Diabetes mellitus refers to the imbalance of blood sugar levels. From this imbalance, many other diseases emerge. Severe diabetes may result in death or disability. Diabetes causes damage to many different types of tissues and body systems. It also affects the function of some organs such as the kidneys and even the eyes.
The leading cause of diabetes is a high level of blood sugar. Commonly the concentration of blood glucose fluctuates, but stays within normal range. A hormone secreted by the pancreas by the name insulin helps in lowering the level of glucose in the blood. Diabetes occurs as the concentration of glucose goes up and remains high over time. When blood sugar stays high, it is called hyperglycemia.
Diabetes Symptoms (Note: Not all symptoms of diabetes are listed in this article)
Acute symptoms occur when the level of blood sugar is very high. The common ones include increased hunger, increased thirst and frequent urination. High blood sugar results in thickening of the blood due to high concentrations of glucose. Sugar gets pushed out of the body through urine in an attempt to reduce the higher sugar levels, which pulls water with it. This makes the body dry out and causes dehydration. Some other signs and symptoms that occur include blurry vision, fatigue, dry mouth and infections which include yeast infections, rashes between the fingers and toes, and many others.
Early Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms usually occur only when the diabetes has been prolonged for a significant period of time, or when the blood glucose is very high. During the early stages of diabetes, the symptoms maybe not be frequent. In the early stages, the patients may not show any signs. It is important to be tested for diabetes regularly, because catching it early will reduce the damage this high blood glucose does to the body.
Diabetes Risk Factors
It is important to learn about your own risk of diabetes. Knowing whether you are at a high risk for developing diabetes can help you combat the disease before a lot of damage is done. The most common form of diabetes is called Type II Diabetes, adult-onset diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes. While it generally occurs in adults, it can affect younger people too. Many of the risk factors for this type of diabetes are well understood.
First, obesity and a lack of physical activity may increase your risk for type II diabetes considerably. Genetic links to diabetes is another factor, which means that family history is an important predictor. If you have close family members with Type II diabetes, then you are at high risk.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes, and insulin-dependent diabetes. This is a less frequent form of diabetes. It is commonly present in children. It is a more severe form of the disorder because the pancreas, which secretes insulin, is entirely dysfunctional and there is little or no insulin secreted.
In conclusion, everyone should be aware of the early signs of diabetes as well as the risk factors associated with the disease. Through education, you can judge your risk of the illness better and catch early symptoms of the disease. Making an early diagnosis of diabetes helps prevent the long-term damage that diabetes can do.
See your doctor before changing your health habits, and get checked today.
*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.