Often referred to as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is a metabolic disease which increases the blood sugar level of individuals suffering from this menace.
This phenomenon is caused either due to the inadequacy of insulin in the body or an inappropriate response of the body’s cells to insulin. In some cases, it can be caused by both factors.
According to the Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, approximately 382 billion people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2013. This is a staggering figure and points out just how widespread this disease has become.
Types of Diabetes
There are different types of diabetes, the most known ones being the Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes: This is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin. One out of ten cases of diabetes turns out to be the Type 1 variant.
A less known type of diabetes is Gestational Diabetes. Like the name suggests, this variant of diabetes usually occurs in pregnant women during the gestation period.
So, what are some of the early symptoms of diabetes you should watch out for?
People with undiagnosed diabetes will usually experience these early symptoms:
- Increased thirst (polydipsia) and hunger (polyphagia)
- They may also experience frequent urination (polyuria)
- Unexplainable weight loss or gain.
- A constant feeling of fatigue.
- Doubled or blurred vision.
- The tendency for wounds to heal at an extremely slow pace.
- Constant feeling of
- A feeling of numbness or tingling in both hands and feet.
- Infections of the skin or dark patches on the skin.
- A sweet or fruit-like breath.
Studies claim that you are at a potential risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you fall into any of the following categories;
- If there has been a history of diabetes in your family.
- If you are above 45 years of age
- If you are overweight or obese
- If you suffer from high blood pressure
- If you are Asian-American, African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Alaskan, or Native Hawaiian.
- If your baby was over 9 pounds at the point of delivery.
- If you experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
- If your cholesterol level is high
- If your exercise routine is poor.
- If you have ever had a stroke or heart disease.
What to do if diagnosed with diabetes?
Although diabetes can’t be cured, it can be managed through the following methods:
- Use of insulin for type 1 diabetics.
- Use of medications that reduce blood sugar level e.g; metformin (also known as Glucophage).
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Switching to a more healthy diet and avoiding junks
- Always observing your blood sugar