Diabetes Basics

Understand Diabetes

Your may have come across the term diabetes quite often. Probably a close relative or a friend has been diagnosed with the medical condition. You may have heard about diabetes on the radio as a public service announcement. It would not be surprising if you had wondered about the nature of the disease and its repercussions.

Making yourself aware of the disease and its risks will help you to prevent it. Just how will diabetes affect your life and your health? What are the precautions that you need to take? These are a few of the questions that need to be addressed.

Let us first of all talk about the nature of the disease. The food that you eat is converted into glucose and released into your bloodstream. This glucose is in turn utilized by the cells and tissues of the various organs of the body for the purpose of everyday tasks that include repair, replenishment and growth.

Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas is responsible for the uptake of glucose by the cells of your body. The pancreas manufactures insulin in response to the elevated sugar levels in the bloodstream.

Diabetes is a condition that is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels that may in turn be caused by either a lack of insulin or the inability of the body to utilize insulin effectively.

The condition of diabetes may be pre-ceded by pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes may be considered as a stage of diabetes. During this stage blood, glucose levels continuously raise and the insulin is unable to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Corrective action taken during this stage such as exercise and a change in dietary profile may prevent full-blown diabetes.

A discussion about diabetes is incomplete without a discussion on the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of diabetes are as follows.

- Excessive thirst and appetite
- Excessive urination
- A feeling of lethargy
- Loss of weight
- Sores that do not heal very fast
- A dry itchy and scaly skin
- Problems with vision

If you have any or a combination of these symptoms over a period of time, you should get yourself examined thoroughly to rule out diabetes.