Diabetes is one of those diseases which has been around for as long as anyone can remember and for many the diagnosis felt like the death knell while for others it has proven to be the motivation behind the changes in the approach to life and lifestyle.
As important as it is to know whether your life has been impacted by the disease it is important to know a little bit about what you may be facing. A general outline such as this is by no means a key to self diagnosis and neither is it the final word on the subject. Diabetes comes in different forms and affects each individual differently. A true diagnosis and treatment plan should only be obtained and discussed with your doctor.
Diabetes, an ailment that is becoming increasingly common place in modern society. Caused in many cases by lifestyle and preventable or even reversible through changes to the lifestyle.
Types of diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes. These are referred to as Type 1 and Type 2
What is type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is largely attributed to genetics. As a result of the immune system destroying various cells in the pancreas the body does not produce insulin, resulting in the bodies inability to process sugar/glucose effectively.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes
- Increased urination. Your kidneys are trying to relieve the body of all the excess sugar
- Thirst. Your body needs to replace fluids lost with frequent urination
- Untried for weight loss. Your body is not using the sugar for energy instead it is being lost with the frequent urination
- The loss of calories as the sugar leaves your body may also lead to hunger and fatigue.
- People with diabetes sometimes find that their vision is blurry. This is because of the excess sugar in the body gathering in the eye and drawing water with it, causing your lens to take on a different shape, which results in blurred vision.
What is type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 chiefly because the body does produce insulin, but the quantities are either not sufficient or the insulin is not effectively used, this is known as insulin resistance.
A shortage of insulin or the inability to process sugars leads to a build up of glucose in the blood leaving the cells unable to function properly resulting in problems like:
- Dehydration brought about by increased urination as a result of the excess sugar in the body.
- Nerve damage, and damage to small blood vessels including those of the eyes, kidneys and heart and a hardening of the arteries which may lead to a stroke or heart attack.
- Untreated type 2 diabetes paired with dehydration and any other serious illness can lead to a diabetic coma.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased thirst (and urination)
- Dry mouth
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Sores that take longer to heal than they would previously have.
Type 2 Diabetes is most commonly found amongst patients who:
- are pre-diabetic
- are overweight
- are over 45
- don’t exercise
- have high blood pressure
Early detection could save your life
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Treatment for Diabetes
The treatment for diabetes varies between individuals. Based on the severity of the case and the accompanying lifestyle choices of the individual treatment will be adapted.
Treatment does not only include medication but a return to health will also rely heavily on the management of the disease.
Diabetes is an ailment that is becoming increasingly common place in modern society. Caused in many cases by lifestyle and preventable or even reversible through changes to the lifestyle.
What can you do?
Your doctor will advise you on changes you can make to your diet and your exercise regiment to help manage the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. The side effects and resultant conditions of Type 2 diabetes can be manged or prevented by doing things like:
- Visiting your optometrist
- Quit smoking
- Increase your exercise
- Maintaining dental hygiene
These may sound like obvious things that you would be doing anyway but the nature of diabetes puts your health at risk from various angles so added vigilance and care are important.
Although type Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the more common forms of diabetes they cannot be cured but if managed can allow the individual to live a long productive, healthy life.
There have indeed been cases where the onset of Type 2 Diabetes has been reversed through early detection and changes to lifestyle and diet.