Most people are not alien to the concept of lifestyles diseases. Among these self-inflicted illnesses is the condition that is diabetes. Though in some cases it may be genetic and acquired through birth, in many instances it develops due to a poor lifestyle. Diabetes is basically a condition of the body that causes the person’s blood sugar to go unregulated by the body naturally.
The condition comes in two distinct types, Type 1 diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes. It should also be noted that there is a third and rare types of diabetes referred to as gestational diabetes. This condition only affects a small percentage of pregnant women whose body can’t manage to regularly produce insulin during the late periods of their pregnancy.
Diabetes is basically caused by the inability of the body to produce the hormone insulin. The result is that the body is unable to process and break down sugar from the blood stream. In Type 1 diabetes, the body actually attacks the insulin-producing cells leading to increased levels of glucose in the body. In type 2 diabetes, the body develops a resistance to the produced insulin, produces less than sufficient insulin, or the insulin is not produced at all.
Common Diabetes Symptoms
A person suffering from diabetes usually has the same tell signs as someone with hyperglycemia (Sugar Symptoms). This is because the sugar level in the blood is generally unregulated, and more often than not tends to spike. Some of the symptoms are listed.
- Constant thirst
This is the condition whereby an individual is always craving water. It is caused by the increased glucose levels offsetting the osmotic balance of the blood in the body.
- Continual fatigue
The individual is always feeling fatigued even with small minor exercises like walking along a pavement, descending a short flight of stairs or simply walking a short distance.
- Irregular passage of urine
The normal passage of urine depends on the amount of liquid ingested. Diabetes, however,destabilizes this timetable and the individual is left frequenting the loo more times than normal, especially at night times.
- Itching around the private parts
Discomfort around the penis or vagina can a common symptom. This should, however, be only in the cases where the itchiness feels unprovoked. Where there are lesions or bulges, one should check for other infections like STD’s. Women also tend to develop thrush quite frequently
- Blurred vision
As the glucose level affect the optic nerves, constant blurred vision is a good symptom. The decision, however, should be arrived at with the consultation of both your doctor and optician.
- Wounds that heal rather slowly
Small wounds generally take a day or two to heal. The case is however not the same in the instance when an individual is diabetic. The wounds take longer to heal and in m any some cases get easily infected
- Sugar Deposits in the urine
In some severecases, there are usually some sugar crystals noticed when the urine of the individual dries up. This is quite difficult to spot unless under observation and is usually a sign that other organs like the kidneys are also getting affected.
Diabetes can go unnoticed for years and years. Since the condition hardly ever comes with little or no pain, it is generally ignored due to its common symptom. Vigilance is key in keeping it a bay. Regular diabetes testing and monitoring of sugar symptoms is thus never a bad idea.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes, as previously outlined, results from the immune system attacking the glands that produce insulin. This means that the glands within the liver are perceived as foreign particles then destroyed. As a result, insulin production goes down and then stops in the long run. The glucose absorbed in the body is thus not broken down and only keeps piling up. Some common symptoms that can be noticed with this type of diabetes are:
- Frequent extreme thirst
- Frequent night urination
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing of wounds
- Heavy breathing
These symptoms can in some case appear and escalate quite rapidly if they do not lessen and subside whit the administration of insulin, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a medical professional. When you develop loss of appetite, stomach pains, high temperatures or a breath with the smell of fruits don’t hesitate to seek a doctor immediately.
Having a pregnancy while already afflicted with type 1 diabetes can lead to the escalation of the condition. This can pose some dangers to both the mother and baby and a professional should always be on hand to monitor and advice. It is always good to keep your glucose levels in check. This can be easily achieved be keeping to the glucose chart. A healthy chart should resemble the one below.
|Time of Day||Blood Glucose Range for Healthy Individual||Blood Glucose Range for Diabetic Individual|
|Before Breakfast (Fasting Test)||<100||70-130|
|Before Lunch or supper||<110||70-130|
|After Meals (approx. 2 hours)||<140||<180|
(figures courtesy of the Joslin Diabetes Center)
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
In this type of diabetes, the body slowly but gradually stops reacting to the insulin that is produced. In this case, there is more than enough insulin in the blood yet it does not do its intended purpose. Another case is usually when the body can’t actually produce enough insulin for one reason or another. This means that there is more sugar ingested that broken down. The identifying symptoms of this type of diabetes are:
- Constant thirst and a dry mouth
- Blurry vision
- Wounds that won’t heal
- Cloudy thinking
- Frequent hunger
- Erectile Dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation in men
- Increased vaginal yeast in women
This type of diabetes can also occur as a result of residual gestational diabetes. Pregnant women are thus advised to have regular diabetes testing in order to be prepared for this future possibility.
The best thing is that the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be kept at bay easily by eating a healthy diet, getting enough and regular exercise and simply monitoring your sugar levels. This is because this type of diabetes is mainly associated with the lifestyle disease obesity.
It should be the initiative of every individual to watch their diet and weight. On spotting any of the above symptoms, one should opt for diabetes testing. This will help to ascertain which type of diabetes you are afflicted with exactly and the best course of action to take. Self-diagnosis and medication are quite dangerous and could lead to the development of more severe conditions. Seeking professional; help is the best way to go whenever you suspect that you are afflicted with any medical condition. Diabetic eye screening should also be done on a yearly basis to avoid the development of further complications like diabetic retinopathy.
A balanced meal each day and just enough exercise are a good way to either avoid the condition in general or manage your glucose chart within agreeable levels. This will ensure that you get the most out of life and live as a productive member of society. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.