Our body needs a type of fuel to function properly. Glucose is a type of fuel that our body uses from the broken down components of the food and water that we intake. When there is too much glucose or lower levels than the threshold then it is indicative of diabetes. It is a life-long condition that requires careful blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle for a person to be able to manage it correctly.
In this article, we walk you through, what diabetes is, early symptoms, and much more.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition where your insulin doesn’t secrete enough to regulate the blood sugar levels. Insulin allows the glucose from the eaten food to access the cells in their body to supply energy.
According to a study report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.3 million adults in the United States have diabetes and nearly 84.1 million U.S. adults have prediabetes.
Types of Diabetes
Type I diabetes: This type is also known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the body fails to secrete insulin. With type I diabetes, the human anatomy becomes insulin-dependent, which means artificial insulin must be taken daily to stay alive either by oral or by injecting.
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin, which is unlike type 1, your body makes insulin but it cannot effectively use the insulin to its required fullest capacity. This is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, type 2 diabetes is very common.
But this doesn’t happen overnight, the insulin resistance takes place gradually. If you are detected of type 2 your physician often recommends making lifestyle changes to slow this in the initial stages.
People with prediabetes typically have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but doctors do not consider them to have diabetes yet. According to a study from the CDC, people with prediabetes often develop type 2 diabetes if they do not get treatment.
Risk Factors of Diabetes
Anyone can develop diabetes, but the following are some of the health/lifestyle factors that can increase a person’s risk. They include:
- 45 years+ of age
- being overweight or obese
- eating an unhealthful diet
- having a family history of diabetes
- having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- a medical history of gestational diabetes, heart disease, or stroke
The onset of diabetes symptoms can be gradual, and symptoms can be mild during the early stages which many people misinterpret and do not recognize as a pre-diabetic condition. Talking about symptoms brings us to the next topic.
Early Symptoms of Diabetes
Frequent urination is one of the commonly seen early symptoms in pre-diabetic and diabetic stages. As the blood glucose levels are higher than the threshold, the kidneys will try to eliminate the excess sugar by filtering it through the urine. Thus a frequent visit to the bathroom is a sign that glucose content is in excess and your kidney is working overtime eliminating it. Sometimes this can lead to kidney seizures and removal of the kidney, however, this is rare.
Increased urination can result in faster draining of water levels in your body. Drinking more water than usual levels is an early sign of diabetics. Increased thirst can also be coupled with fatigue and drowsiness.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, constant hunger or thirst can be early signs. In people with diabetes, not enough of this glucose transfers from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. Thus early signs of diabetes can make you feel constantly hungry, regardless of how recently you have eaten.
Blurred vision, feeling tired and slow healing of cuts and wounds are also signs of diabetes.
How to Test for Diabetes?
The complications of diabetes can be severe, including kidney failure and stroke, if not detected at an early stage. If you become diabetic, it is critical to get tested once in a while to regulate your levels.
Anyone who suspects they may have diabetes should get tested for Diabetes. Diagnostics listing providers like DxSaver, can help you find the affordable lab near you that provides diabetes testing or at-home diabetic testing options.
What Happens if Diabetes if Ignored/Left Uncontrolled?
Without treatment, persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to life-threatening complications, like heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, or neuropathy, foot problems, kidney disease, and loss of vision in both men and women.
Leaving diabetes without any treatment can also lead to hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS), which causes a severe and persistent increase in blood sugar levels. An illness or infection will usually trigger HHNS, which can lead to hospitalization. This sudden complication tends to affect elderly people.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control is crucial for preventing severe health complications. The longer that blood sugar levels remain unregulated, the higher the risk of other health problems appearing.
If you missed the early detection, then your physician will prescribe supplementary insulin tablets and some medications to manage the condition and improve glucose absorption depending on your type.
Leading a healthy lifestyle generally keeps you away from most diseases including diabetes. Eating fiber-rich foods, working out daily, for at least 20 minutes will have a huge impact. Spread the knowledge about this pre-diabetic to every known person and help to stop this life-long condition taking control of others life.