When the body is unable to turn carbohydrates in the food you eat into energy there is a build up of sugar in the blood and this leads to Diabetes Mellitus or simply diabetes. When you are born with diabetes problem then it is type 1 diabetes and when you develop it in the later stages of life it is type 2.
As time goes by the build up of constant sugar affects the heart, eyes and nervous system which leads to damage in the organs and serious health conditions. Diabetes affects people regardless of age, the initial symptoms are mild but later it causes havoc. Many of those who have type 2 diabetes are unaware.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES?
Mostly people with type 2 diabetes do not have any apparent symptoms. The first symptom though may be constant thirst. Other symptoms may be dry mouth, bigger appetite, frequent urination and unusual weight gain or loss. Later when diabetes is full blown then you may get headaches, blurred vision and constant fatigue.
The signs of serious high blood sugar and resultant problems may be cuts or sores that do not heal, frequent urinary tract infection and itchy skin in the groin area. A lower libido is also a sign of uncontrolled blood sugar.
RISK FACTORS TO CONTROL
The following are the risk factors which you can control and live with diabetes yet enjoy better health.
The conditions that can be controlled by you include:
- Being overweight
- Habitual smoking
- Eating red meat and high fat dairy products
- Consuming sugar and sweets
- Controlling triglycerides and cholesterol levels
- Conditions beyond control include your race or ethnicity, a family history of diabetes and ofcourse your age factor.
HOW IS DIABETES DIAGNOSED?
Diabetes is diagnosed by a doctor by taking a blood sample and doing an A1c test. It will show the average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. If you have been already diagnosed with diabetes your fasting and after food blood glucose will be tested to know the sugar levels and you may be diagnosed as diabetic or not.
IMPORTANCE OF DIET AND EXERCISE
Blood sugar levels can be controlled by changing diet and losing the extra weight through proper exercise. This will cut out the risk of complications. Keep a tab on the carbohydrate you consume. Keep the amount of food at every meal the same. Watch your intake of fat and protein and cut down on calories.
Regular exercise like cardio, walking and strength exercise can improve your insulin function and keep the sugar levels under control. Be active and get rid of body fat to lower blood pressure. At least 30 minutes of exercise daily is recommended.
The complications from diabetes are many and it includes clogging of blood vessels, neuropathy, eye problem which may lead to even blindness and mainly foot problems with unhealing sores and loss of sensation in the feet.
Your doctor will usually prescribe the relevant medication and advice lifestyle changes and dietary plan. If need you may be given insulin prescription to be followed for both type 1 and 2.