usually combined with lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet to help manage your diabetes.
If your blood sugar is not being controlled by one medication, you may require a second medication. Your doctor will guide you to pick the best medication to meet your needs and preferences.
Newer medications, like sodium-glucose -cotransporter-2 inhibitors, and glucagon antagonists of the peptide-1 receptor, reduce blood sugar levels and are beneficial for the kidneys and cardiovascular system, as well as reducing the chance of developing complications. They can also be beneficial for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.