Diabetes is one of the fatal diseases which is growing day by day. Several people are indulging in diabetes; they don’t know the diabetes symptoms, diabetes causes, and diabetes types.
According to the American Health Association, diabetes is the most dangerous disease causing death for several people worldwide.
Do you know about diabetes?
Are you looking for exact information and precautionary guidelines for diabetes?
Then you are at the right place!
Let’s dig out more about diabetes.
Diabetes is a severe condition in which our body has excessive sugar levels, or glucose, in the bloodstream. One of the major causes of sugar accumulation in the human body is the lack of insulin production or when our body is incapable of using insulin properly when Diabetes occurs.
Most of the current world population has some degree of Diabetes or pre-diabetes symptoms but is unaware of it. Diabetes must be addressed immediately as it may lead to many dangerous consequences if not treated.
Diabetes can cause various diseases, including and not limited to strokes, kidney failure, coronary heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and narrowing of arteries, large blood vessel illness, physical disability to heal from cuts and wounds and many more.
The count or census of people around the globe, who suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, is ever-increasing and the statistics of Diabetic patients are alarming and staggering. It is the most common health threat to people of all age groups. It is not true that only adults have high blood sugar levels. Even newborn babies or infants are prone to get infected with Diabetes which is very depressing but a fact of the modern world.
Diabetes is one of the most common health problems, which makes it mandatory for people to visit the doctor. It is also surprising to note that an eye specialist or ophthalmologist can confirm whether a patient has Diabetes because when they check for the reason for the poor or reduced eyesight, it is directly related to the shooting up of sugar level in the blood.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DIABETES?
There are many causes of Diabetes to be caused by human beings. Predominantly, Diabetes is caused when we possess exceptionally high levels of sugar in our blood and since the presence of insulin strictly controls the glucose or sugar levels. Our body reacts negatively when insulin production or secretion is inadequate or relatively low.
As you may know that insulin works magic in our body as it is the main factor that controls and lowers the glucose or sugar in the blood.
When we talk about diabetes, there is a myriad of different types of diabetes. However, we must focus on the most common form of diabetes, which is type 2. Type 2 diabetes is a health condition in which a malfunction in the body doesn’t allow the insulin to be used properly, which may also be known as insulin resistance.
At first, our pancreas makes extra insulin to keep everything in check, but over time, it is unable to keep up and produce enough insulin. According to what most researchers and scientists think, it is a genetic susceptibility, and environmental factors are the most likely triggers of diabetes. They believe that having certain genes or a combination of genes may increase or decrease a person’s risk of developing the disease.
The role of genes is suggested by the high rate of type 2 diabetes in families and identical twins and wide variations in diabetes prevalence by ethnicity. The known genes appear to affect insulin production rather than insulin resistance.
Physical inactivity and obesity are strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. People genetically susceptible to type-2 diabetes are more vulnerable when these risk factors are present. An imbalance between caloric intake and physical activity can lead to obesity, which causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type-2 diabetes.
Central obesity, in which a person has excess abdominal fat, is a major risk factor not only for insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes but also for heart and blood vessel disease.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES?
The symptom of Diabetes is difficult to find out, although there are a few obvious symptoms that can trigger an alert in us.
The following symptoms need to be closely monitored to prevent Diabetes from shooting to an increased level:
- Excessive thirst or dry mouth
- Frequent passing of urine
- Weight Loss
- A state where the wounds or cuts don’t heal quickly
- Numbness in the feet
- Frequent skin infections, including thrush or genital itching
- Poor eyesight or decrease in vision clarity
- Feeling ticklish in the toes
HOW DOES DIABETES AFFECT YOUR LIFE?
Diabetes can be termed an epidemic because it destroys the quality of life of human beings. There are commonly two types of Diabetes – TYPE I & TYPE II.
It is astonishing to note that a dentist can spot & confirm if you have Diabetes, just by examining your gum disease, cold sores, and dry mouth.
More often, people with Diabetes are also at risk of oral thrush or a fungal and yeast infection. It is shocking, but diabetes can also be related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, leading to bad breath, canker sores and dry mouth.
Dry mouth is also one of the clear symptoms of Diabetes; hence it is best to check whether the dry mouth is indeed an indication of pre-Diabetes.
WHAT ARE THE EARLY SIGNS OF DIABETES?
People who have Diabetes are unaware of the symptoms and do not know that they are suffering from it since there are no ways to ascertain it unless we go to a doctor or a general physician who will run some blood tests to check the status of the levels of blood sugar in your body. This is a must to evade the risk of having Diabetes.
Some of the systems which can be found in the early stages may be increased levels of sugar or glucose in the blood, and there is also a considerable loss of sugar in the urine, which induces the issue of the frequent passing of urine, resulting in severe loss of hydration in the human body.
Water loss automatically causes a person to consume more water as he or she may feel thirsty.
It triggers weight loss, unusual tiredness, sluggish feeling, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, poor or complete loss of vision and acute infections relating to the skin, especially vaginal areas & bladder, which may also be repetitive.
WHAT IS DIABETES MELLITUS?
Diabetes is a state in which the pancreas, the body, does not produce adequate insulin, and this insulin is detrimental to regulating blood sugar levels in the body. Hence, its deficiency accelerates the sugar or glucose levels exponentially, causing Diabetes.
In other cases, Diabetes also occurs in an instance where our body is unable to use the insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, ineffectively.
Diabetes Mellitus is a medical condition where intoxicating or abnormally large amounts of sugar levels exist in a human body for a long time. The immediate symptoms are that a person is a victim of frequent urination besides the fact that there is a sudden rise in appetite, despite eating a good portion of food and the person often feels thirsty.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE DIABETES?
Usually, we must know the basic facts of how we process the food we eat daily to provide all our body cells with the energy they need to function properly.
In an unfortunate situation when you have Diabetes, the system or function mentioned above does not happen, and that’s where the series of health conditions begin because most of them are correlated to Diabetes.
When you eat food containing carbohydrates, it’s broken down in the stomach and digestive system in the form of glucose, a type of sugar. We need glucose from food because that’s what gives us energy.
Carbohydrates contain food elements like starchy food, sugary food, milk, dairy products, and fruits. This glucose then enters the bloodstream, and the body detects that the blood glucose levels are rising.
In response to that, the pancreas, a little gland underneath the stomach, starts to release a hormone called insulin, which helps our body get energy from the food we eat. Then the bloodstream takes the insulin and sugar to every cell of our body that needs it.
For us to understand, in muscle cells, it’s insulin that helps us create energy. It is like a key that unlocks the door to the cells so that the glucose can get in, and that way, the blood glucose level starts to drop blood glucose levels however can be topped up at any point by the liver releasing the extra glucose that it has stored.
The blood glucose rises again, and the pancreas produces more insulin and moves it into the bloodstream, to the muscle cells, open the doors again and let the glucose in.
Our body functions best when our blood glucose is at an optimum level, and it does not like it if the blood sugar rises too high.
Normally, there is a cycle of our body that balances out the blood sugar and insulin level, which is achieved by the food we eat, the pancreas and the liver. However, in some people, this system does not work effectively, and they develop diabetes.
WHICH ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF DIABETES?
There are mainly two types of Diabetes – TYPE I & TYPE II, explained as follows:
Type I – is a state where our body is not making any insulin. This is because of an auto-immune response whereby the agency has destroyed the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. We don’t know why such a thing happens to a few people and not to others.
Type I diabetes accounts for about 10% of all cases and is mostly found in people under the age of 40 years and by far the most common type of diabetes, found in childhood.
In Type 1 diabetes, the carbohydrate-containing food is broken down into glucose as normal. That glucose then moves into the bloodstream. Normally the body would produce insulin to let that glucose into the cells. Still, in type 1 diabetes, there is no insulin being created, so the glucose can’t get into body cells at all, so the level of glucose in the blood rises and rises.
The body tries to lower the level of glucose and tries to get rid of the glucose through the kidneys. That is why people with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes tend to go to the toilet frequently to pass urine.
As the kidneys filter the glucose out of the blood, they also take a lot of water with them, so the person with diabetes will get very thirsty. The urine contains a lot of glucose, which creates an environment where it is quite easy for bacteria to thrive, so it’s also quite common to get thrush or genital itching.
In the same way, the blood contains a high glucose level as well, so more bacteria will tend to breed and hence might be slow to heal. The glucose can also build up in the lens at the front of the eye, causing the liquid to become cloudy. That means some people with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes can have blurred vision.
Because the glucose can’t get into the cells to be used for energy, somebody who has got undiagnosed type 1 diabetes is going to start feeling very tired, lethargic and unable to go about doing daily chores or activities. But the body still needs an energy source to work properly, so what it does is that it starts to break down its fat stores and that can lead to weight loss.
Type II Diabetes is when your body can’t use insulin properly. Excess sugar can bring havoc to your body, affect your nerves badly, can lead to vision loss and kidney problems, may affect cause sexual problems among couples, adversely affects the nervous system and increases the risk of heart attacks too.
Type II diabetes is responsible for about 90% of all cases in the World population. It is most common in the age group over 40 in the white population and the above 25 age group in the South Asian population.
Type-II diabetes is a more complex condition since there are slightly more processes at work. Either the body is not producing enough insulin, or the insulin it is producing is not working properly.
That can be due to being overweight because the build-up of fat can stop insulin from doing its job properly, but it can also be with people having a healthy weight. So in Type II diabetes, the carbohydrate-containing food is broken down into glucose in the stomach and digestive system as normal. That glucose then moves into the bloodstream.
The pancreas starts to produce insulin, which moves glucose through the bloodstream to all the body cells that need glucose for energy. However, glucose can’t always get into the cells because the cell doors’ locks have become stuck with fat deposits. That means the insulin can’t open the cell doors properly, so the glucose level in the blood starts to rise.
In response to this, the pancreas starts to produce even more insulin, so blood glucose levels continue to rise; hence the insulin levels continue to rise. This situation is further complicated by the cells, desperate for energy, sending out emergency signals to the liver to release stored glucose.
The blood glucose level goes up and up, and the pancreas produces more and more insulin until it can’t cope anymore and eventually can wear out.
HOW TO CONTROL AND CHECK YOURSELF FOR DIABETES?
Diabetes can be treated if the symptoms are found early, such as going to the toilet a lot, thrusting, thrush or genital itching, slow healing of wounds, blurred vision, tiredness and weight loss. These symptoms often occur too quickly over a few weeks and can be reversed once the diabetes is treated with insulin.
DEFINE THE VARIOUS SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT YOURSELF FROM BEING INFECTED BY DIABETES.
Diabetes is often called the silent killer. This is because the early symptoms of this disease are really easy to miss or go unknown.
INCREASED THIRST AND URINATION:
* The most common symptom of diabetes is increased thirst and urination. When you suffer from diabetes, your kidneys can’t absorb all the excess sugar in your body. So it ends up in your urine, taking fluids from your other tissues along with it. This makes you urinate many times and leaves you feeling dehydrated. To quench your thirst, you drink more water, leading to more frequent urination, which is a vicious cycle.
* How often is too much? Of course, depending on our daily activities, a healthy person urinates about 6 to 7 times or up to 10 times maximum. But if a person realizes that he is using the bathroom more frequently than their norm and it is interfering with day-to-day life, it could be a red alert to see the doctor immediately.
The next symptom could be increased hunger. Along with increased thirst & urination, constantly feeling hungry is the 3rd most common symptom of diabetes. Suppose your body does not produce enough insulin or is not responding to it in the normal way. In that case, it can’t convert the food into the glucose your cells use for energy, and that causes increased hunger that does not go away even after eating. Eating only makes the blood sugar even higher, which makes the whole situation worse.
* If you keep eating, but your hunger persists, it is time to consult your physician without further delay, even if you don’t seem to have other symptoms of diabetes.
When you have diabetes, you always feel weak and tired for the same reason that you always feel hungry. Your cells are not getting enough glucose to use for energy. Dehydration caused by frequent urination also contributes to this exhaustion. Adding to this, having to wake up throughout the night to use the bathroom doesn’t exactly let you get healthy, restorative sleep. As a result, your body is just drained of energy.
Chronic fatigue also makes you easily irritable because no one will feel at ease under these circumstances, and can be a symptom of many other conditions, some not even medical. A carb-heavy diet, too much caffeine, and aging, combined with the other symptoms from this list, could be a clear sign of diabetes.
When blurred vision is endured due to some serious eye problem, this can be an early sign of diabetes. It happens because of the shifting of fluids which makes the lens of your eye swell and change shape. This affects the eye’s ability to focus, making things look blurry or fuzzy.
These changes are usually reversible, and your site should return to normal once your blood sugar levels stabilize with treatment. However, if diabetes is left untreated, these changes can progress and lead to blindness. The scariest thing is that worse comes to worst then, there is no going back. That’s a high price to pay for ignoring a health problem.
UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS:
Because it is unexplained, this weight loss doesn’t come with the help of diet and exercise. People with diabetes can easily drop 10 to 20 pounds in just two or three months since the body can’t use glucose as energy; hence it starts burning fat and muscle for energy instead, which causes weight to melt off. Your kidneys can also get damaged, since they have to work harder to remove the excess sugar.
Dehydration also contributes to sudden weight loss since your body uses all available fluids desperately to produce urine. Unexpected weight loss is a common early sign of Type-I diabetes, but it can occur in people who have type-2 diabetes as well.
As we are aware by now, excess sugar in our body ends up in the urine and takes up fluids from our other tissues. Among these other tissues is your skin, our body’s largest organ. So the skin that is drained of fluids becomes dry and itchy. What’s dangerous is that scratching those dry patches can break open the skin and lead to infection. If you have diabetes, you need to take special care and attention to keep your skin moisturized and healthy.
Diabetes weakens your immune system and makes you prone to infections. Yeast is another fungus that feeds on glucose and thrives in an environment so rich in sugar. That’s why yeast and fungal infections are pretty common in the case of diabetes. Women should be especially careful about vaginal yeast infections, as they may occur due to other reasons than diabetes; hence it is always better to make sure with a visit to a doctor.
High blood sugar increases inflammation in cuts and sores and leads to poor circulation, making it hard for the blood to reach and repair damaged areas of the skin. We must remember that there can be many of those since the skin becomes itchier.
This especially concerns feet since it is not uncommon for patients with diabetes to develop foot sores that can lead to an even more serious problem. Sometimes, it is so drastic that it may lead to amputation. If your cuts and wounds take longer than usual to heal, mention it to your physician or skin specialist.
DARK PATCHES OF SKIN:
This is a condition where it presents itself in dark patches of skin with a velvety texture. These patches usually appear where the skin creases or folds, like on the neck, armpits, or groin area, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the knuckles.
While this skin problem can affect otherwise healthy people, it’s a common sign of pre-diabetes or diabetes and should be checked out by your doctor.
NUMB OR TINGLING HANDS OR FEET:
Numbness, tingling or pain in the hands, feet, fingers or toes is another common sign of diabetes. As we know by now, that high blood sugar leads to poor circulation. But we may not know that poor blood circulation can damage our nerves.
The hands and feet are the first to suffer since they are the farthest from the heart. It is good to check your blood sugar regularly as it will help you tremendously, and your circulation should improve with treatment.
CAN YOU GET DIABETES FROM EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR?
There are almost nine signs that you are eating too much sugar or the sugar intake in your body is alarmingly high.
Most people would agree that mouth-watering sweet sugar makes anything you put on taste way better. You toast a little bread, then sprinkle some powdered sugar, your coffee too bitter? Just add sugar so that it will fix that up. But what might seem like innocent pleasure can cause serious health issues when we put too much of this stuff in our bodies. Luckily, our system gives us crystal-clear signs when we cross that line.
So let’s break it down as follows:
Different foods can cause bloating and painful gas, and other digestive discomforts, and those high in sugar are among them. That is because bloating is directly connected to what you eat and how your body can digest it. If sugar is not absorbed into the small intestine, not all of it will if there is too much.
It will enter the large intestine, which usually acts like a gas-producing bacteria. Too much sugar can easily reel havoc, so you must avoid artificial sweeteners, diet coke, and sugary snacks.
Plenty of other food will make you feel way better, which is the most important thing. We must at all times know – EXACTLY HOW MUCH SUGAR IS TOO MUCH.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the recommended dose of sugar should be less than 10% of your daily energy intake. This daily intake is about two tablespoons of sugar. It is important to remember to get this daily amount from natural products like fruits, vegetables, nuts or whole grain cereal.
FREQUENT COLDS AND FLU:
Eating or drinking too much sugar stops the white blood cells of the immune system from attacking foreign bodies when you get sick. Vitamin C, that our body needs to fight illnesses, is very similar in its chemical structure to glucose. So instead of looking for and working with vitamin C, our immune system use glucose which does not help much since it has zero power against bacteria and viruses.
Therefore, instead of fighting off sickness, your immune system suffers from it. To keep your immune system functioning the way it should, cut down on sugar when you are at risk of getting a cold or flu and eat more nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins C & E as well as beta-keratin and zinc. This will help your system win the battle.
A HIGH SUGAR TOLERANCE:
When you eat a lot of sugary food, your taste bud gets used to the same level of sweetness over time and might not respond to it as they used to.
Excess sugar dulls your palette, so sweet fruits and berries don’t taste as sweet to you as they should, and that is a real shame because there is nothing better than the true taste of a juicy apple or delicious fruit salad. So, if naturally sweet food just won’t cut it and you need super sweet junk food to satisfy your taste buds, try cutting down on artificial sugar additives and switch to a well-balanced diet. After some time, you will see a difference.
Sweet food inarguably promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decay. But it is not the sugar alone that makes your teeth rot, it is the debris from the food that is left after you eat. If not brushed away properly, food debris causes the appearance of plaque on your teeth which erodes the tooth’s hard enamel surface resulting in tiny holes.
Different sugary foods like candy, cereals, or breath mints can get stuck in hard-to-reach spots between your teeth, speeding up the decay process. Always brush and floss your teeth properly using anti-bacterial mouthwash and visit your dentist regularly.
Another hard to ignore consequence of eating too much sugar is weight gain. It is never a pleasant surprise that your jeans feel tighter around the waist, is it? And even the chocolate cake you ate a week ago can backfire in such a nasty way.
It does not even necessarily mean that you are eating a little too much sugar, but it can be a sign that you are seriously over dozing it. Remember that a high level of sugar increases the production of insulin which stores the excess fat around your belly rather than some other place. Again sugar should not become your worst enemy hence know your limits and control yourself.
CONSTANT SKIN BREAKOUTS:
This is a signal your body cannot ignore because it will be right on your face. Since we know that too much glucose in the blood can cause inflammation. Well, acne is a type of inflammation of the skin. This insulin boost from your pancreas can increase the activity of your oil glands and cause a pimple. So, if your unruly skin is bothering you and no acne treatment seems to help, try changing your eating habits.
It does not mean you should cut sugar from your life completely, but you might want to consume fewer foods containing added sugar. When you see the change, you won’t want to go back to that sweet stuff ever again.
ENERGY HIGHS AND LOWS:
Sugar in the amount is really good for you; glucose supplies your body with energy. But any deviation from proper levels can lead to energy yo-yoing throughout the day. When you eat sweet stuff, your pancreas releases insulin to help bring glucose to the cells, giving you energy. Once the cycle ends, though, your energy levels drop because your body wants more sugar, and this can stop a never-ending of overeating sugar to stay energized.
If you don’t want to end up in that trap, don’t reach for the sugary stuff instead, go for lean proteins and healthy fats. Healthy foods like these will give you the real energy your body needs without causing unpleasant energy spikes and crashes.
CRAVING SWEET FOODS:
You might not be aware, but our bodies develop a sort of dependency on sugar, and we get more and more addicted the more sugar we consume. That is because eating sweet sugary foods releases dopamine which is the chemical that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centre.
Simply put, our brain sees sugar as a reward or a treat; hence, the more sugar you eat, the more your body craves it. So, the next thing you know is that you are in this vicious addictive cycle, plus food high in sugar won’t make you feel full because it does not contain any useful nutrients which is why you often feel hungry even if you just ate a big delicious sugary muffin, half an hour ago.
So whenever you want something sugary, it is sensible to eat an apple, a pear, or any other fruit with natural sugars are healthy alternatives as they are healthy and effective at stopping those sugar cravings.
MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN:
Have you been skipping out on regular walks, gardening or exercise lately because you are in pain? Well, this pain could signal to your body that you are consuming too much sugar.
Large amounts of sugar in your diet cause your cells to secrete inflammatory messengers into your bloodstream, to break down all that extra sugary glucose.
All these complicated biochemical processes from consuming excessive sugar result in muscle aches and pains, joint stiffness and swelling. In certain people, it could result in them having arthritis, cataracts, heart disease, poor memory or even wrinkles. Even if it is not related to your diet, LIVING IN a CONSTANT STATE OF PAIN IS NOT OK!
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS TO CURE DIABETES?
Type II diabetes can be treated in many different ways. Initially, it may be sufficient to make changes to the food you are eating and to take extra physical activity or lose any weight that you may appropriate. Type II diabetes is a progressive condition, and most people will need some form of medication to treat it.
HOW LONG CAN A PERSON LIVE WITH DIABETES?
The symptoms of Type II diabetes come along very slowly, and some people don’t have any symptoms at all. So for that reason, people with type II diabetes can live up to 10 years before they realize that they have it. You must always understand that a timely diagnosis of Diabetes, and, after that, a suitable treatment plan can certainly extend lives.
Always remember that Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to many serious complications if left untreated. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it will be to manage and the longer your life could be. If you notice any of the symptoms, especially several of them combined, then it is a clear red alert for you to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
There are different types of tests used to find out if you have diabetes. So doing just one of them is not enough to ensure a correct diagnosis in other words, it is a partial testing procedure. There are thousands of millions of studies with hundreds of actors that cause diabetes.
But you should never brush off, postpone, ignore or avoid going to the doctor if you notice a change in your health. Whether it is the symptoms on this list or anything in general, you must be ready to invest some time in your well-being. Because it is the most precious thing you have, after all.
WHEN YOU EAT HEALTHY, YOU FEEL HEALTHY, MAKE THE RIGHT FOOD CHOICES FOR YOURSELF, AND YOU WILL FEEL AMAZING EVERY SINGLE DAY.
THE GOOD NEWS IS. DIABETES IS NOT FATAL.
With proper diet, exercise and often medication, you can live a rather normal happy life.