In this blog, we will discuss a widespread disease, “Diabetes” as per a report in 2015 that in the USA, approx. 30.3 million people, or 9.4 percent of the population, suffer from diabetes. More than 1 in 4 of them didn’t know that they had this disease.
If you have diabetes, the body is not able to properly process and use glucose from the food you eat. There are different types of diabetes, each of which has different causes, but they all have a common problem – too much glucose in the blood.
Here we will provide all the necessary information about this disease.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when your body cannot absorb sugar (glucose) into cells and use it for energy. This can cause extra sugar in your bloodstream.
With diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it properly. When there is not enough insulin or the cells stop responding to insulin, there is too much sugar left in the blood. Over time, this can cause very serious health issues.
If you poorly controlled diabetes then it can lead to serious consequences, causing damage to your body’s organs, which include the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
Types & Causes Of Diabetes
There are different causes related to each type of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
This happens when the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Every person with type 1 diabetes needs insulin injections. Most of people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in childhood or adolescence. Type 1 diabetes is most common in people of Northern European origin.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs as a result of a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle factors. Being overweight or obese will also increase your risk. Excess weight, especially in the abdominal area, makes your cells more resistant to the effects of insulin on blood sugar levels.
This type develops in some women during the time of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in your life.
Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose level is above normal, but not high enough to officially diagnose type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors Of Diabetes
Following are the risk factors depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop:
Type 1 diabetes
- Presence of having a family history of type 1 diabetes.
- Damage to the pancreas (for example, infection, tumor, surgery, or accident).
- The presence of autoantibodies (antibodies that mistakenly attack the tissues or organs of your own body).
- Physical stress (for example, surgery or illness).
Type 2 diabetes
- Presence of family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Having overweight/obese.
- Having high blood pressure.
- Low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.
- Being physically inactive.
- Being age 45 or older.
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome.
- A history of heart disease or stroke.
- Being a smoker.
- Presence of family history of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- Being overweight/obese before pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years old.
Symptoms Of Diabetes
Following are the symptoms of diabetes:
- Increased thirst.
- Weak, tired feeling.
- Blurred vision.
- Numbness or tingling of hands or feet.
- Slow-healing sores or cuts.
- Unplanned weight loss.
- Frequent urination.
- Frequent unexplained infections.
- Dry mouth.
Treatment & Prevention Of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. But healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them.:
Eat healthy food
Choose foods that are low in the fat and calories and high in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat in a variety of ways so as not to feel bored.
Do more physical activity
Try to give about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity on most days of the week. Or aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. For example, take daily brisk walks. If you can’t fit into a long workout, break it down into smaller classes throughout the day.
Lose the extra pounds
If you are overweight, losing even 7% of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms), losing 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) can reduce your risk of developing diabetes
Note- But don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about how much weight it is useful for you to gain during pregnancy.
Some types of diabetes such as type 1 are caused by factors that are out of your control. Other types like type 2, can be prevented by making better food choices, increasing activity, and losing weight.
Discuss the potential risk of developing diabetes with your doctor. If you are at risk, take a blood sugar test and follow your doctor’s advice on blood sugar control.