What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.
Individuals can experience different signs and symptoms of diabetes, and sometimes there may be no signs. Some of the signs commonly experienced include:
- Frequent urination.
- Weight loss.
- Lack of interest and concentration.
- Blurred vision.
- Excessive thirst.
- Increased hunger.
- A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet.
How diabetes develops in the body?
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body can’t use insulin properly. Insulin helps carry sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Once inside the cells, sugar is converted into energy for immediate use or stored for the future.
- Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives. It is vital for life.
- Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate and is also produced by the liver.
- If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood and can’t be used as fuel.
- There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Here are some key points about diabetes. More detail and supporting information provide below:
- Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
- Type 1 Diabetes – the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
- Type 2 Diabetes – the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
- Gestational Diabetes – this type affects females during pregnancy.
- The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
- If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life.
- Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels.
- As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly.
- As smoking might have a serious effect on cardiovascular health, diabetics should stop smoking.
|Time of Check||Goal plasma blood glucose ranges
for people without diabetes
|Goal plasma blood glucose ranges
for people with diabetes
|Before breakfast (fasting)||< 100||70 – 130|
|Two hours after meals||< 140||< 180|
|A1C (also called glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin A1c)||< 6%||< 7%|
- Get more physical activity
- Get Plenty of fiber
- Go for whole grains
- Lose extra weight
- Skip fad diets and Just
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