Type I Diabetes
Type I diabetes is a problem that is believed to be caused by the body attacking itself. When this occurs the autoimmune system somehow comes to interpret that the insulin producing glands in your body are actually some kind of disease, so they attack those cells and destroy many of them. This attack often leaves the body without enough insulin producing cells to be able to handle the amount of sugar regularly consumed. It is even possible that no insulin may be produced at all. Type I diabetes is often diagnosed in children and requires daily injections of insulin just to survive. It is usually diagnosed early because it creates emergency situations where immediate medical attention is needed.
Now let’s discuss – Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is attained slowly, by creating a situation where the sugar is not properly processed by the body’s insulin. Not enough insulin is produced to be able to handle the sugar and so it leaves a lot of sugar in the bloodstream.
This form of diabetes is usually developed much later in life,unless the person is overweight. This extra fat seems to help create the condition where diabetes can develop much faster which is why younger people are now developing the disease. Even though enough insulin is often being produced, it seems to become ineffective because of what is referred to as an insulin resistance developed by the cells to the insulin. Oftentimes, someone with diabetes 2 may not even know that he or she has it. There may not be any noticeable symptoms for a long time.
Last but not least let’s discuss – Gestational Diabetes
The third form of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. This occurs in some pregnant women who are further along in their term. Symptoms may suddenly appear, or they may not be there at all. This type of diabetes can remain during the rest of the pregnancy, and then disappear afterwards. A doctor will be needed to help the mother maintain her sugar levels, as well as to make sure that the baby is not having problems with sugar as well. It is possible that the mother may develop diabetes within 5 to 10 years later. Only about 5 to 8% of pregnant women develop this form of diabetes during their pregnancy.
Click here to learn more about diabetes in women
Most Common Symptoms of Diabetes
There are tests available, which can easily tell if diabetes is present, or if you are in what is called a pre-diabetes stage. These are rather simple blood tests that are the same for either stage. Once you become aware that you have certain symptoms that indicate that you may have it, it is time to go see your doctor right away.
Before we go any further please take into consideration that some people who have diabetes never show any signs of these symptoms, so looking for them may not be the only reason to suspect you might have it. These are just some basic symptoms that may occur:
- Frequent hunger or thirst
- Blurred vision
- Tired feeling
- Dry skin
- Sores that heal slowly
- Possible rapid weight loss.
Let’s take a minute and go over each of these symptoms with a little more detail.
- The first symptom, having the need to urinate frequently, may be one of the first indications that your blood sugar levels are too high. This happens because your body is pulling liquids out of various places to cause you to urinate the excess sugars out of your system. You will probably notice that you need to urinate more frequently when you eat foods with high sugar levels, such as soda and deserts. If you are thirstier than usual then it is because you are losing fluids faster, you become thirstier than normal with diabetes. This is because the liquid you are losing through urination needs to be replaced.
- You may also be hungry frequently if there is a need forsugar and energy. Since the body may not be getting theenergy it needs, it makes you hungry so that it can get more. If you are feeling more tired than usual. Feeling tired is the result of energy from the sugar not being transferred successfully to where it is needed. Your body needs the energy from sugar to perform all its operations and muscle movements. Diabetes, or even prediabetes, can cause you to become drained of energy and tiredness settles in.
- If you experience rapid weight loss. - Weight loss may occur rather rapidly if you have Type I diabetes. This form of diabetes can go after energy that is stored in your muscles and other body tissues. This can cause a rather rapid loss of weight without even trying.
- If you heal slowly. – When you have sores that do not heal as fast as they normally do, this could be evidence of diabetes. You may also have a tingling or numbness in your hands, which could be the result of having too much sugar in the blood for a long time. Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves in your extremities is often a result.
- Other symptoms may or may not be present. Each one of them, however, may be possible evidence that diabetes, or prediabetes, may be present. If you see these symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor soon to give you tips on what to do, or medications if it is needed. Because there is the possibility that being overweight and diabetes go together, if you see any of these symptoms and are overweight, then you should see a doctor quickly.It may not even be a bad idea if you aren’t overweight. Let the doctor give you a blood test just to be sure. You really don’t want to take any chances of having diabetes and not knowing it.
- Extreme thirst: The body feels the need to replace the liquids lost as a result of the frequent urination, and the result is extreme thirst.
- Fatigue: Since the body is unable to process glucose it metabolizes fat and muscle as a food source. The result is that the body is unable to use glucose for energy and uses extra energy to metabolize fat and muscle. This causes the body to be fatigued.Blurry vision: Many diabetics will experience blurry vision when their glucose levels get to high.
- Irritability: Personality changes such as unusual irritability are often side effects of diabetes.
- Tingling in feet of hands: Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) is a side effect of high glucose levels, and results in numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
- Slow healing cuts or bruises.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Frequent Infections.
As we have discussed before, being overweight can definitely put you at risk for diabetes. Being heavier than is considered healthy for your height is definitely a strong reason to believe that you could be at risk for developing diabetes. Those extra pounds, especially if they are around your waist, could actually help to create a condition that makes cells resist the normal function of insulin. They then become insulin resistant. This condition is called metabolic syndrome.
There are many risk factors to be considered that may make you more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.
Those most at risk are:
- People with a family history of diabetes.
- Women with a prior history of gestational diabetes.
- People with impaired glucose tolerance.
- People with a sedentary lifestyle.
- People between 40 and 75 – it’s estimated that of all people affected by diabetes, approximately 75 percent have Type II diabetes. Risk increases with age.
- People of Asian or Caribbean descent and Native Americans/First Nations people are 3 to 5 times more likely to develop diabetes than Caucasians.
- People who are very over weight – over 80 percent of people with Type II diabetes are overweight. The more overweight you are and especially if you carry your weight around your waist rather than around your hips and buttocks the higher your risk.
- Women who have given birth to a large baby (over 9 pounds) pregnant women may develop a temporary type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes.
Myths about Diabetes
The first myth is that diabetics must eat special foods as part of their diet.
There is no such thing as special foods for diabetics. The truth is that he or she can eat the same thing as everyone else – just not as much of it. There also needs to be a good balance of vegetables, fruits, meats and carbohydrates. It is more the amount of food than anything else.
Next there is the one that says, diabetics can never eat sweets or anything with a lot of sugar in it again.
Once again, a diabetic can eat the same foods as anyone else – including occasional sweets. What a diabetic needs to watch is the amount of sweets and carbohydrates consumed at each meal.
Another one is that you will get diabetes if you eat a lot of sugar.
The kids will like this one – you cannot get diabetes from eating a lot of sugar. Other conditions, however, are likely to cause diabetes. Three conditions that are most likely to bring about diabetes are being overweight, having high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These cause a situation called metabolic syndrome and if it is allowed to continue, can result in diabetes.
Then there is the one that says, if you ever get diabetes you will know it.
Diabetes does not always announce itself when it arrives. For this reason it is often referred to as a silent disease. This makes it very important for you to have regular blood tests especially if you are overweight. Damage to your organs, however, may be occurring even if you do notknow you have it.
This is a good one. Exercise will make diabetes worse.
Exercise does not make diabetes worse. There are, however, certain symptoms or conditions that you may have as a result of the diabetes. This may not make it wise to do certain types of exercise. Generally, though, exercise of some kind becomes almost mandatory in the control of diabetes.
This one is scary. Once you get diabetes, you have to take insulin shots every day.
Diabetes does not at all mean that someone must have insulin shots. In its early stages, it is possible to control diabetes simply by eating right and losing a few extra pounds. Another method is taking pills that help control the blood sugar levels. A doctor will need to help decide what will work best for each person.
Last on the list is, diabetes can only be controlled medically.
People are often relieved to learn that diabetes can be controlled sometimes just by watching what and how much you eat. Generally this requires getting some instruction about what kinds of foods and how much at each meal. While meal sizes usually need to be reduced, there are also in-between snacks to balance sugar levels and stave off hunger – which works well and may keep diabetes away for many years.