The prevalence of diabetes continues to grow as more people develop a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. This chronic disease is associated with high blood glucose levels that may cause serious health complications if left untreated. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to know the facts about this condition.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders where the body is either unable to produce sufficient insulin or fails to properly use the insulin it produces. The pancreas, an organ in the abdomen, produces insulin that plays a key role in metabolizing sugar or glucose.
Insufficient or lack of insulin leads to a buildup of sugar in the blood, which is toxic to the body. The extra sugar can damage the body’s organs, like the heart and kidneys, if it is not appropriately managed.
Different types of diabetes
Diabetes is of two types, Type 1 and Type 2. While the causes of these two conditions differ, both types of diabetes can be managed through healthy lifestyle changes. It is also important to note that having one type of diabetes does not exclude you from having another type as well.
- Type 1 Diabetes– This is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin. It usually develops in younger people.
- Type 2 Diabetes – In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or uses the insulin it produces improperly. This is typically caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As the most common type of diabetes, Type 2 can develop at any age but is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged adults.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes
Since the signs and symptoms of diabetes can vary from person to person, it is not always easy to detect. However, some of the most common symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision, weight loss, and slow healing of cuts and wounds.
The complications of diabetes you should be aware of
There are many complications that can develop from diabetes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, eye damage and blindness, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes can also lead to foot problems like infections, ulcers, and gangrene.
How to manage diabetes
The best way to manage diabetes is to meet with a doctor to review your risk factors and develop a treatment plan. Depending on your circumstances and risk factors, your doctor may recommend medications, lifestyle changes, diet, or a combination of all three.
While managing diabetes can be challenging, the right tools and resources can make it a little easier. To manage diabetes, you should follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get your blood sugar tested regularly.
You should also keep track of your blood sugar levels using a glucose meter and diary. With the right tools, such as an insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes and a healthy lifestyle, managing diabetes can be manageable and enjoyable.
People with diabetes should be aware of the facts about this chronic disease. This includes being aware of the two main types of diabetes, symptoms of the condition, and the complications that can arise. While managing diabetes can be challenging, the right resources can make it easier.