Diabetes Basics

Diabetes, Recognizing the Signs, and Symptoms

There are certain symptoms of diabetes about which you should be knowledgeable. Being aware of these symptoms will help you to watch out for signs of diabetes in yourself and your loved ones. Diabetes is a disease that has unpleasant repercussions in terms of health and it requires management and treatment.

Do you or your loved ones visit the bathroom more often than usual? Do you feel fatigued throughout the day, with little energy to carry out daily tasks? Is your vision blurred at times? Do you experience unusual thirst and appetite?

If the answers to the above questions are yes, then without sounding too alarming, we should advise you that you might be suffering from diabetes. Diabetes mellitus affects around 16 million Americans and every day 2200 freshly diagnosed cases are added to the list of diabetics.

Diabetes is a disease that is primarily characterized by unusually high levels of fasting blood sugar levels. When we eat food, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin that regulates the level of sugar in our blood. Insulin has a function to help the cells and the tissues of the body to utilize sugar for growth and repair. Diabetes is a medical condition when the pancreas stops either manufacturing insulin or the body becomes insensitive to insulin and the amount of insulin is insufficient to keep the glucose level in the blood under control.

Diabetes is classified into two types. These types are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The classification is based purely on the reasons mentioned in the paragraph above.

Type 1 Diabetes is characterized by the Pancreas’ inability to produce insulin. The inability is due to an autoimmune reaction where the body’s immune system turns against the cells in the pancreas responsible for secreting insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually a genetically acquired condition but the autoimmune reaction may take place due to other reasons such as exposure to a virus or toxins in food. The only solution to type 1 diabetes is management of the disease by keeping a check on blood glucose levels and administering of insulin in an injection form.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand can affect anyone at any age. It is usually found in people above the age of 35. It is due to the resistance of the body against the action of insulin. It is due to numerous reasons such as obesity, lack of physical activity and a diet that is high in sugar-based foods or simple carbohydrates such as refined white flour. There is a genetic propensity to catch type 2 diabetes although people who are normally not susceptible to Type 2 diabetes may also be affected.

Whether it is type 1 or type 2, diabetes is a condition that can have serious and fatal consequences if not diagnosed in time. Diabetes may result in blindness, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, inability of the body to recover from injuries and a number of other serious consequences.

Early diagnosis and management of the disease with an increase in physical exercise and a drastic change in dietary profile can help to reduce the risks involved with diabetes.