Diabetes is a severe medical condition that can lead to several health complications if it is not managed properly. It is important to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes so that you can seek treatment early. Diabetes affects millions of people around the world. While there are many different types of diabetes, the most common form is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes typically develops over time and can often be controlled with diet and exercise. However, if left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how one’s body turns food into energy. It happens when the body cannot create enough or any insulin, cannot utilize the insulin that is produced properly, or cannot do either of these things simultaneously. The body becomes unable to transport sugar from the blood into your cells when any of these things take place. And blood sugar levels may rise as a result of this.
Normally, your body converts most food into sugar (glucose), which is then released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas is notified by an increase in blood sugar to release insulin. Blood sugar is then let into your body’s cells by insulin to be used as energy.
One of your main energy sources is glucose, a type of sugar found in your blood. Sugar builds up in your blood as a result of insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. And this may result in a health condition.
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What is Insulin?
The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which is essential to allow glucose from food to enter the body’s cells. This is where it may be used to make energy. All foods containing carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the blood. Simply, insulin facilitates the intake of glucose into cells.
Types of Diabetes and Their Causes
The symptoms of diabetes are similar, regardless of the type. But this doesn’t mean the types of diabetes are the same. Here we’ll describe both so you can understand the symptoms of diabetes when you notice them.
Type 1 Diabetes
The cause of type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune disease. This indicates that the beta cells in your pancreas that create insulin are attacked by and destroyed by your immune system. When this happens, it means permanent harm has been done. However, it is unclear what causes the attacks. It is believed that environmental and genetic factors might both play a role. But that doesn’t mean that lifestyle variables matter.
Although type 1 diabetes can manifest at any age, children and adolescents are the most commonly affected. To keep blood glucose levels under control when you have type 1 diabetes, a physician will prescribe daily insulin injections. This is because your body either generates very little or no insulin.
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Type 2 Diabetes
The first stage of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. This means that because your body does not use insulin effectively, your pancreas produces more insulin until it is unable to meet the demand. The subsequent decrease in insulin production then results in elevated blood sugar.
Around 90% of all instances of diabetes are type 2, which is more prevalent among adults. Your body does not effectively use the insulin it produces when you have type 2 diabetes. A healthy lifestyle, which includes more physical activity and a balanced diet, is the cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment. To control their blood glucose levels, however, most people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to take oral medications and/or insulin.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM)
The pregnancy-related production of insulin-blocking substances results in gestational diabetes. Pregnancy is the only time this form of diabetes occurs. People with previous prediabetes and a family history of diabetes could also experience it. A gestational diabetes diagnosis increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%.
Also, GDM is a form of diabetes that includes excessive blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It is also linked to difficulties for both the mother and the unborn child. Normally, it goes away after pregnancy, but those who have it, as well as their children, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future.
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Early Warning Symptoms of Diabetes
Some of the obvious warning symptoms of both types of diabetes are the same. And below are some of the symptoms we have gathered:
Hunger and Fatigue
Your body converts the food you eat into glucose, which is then used as energy by your cells. But for your cells to absorb glucose, they require insulin. You won’t have any or enough energy if your cells reject the insulin your body produces or if your body doesn’t produce any insulin at all. This may lead to frequent tiredness, or you could get hungrier than normal. When this happens, you may be showing symptoms of diabetes.
Itchy skin and a Dry Mouth
There is less moisture available for other things since your body is using fluids to urinate. Your mouth could feel dry, and you might become dehydrated. Considerably, your skin may also itch if it is dry.
Frequent Urination and Increased Thirst Are Symptoms of Diabetes
The typical individual typically needs to urinate four to seven times in a 24-hour period, but diabetics may urinate significantly more frequently. This is because, normally, as glucose goes through your kidneys, your body reabsorbs it. However, when diabetes raises blood sugar levels, your kidneys might not be able to filter everything back into your body. The body then produces more pee as a result, and this requires fluids. As part of the results, you’ll need to urinate more frequently. If that happens, you may become quite thirsty as a result of your frequent urination. However, you’ll urinate more if you consume more alcohol.
Your eyes’ lenses could swell due to changes in your body’s fluid levels. They could also alter the shape and make you lose concentration.
Warning Symptoms of Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)
Although the symptoms for the types of diabetes are mostly the same, there are still some symptoms that are peculiar to each type. Some symptoms of type 2 Diabetes include:
This could happen to both men and women with diabetes. Since glucose is what yeast consumes, a plentiful supply encourages its growth. Infections can develop in any warm, moist skin fold, such as the spaces between the fingers and toes, under the breasts, and in or near sex organs.
Slow-Healing Wounds or Sores
Over time, high blood sugar can damage your nerves and disrupt your blood flow, making it more difficult for your body to heal wounds.
Numbness or Pain in the Feet or Leg
This can also occur as a result of nerve damage. High blood sugar levels can harm the nerves and disrupt blood flow. This can result in discomfort, tingling, or numbness in the hands and feet in persons with type 2 diabetes. It is referred to as neuropathy. If a person does not receive treatment for their diabetes, it can turn worse over time and result in more serious consequences.
Other Warning Symptoms of Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes)
According to Diabetes.org, some symptoms of type 1 Diabetes include:
Your body will begin burning muscle and fat for energy if it is unable to obtain it from food. You might even lose weight when your eating habits haven’t changed. Hence, you might need to find out which foods contain a lot of trans fatty acids.
Nausea and Diarrhoea
Ketones are produced by your body when it switches to fat burning. A potentially fatal disease known as diabetic ketoacidosis might result from these building up in your blood to dangerous levels. And you might feel nauseous after consuming ketones.
How to Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes type 1 cannot be prevented. However, the same healthy lifestyle decisions that assist in managing gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes can also help prevent them, Hence, are some of the preventive measures to go by:
Cut Back on Extra Weight
If you are overweight, even a 7% weight loss can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. If you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms), decreasing 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. However, avoid trying to lose weight when pregnant. Find out from your doctor how much weight you can safely acquire while expecting.
Pick foods with more fiber and fewer calories and fat. Put an emphasis on whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Eat a variety of foods to avoid getting bored.
Conclusively, anyone who thinks they may have diabetes should see a doctor for a diagnosis, especially if they also have other risk factors for the condition. Early type 2 diabetes diagnosis and management can enhance a person’s quality of life and lower the likelihood of serious consequences. It is critical to have a network of supporters who know what it’s like to live with type 2 diabetes and receive a diagnosis.
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