Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes
Diabetes is a common and serious disease that requires constant management since there is no cure. It results from problems with the immune system or the pancreas. Once it develops, diabetes can get much worse over time. Here is everything that you need to know about diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
All types of diabetes are caused by having an excess amount of glucose, also called blood sugar, in your bloodstream. This is because some biological problem is preventing the glucose from getting into your cells where it is needed for energy. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system actually destroys cells producing a key hormone called insulin that is necessary to move glucose into your cells. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells become resistant to insulin and will not accept the glucose leaving it in the blood. Exactly why these situations occur is unknown although the best science points to genetic and environmental factors.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Not everyone with diabetes shows symptoms at first. Some of the most common signs are an increase in hunger and thirst, extreme fatigue and needing to go to the bathroom frequently. You might also notice cuts heal very slowly, vision problems and sudden weight loss for no reason. If you are experiencing a combination of some of these symptoms, then it is important to be tested for diabetes soon.
How to Avoid Developing Diabetes
Diabetes prevention involves doing a few things. The first is to exercise and stay active each day. Maintain a normal body weight as much as possible. Eat a diet that is filled with fiber, whole grains and fresh vegetables. Make healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding excess drinking and not smoking. All of these factors will help you to avoid developing diabetes.
Managing the Disease
Diabetes management happens on two fronts. Many people with less chronic forms of the disease can make lifestyle changes only. This involves counting calories, monitoring the amount of sugars and carbohydrates eaten and exercising regularly. People with very serious forms of diabetes must often take insulin injections. These injections reduce the glucose in the blood by allowing it to be absorbed into cells. Many people with diabetes must manage the disease with both lifestyle changes and insulin.
Complications if Left Untreated
If diabetes is left untreated, then a number of very serious complications can occur. Some of these include permanent nerve damage, heart disease and loss of vision. You might also suffer from kidney damage or total kidney failure. Nerve damage in the feet and legs could even lead to amputations in extreme cases.