Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body utilizes glucose, a type of sugar, which is our main source of energy. We acquire glucose from the food we take in and when it gets into our bloodstream, our pancreas generates a hormone called insulin that helps the sugar to get inside our cells to be utilized as energy. However, if one has diabetes mellitus or DM, the body either is not able to produce sufficient insulin, which is a characteristic of type 1 diabetes, or the insulin no longer works as intended due to cellular resistance, which characterizes type 2 diabetes. Either way, the glucose is not able to enter into the cells normally, and thus the the concentration of sugar in the blood goes up, which leads to several symptoms.
Causes of diabetes
The cause of diabetes depends on the type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes mellitus, for example is hereditary, and then triggered by certain infections, just like Coxsackie virus. The mechanism is not entirely clear, however it is believed that after the infection, the body’s own immune system damages the cells where insulin is manufactured. Type 2 diabetes on the contrary is caused largely by lifestyle and genetic factors.
Certain conditions and medicines can also cause diabetes. Exocrine pancreatic problems and use of glucocorticoids, for example, can cause diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients can encounter the same symptoms. Disproportionate urination, excessive thirst, and increased hunger are the three most common symptoms of diabetes. Unexplainable loss of weight is also seen in many, but not all cases. Prolonged high blood glucose can also result to microvascular changes that can lead to vision changes and poor wound healing. Symptoms may develop drastically for type 1 diabetes patients, while they usually develop over a longer period of time among type 2 diabetes patients.
Treatment of diabetes
Sadly, diabetes is incurable. But, it can be managed to lessen its impact in your life. Treatment consists of insulin administration, oral hypoglycemics, lifestyle modification, and periodic checkups. Left untreated or if poorly managed, complications along the lines of loss of vision, amputation, and multiple organ damage are possible.
For type 1 diabetes, the answer is, sad to say, no. For type 2 diabetes however, being a lifestyle disease, can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight. This will require following a healthy diet, like decreasing your intake of simple carbohydrates, and making sure that you get enough exercise. Staying away from vices like smoking and drinking are also essential since these activities can accelerate the progression of of complications.
Diabetes is a long-term disorder that impacts different aspects of your life. Knowing as much as you can about the disease will help you avoid this disorder or manage it properly to reduce its impact in your life. Visit here to discover more about symptoms of diabetes.
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