What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder which occurs when insufficient or no insulin is released from the pancreas, resulting in an excessively high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood stream. The pancreas is a large gland in the stomach which releases digestive enzymes into the small intestine to help food digestion. It also releases the hormone insulin into the blood stream.
There are two main types of diabetes. These are called type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
In many cases there are no symptoms of type 2 diabetes. That is why there are so many people who don’t know they have it. If there are symptoms, they may include some or all of the following:
- Thirst: Thirstier than usual, which builds up over time. Excess glucose builds up in the blood stream and the body responds by trying to flush out the glucose, which requires extra water/other fluids. People often drink sugary drinks which make the situation worse.
- Toilet: As the body tries to flush out the excess glucose in the blood stream frequent visits to the toilet occur, particularly at night. Symptoms can also include urinary type infections.
- Tiredness: Lack of energy, because the body cells are only getting some energy from the food eaten and the body has to work harder to flush out the excess glucose.
- Weight loss: Weight loss is not a common symptom of type 2 diabetes, but it can occur.
- Excessive hunger: The body isn’t getting as much fuel as before because insulin isn’t working efficiently or in enough quantities and it tries to compensate by demanding more food. This makes the situation worse. If more food is eaten it puts even more strain on the body to get rid of the excess glucose.
- Blurred vision: Due to excessive blood glucose levels, fluid levels in the eye may be reduced, causing blurred vision. If treatment isn’t obtained quickly irreversible sight problems will occur.
- Skin infections: Excessively dry skin with possible infections.
If you notice some or all of the above in yourself or your child it’s very important to get checked out by your Dr straight away and ask to be checked for diabetes. Delay can cause irreversible complications. Diagnosis is made by a simple blood test for blood glucose levels.
It’s very important to get your blood glucose level checked regularly, especially if you are in the at-risk category.
The at-risk category includes but is not confined to people who:
- Are overweight.
- Don’t have at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Diet is mainly large portions of processed food (ready meals, fizzy drinks, processed sauces, sweets & confectionary, white bread & pasta).
- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- Have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.
- Had diabetes while pregnant.
Artisan note: the advice given in this blog may help you to understand diabetes a little better and enable you to put into practice some things which will help you in the management of type 2 diabetes or to reduce your risk of getting serious complications.
If you are trying to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes the advice given in this site may help you.
Please contact me by email if you have any queries that I may be able to help you with.