What is diabetes?
We are sure that at some point you have heard of diabetes or know someone who suffers from this condition. Not for nothing is it one of the most common diseases worldwide. Have you ever wondered what would happen if everyone was informed about this disease and its symptoms? The best scenario would be that diabetes could be prevented in many cases or at least reduced to some extent. This time, we’ll talk about what diabetes is, its symptoms, and how you can reduce your chances of getting it at some point in your life. Don’t forget that International Diabetes Day is commemorated every 14 November.
We will begin by mentioning what this evil consists of.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body loses its ability to produce enough insulin or to use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that allows glucose from food to be transported into the body’s cells, where it is converted into energy for muscles and tissues to function. As a result, a person with diabetes does not absorb glucose properly, so glucose remains circulating in the blood (hyperglycemia) and damages tissues over time. This deterioration causes potentially life-threatening health complications, so it is important to always recognize the symptoms early.
There are three main types of diabetes, these are:
– Type 1 diabetes
– Type 2 diabetes
– Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s defense system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. As a result, the body stops producing the insulin it needs. The reason why this happens has not yet been fully discovered. The disease can affect people of any age, but usually occurs in children or young adults. People with this type of diabetes need daily insulin injections in order to control their blood glucose levels. Without insulin, a person with type 1 diabetes will die.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops suddenly and symptoms may include:
– Excessive thirst and dry mouth
– Frequent urination
– Extreme tiredness/lack of energy
– Constant appetite
– Sudden weight loss
– Slow wound healing
– Recurrent infections
– Blurred vision
People with type 1 diabetes can lead a normal, healthy life through a combination of daily insulin therapy, controlled monitoring, healthy diet and regular exercise.
Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It usually occurs in adults, but increasingly there are more cases in children and adolescents. In type 2 diabetes, the body can produce insulin but either it is not enough or the body does not respond to its effects, causing a build-up of glucose in the blood.
People with type 2 diabetes may go a long time without knowing about their disease because it may take years for symptoms to appear or be recognized, during which time the body deteriorates due to excess blood glucose.
Although the reasons for developing type 2 diabetes are not yet known, there are several factors that may increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes:
– Poor nutrition
– Lack of physical activity
– Advanced age
– Family history of diabetes
– Inadequate nutrition during pregnancy, affecting the developing child
In contrast to people with type 1 diabetes, most people with type 2 diabetes do not usually need daily doses of insulin to survive. However, in order to control it, some factors should be taken into consideration, such as increasing physical activity, taking insulin orally, etc.
The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide. This increase is associated with economic development, an aging population, increased urbanization, changes in diet, decreased physical activity, and other changing patterns in daily life.
A woman is said to have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) when she is diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy. When a woman develops diabetes during pregnancy, it usually occurs late in pregnancy and arises because the body cannot produce or use enough insulin for pregnancy.
Because gestational diabetes usually develops late in life, the baby is already well formed, even though he or she is still growing. The risk to the baby is therefore lower than those whose mothers have type 1 or type 2 diabetes before pregnancy. However, women with GDM should also monitor their blood sugar levels to minimize risks to the baby. This can usually be done through a healthy diet, although insulin or oral medication may also be necessary.
Gestational diabetes in the mother usually goes away after delivery, but women who have had GDM are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time. Babies born to mothers with GDM are also at increased risk of obesity and developing type 2 diabetes as adults.
As you can see, each type of diabetes has factors that can increase your risk. Be sure to monitor if any of these factors are present in your life so that it’s not too late and you can still live a normal, healthy life.