Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that is affecting millions of people each year. It occurs when your body isn’t producing enough insulin, or when it isn’t able to use the insulin it does have effectively.
Diet, exercise and medication can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease. It’s also important to be aware of symptoms to know what’s wrong and get treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic illness (long-lasting), which alters the way your body converts food into energy. It happens when your pancreas stops producing enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should.
Insulin is the hormone that aids your body absorb and utilize glucose, also referred to as sugar. Type 2 diabetics aren’t producing enough insulin or aren’t able to utilize it properly.
The blood sugar levels rise with time in both forms of diabetes. This can cause problems with your eyes, feet and kidneys. It may also cause damage to the blood vessels in your heart and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells within the pancreas. The process of destruction can last for many years or months, eventually leading to a total lack of insulin.
Insulin is required by those with type 1 diabetes every day. They also need to monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and levels of exercise to keep their blood sugar within the normal range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 your body isn’t making the insulin it needs to. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells to remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells, where it can be used as energy.
Type 2 diabetics need to exercise and follow a healthy diet. They also may need to take medication to manage their blood sugar levels.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects people from all races, ethnicities and genders. However, women are at a higher risk than men.
Women with diabetes are at a greater risk likelihood of developing complications than men, such as heart disease (the most common diabetes complication) and loss of vision.
One of the early warning signs of women suffering from diabetes is a higher thirst and increased urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excessive sugar to accumulate in the blood, and the kidneys aren’t able filter it out in a proper manner.
Men with diabetes: Symptoms
In diabetes the cells are unable to use blood sugar (glucose) to generate energy. This is typically due to the fact that the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
This can result in high blood glucose levels. Your body will then try to lower these levels by flushing out the excess glucose in your bloodstream through urine.
People suffering from diabetes frequently are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids, as much as 4 liters a day.
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 stay high for prolonged periods of time.
Developing a healthy diabetes diet is an important part of managing your diabetes. It can help you control blood sugar levels control weight and reduce the risk factors for heart disease.
Your diet should consist of plenty of whole foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You might also consider limiting the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks you consume. These drinks usually contain high levels of sugar and can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to help keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within a normal range. These medications are typically combined with lifestyle changes such as eating habits and exercise to help you manage your 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 will work with you to choose the most appropriate medicine for your specific needs and preferences.
Newer medications such as glucagon-like receptor antagonists for peptide-1 and sodium-glucose COtransporter-2 inhibitors decrease blood sugar, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits and lower the risk of complications. They are also useful for weight loss, and are available in tablets and injections.