Friday, December 8, 2023

Understanding Diabetes

July 8, 2015 by  
Filed under General

image of a word cluster on diabetes topics

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, understanding exactly what it is will help prevent you from developing it or lessen any complications.

When your body digests food it breaks it down into usable components that travel through your blood. One of those components is glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that your body uses as fuel. In order for the glucose to get into your cells and provide them with energy it needs to be escorted by insulin. A normal pancreas makes the correct amount of insulin when your blood sugar rises. With diabetes, your body either loses the ability to make enough insulin, or it is no longer able to utilize the insulin that you do make. Since the glucose in you blood no longer has the insulin it needs to reach the cells it remains in the blood stream. This is a condition known as hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose.

When there is too much glucose in your blood, your body will try to dilute it. It does this by drawing any fluid it can into the bloodstream. This will often leave you feeling dehydrated. With nowhere for the sugar to go, the kidneys start to work overtime to remove the excess glucose. This will cause you to urinate more frequently. When you have excess sugar in your urine this is known as, diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes left untreated or uncontrolled can lead to serious complications. Many of the complications are related to the circulatory system. The excess glucose makes the blood heavier, causing damage to the blood vessels over time. Some common complications related to diabetes include; heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, and damage to the blood vessels which can lead to limb amputation.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in juveniles and young adults. With type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. With insulin therapy people with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With type 2 diabetes the body is either not able to make enough insulin or it is not able to use it properly. There are a number of causes for type 2 diabetes including; genetics, age, ethnicity, smoking, extra weight, metabolic syndrome, too much glucose, cells that cannot communicate properly, and broken beta cells. It is possible to avoid or control type 2 diabetes. Losing weight, exercise, a proper diet, and quitting smoking can drastically reduce the likelihood you will develop diabetes. Some signs of type 2 diabetes are; being constantly thirsty, frequent urination, blurry vision, change in mood, tiredness, and wounds that will not heal.

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes you can drastically reduce the risk of developing diabetes through weight loss, exercise, and a proper diet.

Most serious complications from type 2 diabetes can be avoided. In order to do so, you must make a commitment to eating well, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking your medications as prescribed.


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