What is Diabetes?
Diabetes commonly known as sugar is a chronic condition of the body when there is an imbalance of the hormone insulin.
When we eat food our body breaks it down into small pieces to release energy in the form of glucose. This glucose, when reaches the bloodstream is maintained to a certain level by hormones; insulin and glucagon.
Insulin is released when the glucose level is high and glucagon is released when the glucose level is low in the blood. Insulin is responsible for the transfer of glucose from the blood to different cells of our body.
Causes of Diabetes
Diabetes is caused when there is an imbalance in the production of the hormone insulin due to abnormality in the pancreas or when the body is unable to process it.
The cause of diabetes is still under investigation but till now it is suggested that it can be genetic or due to some environmental factors. On the basis of some medical conditions, it has been stated that there are two major types of diabetes.
- TYPE 1
- TYPE 2
Symptoms of Diabetes
- Frequent urination
- Poor eyesight
- Wounds take longer to heal
- Large appétit
- Sudden weight loss
- Numb hands and feet
- High sugar levels
- Skin infection
What Happens to the Body During Diabetes?
The pancreas in our body produces insulin to keep the level of sugar in the bloodstream from going higher. Diabetes is a condition in which this hormone is either not produced or when the cells of our body can’t process insulin leading to higher levels of sugar in the bloodstream.
This high level of sugar in the bloodstream can cause a lot of health problems. Diabetic patients are at high risk of getting heart attacks and strokes. People who suffer from diabetes have to take in proper diet eliminating all the food which has sugar in it like potato, bread, dairy products like yogurt, curd, etc.
Many people have to take insulin injections to keep their bodies functioning properly.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a medical condition of the body in which the immune system starts attacking or starts destroying its own body cells rather than the foreign cells.
In this case, the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas called the beta cells, causing a malfunction in the production of insulin in the body. This disease is usually seen in younger patients, kids or teens. It can be concluded that type 1 diabetes can be caused due to genetic disorder or due to stressful environmental factors.
Type 1 diabetes can cause harm if left untreated for a long time. Diabetes affects the blood vessels, can cause diabetic retinopathy damage to your heart and can cause stroke as diabetes is likely to cause high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused when the cells of the patient’s body are unable to use up the insulin. This disease is most common in older people but can be seen in younger obese kids. Type2 diabetes is not caused by an autoimmune disorder, rather unhealthy and inactive lifestyle, obesity, etc are likely to be the cause. It is the most widespread form of diabetes.
In this type of diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin but the cells of the body become resistant to it or are unable to use the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Obese people have higher chances of getting type2 diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Harm the Patient’s Body?
Diabetes can cause some serious harm to the body if left untreated for a long time. Some of them are listed below:-
Nerve Problem: Diabetic Neuropathy
When high blood pressure and sugar levels are left untreated for a long time they can cause some serious damage to the nerves.
Some of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are indigestion, pain and numbness in the foot and legs.
Vision Loss: Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss as increased blood pressure and sugar levels can cause swelling in the blood vessel behind the retina. These swelled vessels push the retina forward causing increased pressure in the eye. This is the reason why diabetic patient often complains of blurred vision.
This condition can be reversed if the patient gets a check-up at an early stage. But if left untreated this condition can cause permanent vision loss.
Joint Deformation: Neuropathic Arthropathy
Neuropathic arthropathy is a condition in which the joint which is supposed to bear the weight of the body, starts to degenerate leading to loss of sensation in the joints.
Diabetic patients usually find it difficult to walk around, the reason behind it is that their bones have become weak and they can’t bear the weight of the body.
As you may already know by now that diabetes is linked to high blood pressure, which can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetic patients are at a high risk of heart attack and heart failure, as diabetes affects the heart muscles too.
A diabetic coma is a serious condition. In this, the patient becomes unconscious and cannot respond to external stimuli. This condition occurs when the blood sugar level is either high (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low (hypoglycemia).
Diabetic coma can be fatal if the patient going through is not under a doctor’s supervision.
You can avoid going into a diabetic coma by just following your diet plan, exercising regularly, and drinking a lot of water.
If you are someone who is suffering from diabetes the follow these 6 tips to manage it.
- Turn in for a regular check-up as prescribed by the doctors
- Take all the medicines on time
- Drink a lot of water
- Stay away from foods that are high in sugar like packaged juice, sweets, fast food, etc.
- Keep your weight in check
- Exercise daily
Diabetes is a chronic illness that should be properly handled by the patient to stay healthy and live longer. Consult a doctor if you face any problems and keep your health in check.