What is diabetes?

What is diabetes?

What is diabetes?Diabetes is unfortunately much more common than you might think. You see, diabetes is linked to being overweight. Overweight people are growing in numbers and have been for years, now. African Americans also have a bigger chance to eventually get diabetes. Want to know more about diabetes and what it is? Read on.

To put it simply; our bodies need sugar. Sugar means energy, and we need energy to move and perform tasks! When a person has diabetes, his or her body does not properly process food. You see, our bodies turn food into a couple of things; mostly glucose (sugar) or in unfortunate cases: fat. To help this natural sugar get to every cell of our body, we need the pancreas. This organ is located in your stomach, and it’s solely responsible for making insulin. Insulin helps the glucose travel to all of your cells. When you have diabetes, however, your pancreas either does not make enough insulin or is not using this insulin as it should. The glucose from your so carefully processed food is then stuck with no place to go and has no choice than to build up in your blood. It’s not strange that diabetes is so often referred to as plainly having “sugar” or “the sugar”.

Three types of diabetes

There are three types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. There are differences between these three types, so we’ll take a closer look at them:

Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes is fortunately easily treatable. When a person has type 1 diabetes, their body does not produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually develops before someone turns forty. It’s not as common as type 2 diabetes, seeing as only 10 percent of all diabetes cases are type 1 diabetes. People with this condition need to take regular insulin injections for the rest of their life (unless modern medical science somehow figures out a better, faster way to do this, of course.) Although it is not very common for people to have diabetes type 1, the number of people suffering from this type of diabetes has increased by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009.

Type 2 diabetes: When you suffer from diabetes type 2 (about 90 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have diabetes type 2) it means that insulin is not being properly used by your body. The cells in your body don’t take up all of the insulin that they need, and that’s bad. Type 2 diabetes comes with several symptoms, most of which can be managed by losing weight, exercising, monitoring blood glucose levels, and living an overall healthy lifestyle. You are at risk for diabetes type 2 when you are obese, have a history of diabetes in your family, don’t exercise a lot, and are of older age. Avoid sugary soft drinks if you want to prevent diabetes, because a study shows that one soft drink (diet or regular) a day can up our chances of diabetes in the future by at least 22 percent!

Gestational diabetes: Women produce more insulin than men do. This means that women are more at risk for any kind of diabetes. There’s even a type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, which only pregnant women can get. This gestational diabetes can only be diagnosed when a woman is pregnant. This is because diets change when you are with child, but most of these foods are high in animal fat and cholesterol. It’s not very common for pregnant women to get gestational diabetes, but those that do (between 10 and 20 percent of women) need to take either insulin injections or other medication to keep the diabetes in check. If gestational diabetes goes untreated, complications during childbirth are much more likely to happen.

Diabetes symptoms

Several symptoms have been linked to diabetes type 1, 2 or gestational diabetes. When a person suffers from diabetes, they could experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • You have to pee a lot more. This is referred to as polyuria, which just stands for “excessive urination,” because the body is producing a lot more urine when the person in question has diabetes.
  • You are very thirsty all the time.
  • You are losing weight and have no real explanation for it, i.e. you’re not on a diet, and have not made any significant other changes to your lifestyle. Weight loss could be a sign that you have diabetes type 1.   
  • You feel ravenous and overcome by hunger a lot.
  • You notice differences in your vision. Your vision might become blurry.
  • Your hands and feet tingle or feel numb sometimes.
  • You have really dry skin.
  • You are sick a lot more than you used to, this is caused by a weakened immune system.
  • Your breath smells faintly like acetone, a smell we often associate with nail polish remover. This smell is a lot less common for people with diabetes type 2, because it is linked to diabetes type 1.
  • Symptoms that mean you might have diabetes type 1, not the more common diabetes type 2, can include nausea, throwing up and abdominal pain. 


Article written by: MirandaTempelman
Times read: 1888x
Added: 03-12-2015 04:43
Last modified: 03-01-2016 16:23

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