Along with conditions like heart disease and obesity, diabetes is one of the most common health concerns in the world. As a physical disorder that effects how your body converts food into energy, this collection of diseases comes with a variety of harmful changes to your system. Because of this, knowing a bit more about this condition and what to be on the lookout for can be greatly beneficial to you. Not only can this knowledge help you identify when you’re at risk, but it can also provide you with a bit of advice for managing your symptoms. Here is what you need to know about diabetes and what these facts could mean for you and your lifestyle.
It’s a Chronic Condition
One of the first things to recognize about diabetes is that it isn’t a disease with a cure. Since it occurs as the result of the body poorly processing blood sugar levels, eliminating the condition would mean reteaching it to do so. While treatments, medications, and nutrition can help with managing symptoms, diabetic individuals need to rely on them long-term for keeping blood sugar levels within the target healthy range. Otherwise, you risk depriving certain areas of the body of the essential glucose to function and developing additional, more dangerous symptoms.
There are Several Different Types
It’s also important that you understand that diabetes doesn’t just come in one form. While they all stem from increased amounts of glucose in the blood stream, they each have their own symptoms and harmful effects. These are some of the most common types of diabetes to be aware of.
Type One Diabetes
For those with diabetes, the body’s natural insulin production is incredibly important. This substance, produced by the pancreas, is what combines the glucose present in the blood with other tissue cells throughout the body. In the case of those with type one diabetes, the pancreas cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. Not only does this prevent these individuals from creating enough of their own insulin, but it also, therefore, leaves them with dangerously high blood sugar levels. This form of diabetes is on the rarer side and is commonly diagnosed in the child and adolescent years.
Type Two Diabetes
With type two diabetes, on the other hand, the reverse is true. In these cases, the body can develop its own insulin to counteract the rise in blood sugar levels. However, it’s the cells themselves that are resistant to the effect of that insulin. This also leads to an abundance of glucose in the blood stream and results in many of the same health issues down the line. Type two diabetes is more commonly developed by slightly older individuals with significant weight gain and low active lifestyles.
Even women in the middle of their pregnancies are at risk for developing a certain form of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a particular variety that’s caused by an extreme fluctuation of hormones. During this time, these chemicals inhibit the body’s ability to produce or expend insulin. This results in a temporary condition that mimics standard diabetes. Yet, it often subsides upon giving birth.
There’s even a form of diabetes that exists before the onset of the type one or two conditions. Prediabetes is a state of fluctuating glucose tolerance that occurs very suddenly and happens just prior to developing diabetes. Acting as a final warning before the condition worsens, this state provides a great opportunity to change your lifestyle and eating habits.
There are Symptoms To Watch For
Another key thing you need to know about diabetes is that there are several noticeable symptoms that can indicate you’re on your way to becoming diabetic. Though it’s common for the body to go through changes as you age, these indicators may stand out amongst the general aches, pains, and fatigue. So, be extra careful if you notice increased hunger or thirst, sudden weight loss, or more frequent urination. These occurrences indicate that your body possesses raised blood sugar levels and that it’s trying to mitigate the effects in any way it can.
It Can Result In Serious Complications
Diabetes, no matter the type, can cause the development of some serious complications as well. High levels of glucose in the blood can take its toll on various parts of the body. Eventually, this can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and diabetic eye disease. Those who fail to manage their diabetes are also at a much higher risk for suffering from strokes or Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Because of this, it’s vital that you don’t let yourself go undiagnosed and that you’re regularly taking steps to treat your diabetes as best you can.
Some Individuals are at a Higher Risk
Like with any other type of disease, some individuals are more likely to develop diabetes than others. Those who live an unactive lifestyle or possess excess body weight are at a particularly higher risk of developing type two diabetes. However, many people are also predisposed for diabetes due to their family history. So, if you have a sibling, parent, or grandparent with diabetes, your genetic history could work against you.
Management Is Possible With a Healthy Lifestyle
Fortunately, even if your risk of developing type two diabetes is naturally higher than others, you can help mitigate it by taking care of yourself. With the aid of professional treatment, medication, and lifestyle changes, you can take control of your diabetic symptoms and live a healthy life. Adopting a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables and embracing exercise are especially important as they can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the devastating impact of high blood sugar on the body. Make sure that you’re frequently testing and monitoring your blood sugar as well to best avoid foods that cause large fluctuations in your blood sugar.
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