Today I will be talking about diabetes and how it has effect on our life and health. Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Diabetes describes a condition in which the body cannot make proper carbohydrate in food because the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the insulin produced is ineffective, or a combination of both.
Insulin is the hormone that help glucose (sugar) from the digestion of carbohydrate in food, move into the body’s cells where it is used for energy. In the absent of insulin or where insulin is ineffective, glucose builds up in the blood. This is because insulin is the key, which unlocked the door to the body cells. The moment the door is opened, glucose can enter where it is used as an energy that we used to work, play and live our life.
If insulin is absent in the body, like in the case if Type 1 diabetes, then there is no key to unlock the door and the glucose stays in the blood. Due to lack of enough insulin, the cell doors are only partially unlocked, or when there is lots of insulin, the lock don’t work properly (also known as insulin resistance), this is in the case of Type 2 diabetes.
Because the excess glucose stays in the blood and isn’t being used as fuel for energy, people with untreated diabetes often feel very tired, pass large amounts of urine and are extremely thirsty.
As individuals with diabetes have issues with their insulin, it is necessary for them to take steps to either create insulin or to help the insulin they are making, work better. These can be achieved through treatment and healthy lifestyle.
By following the treatment path, which include heathy diet and frequent physical activity, individuals can control the amount of glucose in the blood and lead to healthy life.
Type of diabetes
There are two types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes – this develops much more quickly, usually over a few weeks. In both type of diabetes, the symptoms are quickly relived once it treated. Early treatment can reduce the chances of developing serious diabetes complications
- Type 2 diabetes – this developed slowly over time. Some people may not notice any symptoms at all, and their diabetes is only picked up in a routine medical check-up. Some individuals may put the symptoms down to ‘overwork’ or ‘getting older’. An excuse most people tend to use when diagnosed with the disease.
Symptoms of diabetes
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
- Using the loo more often than usual, all the time – particularly at night
- Increase thirst
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slow healing of cuts and wounds
- Blurred vision
- Genital itching or regular episode of thrush
What causes diabetes and who get it?
Diabetes is among the most common health conditions. In the United Kingdom, about 1.4 million people in the country are known to have diabetes. And for everyone who is aware of their condition, there is probably someone who has know idea he/she has the condition. Over three-quarters of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
Although the condition can occur at any age, it is rare infants and becomes more common as people get older.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Nobody knows for sure why these cells have been damaged, but the most likely cause is the body having an abnormal reaction to the cells. This may be triggered by a viral or other infection. Type 1 diabetes used to be known as insulin dependent diabetes.
People who develop diabetes under the age of 40 and especially in childhood, usually have this type of diabetes, however it can happen at any age.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes usually appears in middle-aged or older people, although more frequently it is being diagnosed in younger overweight people and is known to affect African-Caribbean and South Asian people at a younger age. The main cause is that the insulin that the body produces doesn’t work properly (insulin resistance).
Some people wrongly describe Type 2 diabetes as ‘mild’ diabetes. There is no such thing as mild diabetes. All diabetes should be taken seriously and treated properly.
Individuals that mostly at risk of developing 2 diabetes:
- are white people aged over 40 years and people from African-Caribbean, Asian and minority ethnic groups aged over 25 who
- have a family history of diabetes
- are overweight
- have high blood pressure, heart disease or have had a heart attack
- are women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are overweight
- have had a borderline high blood glucose test
- are women who have had high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Other causes of diabetes
There are some other causes of diabetes, including certain diseases of the pancreas, but they are all very rare, – and some things that do not cause diabetes:
- eating sweets or sugar does not cause diabetes.
- sometimes an accident or an illness may reveal diabetes if it is already there, but they do not cause it.
- stress does not cause diabetes although it may make the symptoms worse in people who already have the condition.
How you can help yourself to stay healthy
If you have diabetes, you may need to make some changes to your way of life. However, by sticking to your management plan, monitoring your condition and following a healthy lifestyle, you should be able to continue your normal, day-to-day life and take part in the activities you have always enjoyed.
The long-term benefits of healthy eating and regular physical activity outweigh the excuses we can all make not to follow a healthy lifestyle. A positive attitude, careful planning and support from your family, friends and diabetes team all help.