What is diabetes?
Diabetes is simply a group of diseases that controls how your body handles glucose, a type of sugar, in your blood. When you have too much sugar in your bloodstream, you body goes into defense mode and reacts to protect itself against so much sugar in the blood. When you eat, some of your food is broken down into sugar, also known as glucose. This sugar travels in your bloodstream to all of your body's cells. A hormone, called insulin, escentially "unlocks" the cells to let the sugar in so that your cells can use it for energy. Diabets is a condition in which the whole body does not make or correcty use insuline, therefore keeping your cells within your body from activating the sugar as it needs to in order to function properly. With the lack of insuline, your body will retain the sugar within the bloodstream, thus causing your blood sugar to rise. The most common of all diabetes is Type 1 and Type 2. However, is should be noted that there are four specific main types of diabetes most known and common within the human body:
- Type 2 Diabetes - (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, or non-insuline dependent diabetes) a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose)
- Type 1 Diabetes - (formerly known as juvenile diabetes, or insuline dependent diabetes) a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin
- Prediabetes - a condition in which blood sugar is hight, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes - a form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women
Are there any warning signs of diabetes I should be looking for?
For the majority of people, Diabetes is not detected early enough to prevent. More commonly doctors will not detect Diabetes until long-term complications associated with this disease develop like eye diseases or heart problems. This is especially the case for Type 1 Diabetes, which is known as the "silent killer' due to its lack of obvious symptoms that come with Type 2 Diabetes. It is usually detected when Doctors order blood work to be run.
Below is a list comprised of the most common signs of Type 2 Diabetes, and the majority of them can be easily managed or prevented by checking your blood sugar levels regularly.
- Frequent need to urinate
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Vision problems
- Weakness, tingling, and numbness
- Swollen, tender gums
- Sores, ulcers, and gangrene
- Heart attacks and stroke
- Kidney problems
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
If you believe you, or a loved one, has these symptoms or may be at risk to develop these symptoms due to your family health history, it would be wise for you to seek the professional counsel of a doctor as soon as possible. This will assist you in potential prevention and avoidance of any unnecessary complications.