Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people each year. It happens when the body fails to make enough insulin or utilize the insulin it produces effectively.
The good news is that it is curable and treated or delayed through diet, exercise and medications. It is also important to recognize the signs to determine whether there is a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) health condition that affects the way your body turns food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or isn’t able to use it correctly.
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and utilize sugar, also known as glucose. Type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin or their bodies aren’t able to utilize it effectively.
In both types of diabetes, blood sugar levels become too high over time. This can cause problems with the eyes, kidneys and feet. It could also cause damage to blood vessels in your heart as well as the brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells inside the pancreas. This process can last for many months or even years before resulting in an absence of insulin.
Type 1 diabetics must take insulin each day. They also must monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their the levels of insulin, food and activity levels to keep their blood sugar within the healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes your body may not use insulin the way it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells move glucose (blood sugar) from your blood into your cells, where it is used to create energy.
Type 2 diabetics need to exercise and eat a healthy diet. They may also have to take medications to control their blood glucose levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects people of all races, ethnic groups, ages, and genders. Women are at higher risk than men.
Women with diabetes have a higher likelihood of developing complications than men, including heart disease (the most frequent diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One of the early warning signs of diabetes in women is a rise in thirst and urine, a condition known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excess sugar to build up in your blood and your kidneys don’t have the capacity to filter it out in a proper manner.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
In the case of diabetes, cells are unable to make use of blood sugar (glucose) to produce energy. This is usually because the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.
This can lead to high blood glucose levels. Your body will then try to lower these levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream through urine.
People with 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 as their bodies break down muscle for energy instead of fat. This is due to their blood sugar levels remain high for long periods.
A balanced diet for diabetes is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar levels, manage your weight, and lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fats and added sugars.
You may also want to limit the amount of sweetened drinks with sugar you consume. These drinks are usually packed with sugar, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may prescribe diabetes-related medications to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels within an acceptable range. These drugs are often paired with lifestyle changes, like exercise and diet to manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t being well controlled by one medicine it is possible that a different medicine will be added. Your doctor can help you determine the most appropriate medicine to meet your needs and preferences.
Newer medications such as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits, and reduce the risk of complications. They also aid in weight loss, and are available in tablet and injection forms.