Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people every year. It happens when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when it can’t use the insulin it does have effectively.
The good news is that it is treatable and can be prevented or delayed with diet, exercise and medication. It is also essential to be aware of symptoms to know the signs of a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ongoing (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body transforms food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it as efficiently as it should.
Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells absorb and use sugar, which is called glucose. Type 2 diabetics aren’t producing enough insulin, or their bodies are unable to use it effectively.
In both forms of diabetes, blood sugar levels get too high over time. This can lead to problems with the 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 disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells inside the pancreas. The destruction can happen over months or even for years before resulting in an absence of insulin.
Insulin is a requirement for people with type 1 diabetes all day. They also have to keep track of their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and activity levels to maintain their blood sugar within the healthy range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 your body isn’t making the insulin it needs to. Insulin is a hormone that assists your cells get blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells so that it can be used for energy.
Type 2 diabetics must exercise and follow a healthy diet. They may also need to take medication to regulate their blood glucose levels.
Signs of diabetes in women
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects all races as well as ethnic groups and ages as well as genders. However women are at a greater risk than men.
Women with diabetes have a higher chance of developing complications compared to men, including heart disease (the most common diabetes complication) and vision loss.
One of the first signs of women suffering from diabetes is increased thirst and urination, called polydipsia. This is because diabetes causes excess sugar to build up in your blood and your kidneys aren’t able to get rid of it properly.
Men with symptoms of diabetes
In diabetes the cells are unable use blood sugar (glucose) to generate energy. This usually happens because the pancreas is producing too little insulin.
This can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Your body then attempts to lower these levels by flushing excess glucose out of your bloodstream through urine.
Patients with diabetes typically have a thirsty feeling and must drink large amounts of fluids. It can be as much as four liters a day.
Men also may lose weight as their bodies utilize muscles to generate energy, not fat. This is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels remain high for extended periods.
A balanced diet for diabetes is an important aspect of managing the condition. It can help you control blood sugar, control your weight, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Your diet should include plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables beans, low-fat dairy and legumes. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fats and added sugars.
You may also be able to reduce the amount of sweetened drinks with sugar you consume. These drinks are usually packed with sugar and can cause blood sugar levels to increase.
Your doctor may suggest diabetic medications to help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels within an acceptable range. These drugs are often paired with lifestyle changes, such as physical activity and diet, to help manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels are not being controlled by one medication, you may need to add a second medication. Your doctor will assist you to choose the best medicine for your specific needs and preferences.
Newer medicines like glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors reduce blood sugar levels, have kidney and cardiovascular benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They are also useful for weight loss, and they are available in tablets and injections.