Diabetes – What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a terribly debilitating disease that affects millions of people every year. It is caused when your body isn’t producing enough insulin, or when it isn’t able to use the insulin it does produce effectively.
The good news is that it is treatable and prevented or delayed by diet, exercise and medications. It is also important to understand the symptoms so you can determine if there is a problem and seek treatment.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health problem (long-lasting) that affects the way your body converts food into energy. It occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or isn’t able to use it properly.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body to absorb and utilize glucose, also referred to as sugar. Type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin, or their bodies aren’t able to use it properly.
In both forms of diabetes, the blood sugar levels can become too high in time. This can cause problems with your feet, eyes and kidneys. It can also harm the coronary arteries and brain.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means that your immune system attacks pancreatic cells that produce insulin, and destroys them. The destruction can take place over several years or even decades before eventually resulting in a total lack of insulin.
Type 1 diabetics require insulin every day. They must also monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin, food, and levels of activity to keep their blood sugar in an acceptable range.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 the body isn’t functioning as insulin should. Insulin is a hormone which helps your cells remove blood sugar (glucose) out of your blood and into your cells where it can be used to create energy.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes need to treat their diabetes by eating a balanced diet and exercise. They may also need to take medication to manage their blood sugar levels.
The signs of diabetes in women
It is a chronic illness that affects people from all races, ethnicities, ages and genders. Women are more at risk than men.
Women with diabetes are more likely to experience complications, like heart disease (the most common diabetes-related complication) and loss of vision.
One of the early signs of women with diabetes is a higher thirst and increased urinary frequency, also known as polydipsia. This is because diabetes can result in excess sugar accumulation in your bloodstream, and your kidneys cannot filter it out.
Men with diabetes Men: Symptoms
Diabetes is a disease in which cells are not able to use glucose (blood sugar) as energy. This is typically due to the fact that the pancreas is producing too little insulin.
This can lead to high blood sugar levels. The body then attempts to lower the levels by flushing the excess glucose from your bloodstream through urine.
People who have diabetes often are thirsty and have to drink large amounts of fluids, as much as four liters per day.
Men may 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.
A healthy diet with a low-carbohydrate diet can be a key part 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 consist of plenty of whole foods like fruits whole grains, vegetables, beans and low-fat dairy. It should be free of saturated (unhealthy) fat and added sugars.
You might also be able to reduce the amount of sweetened drinks with sugar you consume. These drinks are typically packed with sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your doctor may suggest diabetes medications to keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels within the normal range. These drugs are often paired with changes to your lifestyle, such as exercise and diet to help manage diabetes.
If your blood sugar levels aren’t well managed on one medication, a second medicine might be added. Your doctor will assist you to select the most appropriate medication for your specific needs and preferences.
Newer medicines like glucagon-like receptor agonists, peptide-1, and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors lower blood sugar levels, offer cardiovascular and kidney benefits, and lower the risk of complications. They are also beneficial for weight loss and are available in injectable and tablet forms.