What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-term) health condition that affects the way your body converts food into energy.
Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level rises, it tells your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to allow blood sugar to enter your body’s cells to use for energy.
With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there is not enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
There is no cure for diabetes yet, but losing weight, eating healthy foods, and staying active can really help. Other things you can do to help:
- Take the medication as prescribed.
- Get diabetes self-management education and support.
- Make and keep health care appointments.
If you have any of the following symptoms of diabetes, see your doctor for a blood sugar test:
- Urinating (peeing) a lot, often at night.
- You’re very thirsty
- Lose weight without trying
- They are very hungry
- Have blurred vision
- Have numb or tingling hands or feet
- Feeling very tired
- Have very dry skin
- You have sores that heal slowly.
- You have more infections than usual
What is the main cause of diabetes?
To understand diabetes, it is important to understand how the body normally uses glucose.
how insulin works
Insulin is a hormone that comes from a gland behind and below the stomach (pancreas).
- The pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream.
- Insulin circulates, allowing sugar to enter cells.
- Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.
- As the blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.
The role of glucose
Glucose, a sugar, is a source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.
- Glucose comes from two main sources: food and the liver.
- The sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin.
- The liver stores and produces glucose.
- When glucose levels are low, such as when you haven’t eaten in a long time, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose. This keeps your glucose level within a typical range.
The exact cause of most types of diabetes is unknown. In all cases, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. This is because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
- Feeling thirstier than usual.
- urinate a lot
- Bedwetting in children who have never wet the bed at night.
- Feeling very hungry.
- Lose weight without trying.
- Feeling irritable or having other mood swings.
- Feeling tired and weak.
- Have blurred vision.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can live with type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. When signs and symptoms are present, they may include:
- More thirsty. When sugar builds up in the blood, the kidneys work overtime to remove it. This draws fluids from your tissues and dehydrates you, making you feel thirsty.
- More hungry. Because diabetes can prevent glucose from reaching your cells, you feel hungry, even after you’ve eaten.
- Urinate often. You will urinate more because your kidneys are working to remove excess sugar from your system.
- Dry mouth. Dehydration and urinating a lot can also drain moisture from your mouth.
- Weight loss without trying. When you lose sugar from urinating a lot, you also lose calories. You may lose weight even though you are eating as usual.
- Fatigue. When your body can’t use energy from food, you may feel weak and tired. Dehydration can also make you feel this way.
- Blurry vision. High blood sugar can make it hard for you to concentrate.
- Headaches. High blood sugar levels can make your head hurt.
- Loss of consciousness. After exercising, skipping a meal, or taking too many medicines, your blood sugar level may drop too low and you may pass out.
- Infections or sores that do not heal. High blood sugar can decrease blood flow and make it harder for your body to recover.
- Tingling in hands and feet. Type 2 diabetes can affect the nerves in the hands and feet.
- Red, swollen and sensitive gums. You are more likely to get infections in your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums can become infected or loosen from your teeth. Your teeth may become loose.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Most pregnant women do not experience signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes. In fact, the only way to know is with a blood sugar test, which is usually done around 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.
Some women may notice subtle signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes, including:
- Increased thirst. Drinking more than normal and feeling like you’re always thirsty can be a sign of gestational diabetes.
- Fatigue. Pregnant women are tired, after all, it is a lot of work to grow and maintain a baby! However, gestational diabetes can make you feel even more tired than usual.
- Dry mouth. A dry mouth, despite heavy drinking, can be another sign of gestational diabetes.
Taking insulin or other diabetes medications is often part of diabetes treatment. In addition to making healthy food and drink choices, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, medications can help you manage the disease. Some other treatment options are also available.
Do you suffer or know someone who suffers from this disease?
We are currently offering clinical trials to test new diabetes medications and treatments; With these, we want to achieve advances in the treatment of this disease and improve the quality of life of those who suffer from it, as well as one day find a cure.