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Diabetes: Types And The Common Symptoms You Should Know


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Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

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What kind of diabetes do you have?

The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. People can develop diabetes at any age. Both women and men can develop diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, develops most often in young people; however, type 1 diabetes can also develop in adults. In type 1 diabetes, your body no longer makes insulin or enough insulin because the body’s immune system, which normally protects you from infection by getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, has attacked and destroyed the cells that make insulin.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes:
  • taking shots, also called injections, of insulin.

  • sometimes taking medicines by mouth.

  • making healthy food choices.

  • being physically active.

  • controlling your blood pressure levels. Blood pressure is the force of blood flow inside your blood vessels.

  • controlling your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a type of fat in your body’s cells, in your blood, and in many foods.
Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, can affect people at any age, even children. However, type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people. People who are overweight and inactive are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance—a condition that occurs when fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by making more insulin. Over time, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin when blood sugar levels increase, such as after meals. If your pancreas can no longer make enough insulin, you will need to treat your type 2 diabetes.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes:
  • using diabetes medicines

  • making healthy food choices

  • being physically active

  • controlling your blood pressure levels

  • controlling your cholesterol levels
Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes can develop when a woman is pregnant. Pregnant women make hormones that can lead to insulin resistance. All women have insulin resistance late in their pregnancy. If the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin during pregnancy, a woman develops gestational diabetes.

Overweight or obese women have a higher chance of gestational diabetes. Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy may increase your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes most often goes away after the baby is born. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes

The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes are:

Frequent Urination: Have you been going to the bathroom to urinate more often recently? Do you notice that you spend most of the day going to the toilet? When there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood you will urinate more often.

If your insulin is ineffective, or not there at all, your kidneys cannot filter the glucose back into the blood. The kidneys will take water from your blood in order to dilute the glucose - which in turn fills up your bladder.

Disproportionate thirst: If you are urinating more than usual, you will need to replace that lost liquid. You will be drinking more than usual. Have you been drinking more than usual lately?

Intense hunger: As the insulin in your blood is not working properly, or is not there at all, and your cells are not getting their energy, your body may react by trying to find more energy - food. You will become hungry.

Weight gain: This might be the result of the above symptom (intense hunger).

Unusual weight loss: This is more common among people with Diabetes Type 1. As your body is not making insulin it will seek out another energy source (the cells aren't getting glucose). Muscle tissue and fat will be broken down for energy. As Type 1 is of a more sudden onset and Type 2 is much more gradual, weight loss is more noticeable with Type 1.

Increased fatigue: If your insulin is not working properly, or is not there at all, glucose will not be entering your cells and providing them with energy. This will make you feel tired and listless.

Irritability: Irritability can be due to your lack of energy.

Blurred vision: This can be caused by tissue being pulled from your eye lenses. This affects your eyes' ability to focus. With proper treatment this can be treated. There are severe cases where blindness or prolonged vision problems can occur.

Cuts and bruises don't heal properly or quickly: Do you find cuts and bruises take a much longer time than usual to heal? When there is more sugar (glucose) in your body, its ability to heal can be undermined.

More skin and/or yeast infections: When there is more sugar in your body, its ability to recover from infections is affected. Women with diabetes find it especially difficult to recover from bladder and vaginal infections.

Itchy skin: A feeling of itchiness on your skin is sometimes a symptom of diabetes.

Gums are red and/or swollen - Gums pull away from teeth

If your gums are tender, red and/or swollen this could be a sign of diabetes. Your teeth could become loose as the gums pull away from them.

Frequent gum disease/infection: As well as the previous gum symptoms, you may experience more frequent gum disease and/or gum infections.

Sexual dysfunction among men: If you are over 50 and experience frequent or constant sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction), it could be a symptom of diabetes.

Numbness or tingling, especially in your feet and hands: If there is too much sugar in your body your nerves could become damaged, as could the tiny blood vessels that feed those nerves. You may experience tingling and/or numbness in your hands and feet.

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Article culled from health-related contents, videos.
 
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