Diabetes is a condition when the blood sugar level has been high or increasing over a prolonged period. Scientifically categorized into metabolic disorders, Diabetes is a silent killer. The early diabetes symptoms that many people experience are:
- An increased level of thirst.
- Urinating more often.
- Many also experience increased hunger levels, more drawn to sugary food items.
Diabetes occurs whenever your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It can also affect the body when the cells of the body do not respond properly to the insulin that is produced by the pancreas. Diabetes can severely harm your body and if left untreated it can cause many cardiovascular complications, often leading to stroke or death.
Diabetes is not an uncommon term that you get to hear. In fact, you are likely to hear it more as it is quite prevalent amongst our generation. Some may wonder how we got here. Usually, diabetes starts from making unhealthy decisions about your body. From early childhood days to adult life, people make very poor eating decisions. This affects their bodies as they age.
Diabetes symptoms are more common these days, as people are aiming for more luxury and comfort and paying less priority to physical exercise. From carbonated sugar drinks to chocolate cakes and pastries, you will be surprised to realize how many things we consume each day that leads to diabetes mellitus (DM). There are different kinds of diabetic disorders and each of them affects the body severely. Although by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, one can prevent the early signs and symptoms of diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
When structured and broken down, there are mainly three different kinds of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
The pancreas is an organ gland that is necessary for our body’s metabolism and is responsible for the breaking down of food. It produces insulin and other digestive juices or enzymes which help to digest and spread the nutrients throughout the body.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the immune system destroys the pancreatic beta cells. These beta cells produce insulin. When they are destroyed by the body’s immune system naturally, complications arise and lead to metabolic disorders.
Insulin helps in transferring of glucose into cells. When your body starts to destroy pancreatic beta cells, sugar is left in blood and is not processed down on to the cells.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong health condition where the body has become insulin resistant. This kind of diabetes is more often found in adults, but recent studies have also included children in this diabetic category because of obesity problems.
This condition can be said to be a more advanced stage of type 1 diabetes, where your immune system has repeatedly destroyed pancreatic beta cells. This ongoing method over a long period has resulted in complete insulin resistance from the body.
As the term portrays gestational diabetes when there are diabetes symptoms during pregnancy. This happens when the blood sugar level increases with the pregnancy stage. Gestational diabetes is more frequent during the third trimester of pregnancy and can affect the mother and child in various ways.
Some cases have shown induced labor which represents the baby is growing larger than usual. In some rare cases mothers have even lost their babies due to pregnancy complications.
What Causes Diabetes?
There are different causes for three different kinds of diabetes symptoms and disorders.
Type 1 Diabetes Causes
It is caused when the immune system rejects the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. This process is also known as an autoimmune reaction, where the cells of the body fail to communicate properly and attack the body itself as a defense.
The intoxication of harmful chemicals digested by the body can trigger such responses from the immune system. It can be also caused by an infection and can be viral or bacterial.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
This is caused when the body becomes insulin resistant and is common in middle-aged people. Type 2 diabetes is a genetic disorder and is carried down to generations as a history of genetic disorders.
However, leading a luxurious lifestyle, unhealthy diet and obesity trigger the condition and increase the blood sugar levels of your body. This diabetic condition involves many diabetes problems that affect metabolism and the digestive system.
Gestational Diabetes Causes
Gestational diabetes causes are more likely to prevail in women who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes. Being overweight or suffering from obesity may also cause this condition. An obesity issue during pregnancy often leads to bad consequences for both the mother and child. In many cases where the baby is usually larger than the normal size, mothers suffer from gestational diabetes. However, for many women, this condition may minimize after pregnancy by following a healthy diet and exercising.
Diabetes Symptoms and Early Signs
Diabetes symptoms can be found in adults as well as children. While some shows early diabetic problems or type 1 diabetes, others may not even notice the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Some common early signs of diabetes are:
- You may suffer from severe hunger and thirst.
- Increased urination occurs when the blood sugar level is high.
- Some may also experience weight loss or gain depending on their diet.
- Excessive tiredness and fatigue and in some cases muscular pain.
- You may experience mood swings. This is because the body is unable to break down and digest food properly, thus dismantling the hormonal balance of your system.
- Your eyes can show diabetes symptoms. Blurred vision and pain is something one would experience.
- When the insulin fails to break down glucose to the cells, it affects the immune system, resulting in very slow healing of wounds.
- Early signs also include increased rates or intervals of skin infection.
- Some may even feel pain and numbness in their hands and feet.
- Diabetes may affect men in many ways. These include decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.
- Women may experience increased yeast infection, body fluids discharge, and skin irritations.
- Early signs and symptoms of diabetes may show the skin condition acanthosis nigricans. Dark patches of skin are formed near the armpit, groin areas.
Diabetes in Men, Women, and Children
Diabetes can have its effects on men, women, and children equally. However, the problems caused by the disease may differ from gender to age. Diabetes has an acute effect on the hormonal balance of the system. This causes a chemical imbalance in the brain and the system, making the person act out in different ways.
Diabetes in Men
Diabetes affects men by damaging their blood vessels and nerves. Most men who have Type 2 diabetes produce insulin naturally in the body, and that is why reports fail at early detection. However, many men are also affected by Type1 diabetes, where they suffer from reduced muscle mass. It also affects the sexual organs causing pain, erectile dysfunction, and swelling around the penis-head area.
Diabetes in Women
While most diabetes symptoms are usually common for both male and female, these are problems that only women face:
- Vaginal yeast infection is a common symptom of diabetes in women.
- Women suffering from frequent urinary tract or urinary infections can also have diabetes.
- Many women suffering from diabetes show signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which causes infertility, irregular periods, weight gain, depression, and more.
Diabetes in Children
With the global diabetes affected population, studies are showing children are at more risks of developing diabetes at an early age. There can be many causes for diabetes in children. It can be genetic or leading an unhealthy life with improper diet. Children mostly show Type 1 diabetes and can heal with medicines, proper diet, and exercising.
Although being a worldwide epidemic, there are possible ways to avoid getting diabetes. It is about being more conscious about what you are eating and drinking. Some processed foods and beverages can satisfy your need for a drink or a snack. However, it is not necessary that these products will not have harmful side-effects.
Here are some ways you can avoid having diabetes and lead a healthy life:
- Reducing or omitting sugar from your diet is a good start to fight diabetes. Sugary foods and beverages can rapidly increase blood sugar levels, accelerating the chance of diabetes.
- Exercising regularly helps in blood flow throughout the body. Exercising releases hormones and chemicals that are essential in digestion and breaking of food. Maintaining a proper workout routine keeps blood sugar levels, cholesterol level normal.
- Rejecting carbonated sugary drinks are essential in diabetes prevention. Sugar-soda drinks are consumed by almost ninety percent of the global population mostly in summer. Drinking water should be the primary choice.
- Many studies have concluded that smoking plays an important role in accelerating diabetic health hazards. To prevent diabetes, you should quit smoking and adopt healthier measures to keep the body free from toxicants and dehydration.
- Sedentary behavior needs to be avoided. If you sit around all day, your body will stop functioning normally. Therefore, you should always make the effort to keep moving every once in a while.
Treatment for diabetes begins with the correct diagnosis. The most common way of diagnosing diabetes is by deciphering the blood sugar levels in a person. Your body’s inability to produce insulin or to identify insulin also accelerates diabetes and disrupts metabolic processes.
Your doctor may conduct three tests to ensure you are suffering from diabetes. Some of them are:
- A fasting glucose test allows the doctor to check the blood sugar levels in a body. It is conducted in the morning before a person eats anything for accurate results. If you show results higher than 125 mg, you are suffering from diabetes.
- An OGTT or also known as Oral Glucose Tolerance Test can help diagnose diabetes. Patients consume a glucose beverage and an expert analyzes him every thirty to sixty minutes for three hours.
- An A1c test is a blood test that helps doctor to identify diabetic complications. This test shows the average blood sugar level for the past two to three months of a patient.
Treatment for Diabetes
Treating diabetes is a long process and it takes patience and determination to get rid of diabetes. The essential step is to consult an endocrinologist and follow his/her instructions as per diet and lifestyle routine. This includes healthy sleeping hours, eating hours and exercising hours. In order to fight diabetes effectively, one must follow the necessary instructions of his/her doctor.
Medicines also play a vital role in diabetes treatment. Some of the most common medical practices of diabetes are:
- Insulin and non-insulin medications
- Amylinomimetic drug
- Alpha- Glucosidase inhibitors
- Dopamine agonist
- DPP-4 inhibitors
- GLP-1 receptor agonists
- SGLT 2 inhibitors
Other medications may involve heart, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels.
Diabetes is a stealth killer and affects the body every day in different ways. Diabetes becomes more problematic for people when they age. It can be surprising to realize how many bad eating decisions we make every day that leads to diabetes. Therefore, it is essential to identify the early signs and symptoms of diabetes to recover from the condition faster.
Drinking carbonated sugary soda drinks or consuming too much sugar each day, can lead to serious health hazards. Making a proper diet and maintaining the diet should be given priority. Regular exercising and engaging oneself in physical activity throughout the day helps to decrease blood sugar levels. This helps the body to digest food in normal intervals. Check yourself today for diabetes symptoms.