There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed shortly after birth, so most people know they have it. Type 2 is a medical condition that is developed later in life, which is why it’s important that people pay attention to whether they may be suffering from it.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the name of a medical condition in which your body allows your levels of blood glucose to increase too much. This is because the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Another name for it is hyperglycemia.
For a better idea of how diabetes develops, imagine your blood flowing through your veins. Glucose (sugar) enters the bloodstream, but the insulin that usually breaks down that sugar isn’t there or if it is, it’s not enough. The glucose accumulates, and then the cells don’t get the energy it needs, which then causes problems for the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.
The most common symptoms that people report are:
- Hunger and Fatigue
Pay attention to how often you’re eating and if your habits have changed. People with diabetes will feel extremely tired even after sleeping all night.
- Urinating More Often
It’s important to track how much you’re drinking to see if that is the reason you’re urinating so much. If you don’t believe you have increased your water intake, but your urinating more, it could be a sign.
- Feeling More Thirsty
Thirst is usually a sign someone is dehydrated. However, if you are drinking water throughout the day and still feel thirsty, there’s probably something else besides dehydration causing it.
- Suffering from Dry Mouth
Many medications cause dry mouth. If you haven’t had a change in medications, your dry mouth could be a sign of diabetes.
- Having Itchy Skin
Most people who are diagnosed with diabetes tell the doctor they believe they have a rash because they can’t stop itching themselves. Usually, that itching has caused redness and bumps which can look like a rash.
- Blurry Vision
Since glucose in the blood can cause eye problems, blurry vision is a serious symptom of diabetes. It’s important to seek medical assistance if this blurred vision is consistent and there doesn’t seem to be any other causes.
- Recurrent Yeast Infections
Yeast infections can happen just about anywhere, including the mouth, in folds of the skin, and in the vaginal area.
- Sores and Cuts Slowly Heal
Sores and cuts should heal in a few days, but those that last much longer may signal there is another problem. It means that the body isn’t able to repair itself as efficiently as it should.
It’s important for anyone who suffers from any of these symptoms to contact their doctor for a medical evaluation. To rule out diabetes, a doctor will ask for a blood sample when you’ve fasted. This will tell the doctor how high your blood glucose level is without the addition of sugar from foods/drinks. If it is elevated, then he knows there’s an issue.
The Causes of Diabetes
It’s important to know that not everyone who suffers from diabetes is overweight. However, obesity and lack of physical activity are contributing factors for the medical condition. Diet and exercise are responsible for 90% to 95% of the cases in the United States.
Some people suffer from diabetes because of advanced age and genetics. If you have a family history of diabetes, you’re at an elevated risk for diabetes, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat an unhealthy diet.
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Depending on the blood glucose level of the sufferer, diet and exercise may be sufficient to treat the medical condition. Limiting sugar intake and burning sugar through physical activity can keep blood glucose levels at a normal level.
For those who have high blood glucose levels, medication may be prescribed. This medication increases insulin in the body to break down the glucose in the blood. Many people who take medication, eat reduced-sugar diets and exercise end up not having to take medications for the rest of their lives.
What Else You Need to Know About Diabetes
Diabetes is a warning sign that your body isn’t doing what it supposed to run efficiently. The increase in glucose is a problem in your blood because it keeps cells from doing their jobs. Do not ignore it. If left untreated, blindness, kidney failure, and other serious medical conditions could occur. While diabetes may be a difficult condition to manage, these other more serious conditions can lead to an even harder life.
Speak to your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing that maybe be because of diabetes.