What is Diabetes?

Diabetes can easily be defined as one of the most common conditions to affect people all around the world. It has been suggested that millions suffer from this particular ailment but a quite worrying factor is that there are plenty who don’t even know they have it.

Those who do suffer from diabetes will have high levels of glucose in the blood and that is because the body is unable to break it down effectively. Diabetes is going to affect everyone differently but to prevent problems in the future, it is a good idea to have a better understanding of what to expect.

There are two main variants, which consist of the following:  

You will find that there are very distinct differences between the two but it is important not to underestimate either as they both can cause problems in the future if it is not treated properly.

If you do suspect that you might suffer from diabetes then make sure you visit your doctor as soon as possible as they will be able to make a firm diagnosis and establish the course of treatment required to start managing the condition. Many believe the condition too difficult to cope with and consider “their lives to be over”, but in fact, all one needs to do is adopt a few lifestyle changes which are going to be better for you and your health.

Diabetes Risk factors

When it comes to developing diabetes, there are a range of people that can be categorised as specific risks factors when it comes to getting this condition. The list is quite long and a few of the “at risk” groups include:

  • If you have a relative (like a brother or sister) who has type 2 diabetes
  • Anyone who classed as overweight or obese
  • Anyone who is known to have a high blood pressure
  • A women who has had gestational diabetes in the past

These are just some of the possibilities and it is widely believed that the problem can occur in families. This is not always the case but it is said there is an increased risk of numerous relatives inheriting diabetes from other relatives.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

It is important to remember that for anyone who is diagnosed with diabetes, it is a life-long condition but it can be controlled in a number of different ways and managing it effectively needn’t seem like a huge task.

Type 1 Diabetes

When it comes to type 1 diabetes, this occurs when the cells which produce insulin have been destroyed. This problem will lead to glucose building up in the bloodstream.

Why the cells are destroyed is not entirely certain but it is widely believed that this might be caused as a result of an abnormality in the body. For example, an infection could be a culprit.

This particular form of diabetes can occur in anyone, no matter what their age but cases are most likely to develop in people under 40 or at some point during childhood.

Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes

Managing the problem is actually quite simple and the following factors are essential to keeping the condition under control:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Having a healthy, balanced diet
  • Regular insulin injections

When it comes to administering insulin injections, you will need to remember that these are almost certainly going to be needed on a daily basis. Of course, every person is different and it is your doctor who will advise on how frequently you will need to do this.

Type 2 Diabetes

This particular form of diabetes occurs due to the body not producing enough insulin or if the amount of insulin produced is not functioning as it should. This is referred to as “insulin resistance”.

Out of all cases reported throughout the world, type 2 is the most common, with at least 85% of sufferers having this form of diabetes, compared with type 1. This can develop in people of all ages and backgrounds but it is more likely to occur in individuals over the age of 40.

Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

There are a number of ways that this condition can be controlled and these include the following:

  • Insulin injections (this is not something which is required in all cases of type 2 diabetes)
  • Other forms of medication
  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy, balanced diet

As there is no cure, it is not possible to eradicate the problem entirely but by going through the steps listed above; this will give you a good chance of managing the condition without putting your health at risk of issues in the short and/or long term period.

If there is anything you are not entirely sure about then your doctor will be able to answer any questions and provide guidance on how to cope with diabetes.

The Symptoms of Diabetes

Not everyone is going to experience one or more of the typical telltale signs (especially, as there are large numbers of people who aren’t even aware they have diabetes), but by being aware of the possible symptoms, this should give you a better idea of what to expect.

These could include the following:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Sudden and/or unexpected weight loss
  • Increase in urine output (this is more likely to occur during the night)
  • Frequently thirsty / drinking more than normal
  • Problems with vision (blurred)

Should you experience one or more of the above then it is essential to seek medical advice because the sooner any problem is discovered, the sooner it can be controlled through insulin injections (if required) or simply managed through other types of medication and an improved diet.

Remember that if you or a family member is diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this is not the end of the world. There are ways of managing the problem effectively whilst ensuring there is little disruption to your lifestyle and overall level of health.

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