What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a kind of disease that highly impacts the blood glucose levels of an individual. Learn the different symptoms of this disease, its causes, and how you can better manage the condition by following some necessary precautionary measures. Also, take into account the treatment options of this condition and how you can prevent other diabetes-related complications from emerging.
What does it mean to have ‘Diabetes’?
Being diagnosed with diabetes signifies an abnormality of a person’s levels of blood sugar. When this condition develops, the body becomes incapable of proper usage of insulin and production inadequacy of the said hormone. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood glucose, with major symptoms such as excessive thirst and hunger and frequent urination.
After a diabetes diagnosis, immediate treatment is a must. If the condition is left untreated, it can cause other health complications to surface. These complications are in the form of kidney problems, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and even nerve damage.
List of symptoms associated with diabetes
Similar to other diseases, diabetes can also be diagnosed based on different signs of illnesses. Apart from the rise in their blood sugar, there are other symptoms that diabetic individuals must take into account. These are as follows.
Mild types of symptoms:
- Mild headache
- Rapid weight loss
- The need to urinate frequently
- Extreme thirst and hunger
- Slow-healing wounds or sores
Severe types of symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Excessive hunger/thirst
- Recurrent infections
- Skin sores/lesions
- Ketones in urine
- Blurry vision
With regards to the mentioned symptoms, it is also necessary to note that there are symptoms that can be different for men and women. For example, men can experience a decrease in their sexual urge and drive. There is also a big chance for men to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Meanwhile, women are known to experience yeast infections. Additionally, women can also experience skin dryness and redness.
Different types or forms of diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by 4 major types. While these classifications share common signs of illnesses, they still differ in how they affect their host. Read on to know more.
- Type 1 diabetes – In terms of the age bracket, children are the most diagnosed with this condition. This is proven legit alongside the number of cases, where children got the highest and their records are ever-increasing. During this condition, the pancreas becomes incapable of producing enough insulin to level the body’s surge of blood sugar. Some of its symptoms or signs of illnesses are impaired vision, weakness, and rapid loss of weight.
- Type 2 diabetes – Once this condition happens, immediate treatment is recommended due to the accumulation of glucose or sugar within the bloodstream. One of the many reasons why this condition occurs is insulin resistance. During this period, opportunistic infections find their way in causing more harm to the body. Some of its signs of illnesses include impaired eyesight, extreme hunger or thirst, the need to urinate a lot, and wounds that do not heal.
- Gestational diabetes – One of the many reasons why pregnant women are recommended to have regular check-ups is to know if they are at risk of having gestational diabetes. Note that this condition does not only harm the mother but also her unborn infant. There have been no established signs of illnesses for this condition; however, regular check-ups will help to identify should the condition is existent during pregnancy.
- Prediabetes – A normal person often experiences a rise in their blood glucose levels. However, if this occurrence becomes too serious, add to that the development of some symptoms, prediabetes is very likely to be diagnosed. Thankfully, the said illness is not acceptable or negatively decent enough to be called type 2 diabetes.
Following the daily prescription is highly necessary regardless of the form of diabetes that you are experiencing now. As you take into account the availability of different treatment options laid today, you can positively manage and better control your body’s levels of blood sugar.
What are the main causes of this condition?
Before citing the exact reason why this disease happens, an individual must learn how the sugar supply is processed. Read this information below:
- When the body ingests food, the glucose or sugar from the consumed edible material is processed and converted into energy. The conversion process is assisted by insulin, which the pancreas secretes. The insulin takes the sugar compound into the body’s cells, where the conversion takes place. This hormone is also responsible for the balance in blood glucose state.
Now, if insulin resistance occurs, there is a big possibility that the sugar supply is not processed, leading to a big chunk of sugar accumulation within the bloodstream. This time, the second type of diabetes develops, making it more difficult for the pancreas to produce and secrete the needed hormone. On the other hand, for the first type of the said disease, there are other factors that trigger it, such as genetic circumstances. Such a factor also applies to individuals diagnosed with other forms of diabetes mellitus.
Different risk factors
Here, you will know the risk factors or variables that increase someone’s chances of acquiring diabetes. These are elements that inflate an individual’s susceptibility to the mentioned disease. Consider the following:
- Genetics – If someone from the patient’s family is known to have the disease, a high possibility of diabetes acquisition is at stake. One member or two from the family can get the same condition due to the rules and principles in genetic circumstances.
- Weight/Obesity – This condition is highly connected with diabetes acquisition. Why is this so? It is mainly because the condition can cause the blood glucose levels to increase at an abnormal rate. This suffices the recommendation of overweight individuals to have regular exercise.
- Age – This factor is usually applied to individuals who are already in their old age. When someone gets older, the possibility of getting the disease is very high. Since most old people do not observe regular exercise anymore, they are at risk of different illnesses, including diabetes. However, recently, several studies have already reported that younger people can already develop diabetes.
- Poor lifestyle choices –What you consume on a daily basis can affect your health. That is why there are a lot of healthy options and choices today that are available for you to follow. Note that choosing a healthy lifestyle can improve your life expectancy.
The mentioned factors above are the major variables why diabetes happens. There are still other factors; however, they do not significantly trigger the condition to occur. Some of them include ethnicity, geography, and race. While these factors are not notably known to cause the disease to emerge, they still contribute to the condition in little ways.
Several complications of the Disease
Correlative to other types of illnesses, diabetes is also known to cause other health severity and complications. These health dilemmas happen when the right treatment is not administered. It doesn’t matter if the complication is short-term or long-term. Immediate medical therapy is necessary. Consider the following:
- Kidney problems – One of the most common complications is related to the kidney. When high blood sugar levels happen and treatment is not given, the kidney can be impaired severely. That is why kidney transplants are necessary.
- Cardiovascular problems –Aside from the kidney, the heart can be very vulnerable to infection. If diabetes is not treated urgently, it can harm the heart and bring about complications like stroke and other heart illnesses.
- Retinopathy –This damage in the eyes can happen if the disease that causes the blood sugar levels to increase is not administered with the right medical treatment.
- Skin problems – Aside from the heart and kidney, the skin can be greatly affected by the rise in blood glucose. It can result in skin rashes, lesions, and hives.
- Amputation – Diabetic individuals are required to keep their feet clean and sanitized. Wearing socks during hikes and exercise is a must for them to avoid foot damage. Why is this so? This is to prevent wounds and sores, which can lead to amputation as the healing process of the body is slowed due to diabetes.
- Mental disorder – Managing the disease is overwhelming. During this process, diabetic individuals may experience depression or anxiety.
- Hyperglycemia – This complication only happens when the amount of glucose within the blood is too much, and there is an excessive supply of the compound. It is also termed as high blood sugar levels. Some of its symptoms are irregular heartbeat, impaired vision, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.
- Hypoglycemia – Opposite to hyperglycemia is the so-called hypoglycemia. This condition refers to an abnormal state or lower blood sugar levels. Some of its symptoms include irritability, extreme hunger, excessive thirst, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and severe dizziness.
- Dizziness – When the state of blood glucose drops severely low, dizziness occurs. It is characterized by lightheadedness, balance problem, drowsiness, headache, weakness, unsteadiness, and nausea.
These complications can be prevented from happening by administering urgent medical attention. However, should these complications go straight in causing more health problems, report them to your attending physician.
Following a diagnosis of diabetes, insulin injections are the most common to be prescribed. Note that when the said disease is pronounced after check-ups, insulin is necessary to balance the supply of blood sugar. Here is more detailed information on the treatment options.
Apart from insulin usage, drugs or medicines are also utilized. Consider the following:
For gestational diabetes, their prescription medicine may also involve insulin shots. Aside from that, to ensure that their insulin shots are accurate, blood sugar monitoring is necessary. This practice should be done every day.
During the treatment, adverse reactions should be anticipated. While some effects are severe, most of the reported are manageable. However, if, any case, severe adverse reactions occur, reporting them to the doctor is necessary for urgent medical therapy to be administered.
Prevention of this disease can happen if you are following a healthy regimen, especially with your lifestyle. This preventive measure can start with choosing the right type of food and goods to consume. It also includes the healthiest choices of beverages for your daily drink consumption. Furthermore, being able to observe the right diet and regular exercise can help a lot in living healthily.
Here, we have also listed a few varieties of fruit that you can enjoy, but not also worry about the risk of diabetes acquisition. Choose what’s best for you:
These fruits contain micro to macronutrients that are healthful enough in protecting oneself from diseases, such as diabetes. While some of these fruit varieties have sugar content, moderate consumption may also be required. Furthermore, these fruits have already proven their credibility to one’s body.
Managing the disease
Managing a certain disease, such as diabetes, can be a daunting task to do. Apart from the many restrictions after the diagnosis, adjustment is also a big challenge. This includes observing a new routine. However, having a clear goal and following what your doctors have advised you to do will enable your fast recovery.
In managing diabetes, it is very important to strictly observe the prescribed insulin treatment. The attending physician will give you a set of instructions to follow. This includes the right administration of insulin shots. Additionally, certain precautionary measures will be taught.
In most cases, insulin treatment is already guaranteed safe and effective. However, if you are allergic to this medicine, you will be prescribed the mentioned drugs instead. To avoid drug interaction, take the time to discuss with your physician about the other drugs you are currently consuming. Remember that any disease can become complicated if no treatment is given. In terms of diabetes, managing such condition will always be the best approach to recover and become healthy again.