Managing Diabetes

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Diabetes has become a leading cause for concern in the medical industry. It is a common disease that can result in pain, injury and even death over time. Fortunately, there are ways of managing it. It is important to understand the nature of the disease so you can react to it.

Overview
Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of metabolic diseases that affect the way your body utilizes blood sugar. The level of glucose increases in the bloodstream, either due to inadequate production of insulin or because the body’s cells are not responding properly to insulin production. Glucose is an important source of energy for cells in the muscles and tissues.

Causes of Diabetes

Type 1
While the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is undefined, what is known is that the body’s immune system, which normally destroys disease-causing microorganisms, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells found in the pancreas. This leaves your body with little or no insulin. As a result, sugar levels build up in your bloodstream since the sugar is not being transported to the cells. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by a mixture of environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.

Type 2
Type 2 diabetes comes about as a result of cells becoming resistant to insulin. This leads to the pancreas’ inability to produce sufficient insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of sugar being transported to the cells for energy, it builds up in the bloodstream. Although the reason why this happens hasn’t been fully realized, it is believed that environmental and genetic factors have a role in the development of this form of diabetes. An example is that overweight people are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms
The symptoms of diabetes vary based on how far the level of sugar in the blood has increased. Some patients may not necessarily experience the symptoms in the early stages. However, some indications of type 1 and 2 diabetes are as follows:

• Extreme hunger
• Blurred vision
• Fatigue
• Recurrent urination
• Irritability
• Increased thirst
• Mysterious weight loss
• Slow-healing sores
• Ketones in urine
• Frequent infections

Complications
Long-term complications of the disease develop gradually. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the possibility of these complications. Eventually, the resulting complications might be disabling and in the worst case fatal. These would include:

• Cardiovascular diseases
• Nerve damage
• Kidney damage
• Eye damage
• Skin conditions
• Depression
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Foot damage

Controlling Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes last a lifetime. However, there are people who have been able to get rid of the undesirable symptoms without taking any medication. A combination of healthy life choices can help you achieve this:

• Eating healthy foods – Adopt a diet low in calories and fat but high in fiber. Focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
• Exercising – Spare just 30 minutes a day for moderate physical activity. You can choose to go biking, walking, swimming or any other kind of exercise you can think of.
• Lose excess weight – If you are overweight, aim to lose a little weight.

*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.

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