Blood sugar is your main source of energy and this comes from the foods we eat. Diabetes is a disease associated with high blood sugar (aka: glucose) levels. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas and it aids in converting food sugar into energy. However, in the case of Diabetes, the body is not making sufficient amounts of insulin or insulin is not functioning properly and glucose builds up in the blood and doesn’t reach the cells for conversion into energy.
The two most common types of Diabetes are:
- Type 1 Diabetes. This is when your immune system – which is designed to protect you – attacks and kills the cells in your pancreas that makes insulin. This type is usually diagnosed at a very early age and patients of Type 1 Diabetes are required to take insulin on a daily basis to stay alive.
- Type 2 Diabetes. This is more common and is diagnosed later in life. Usually, in this case, insulin is made by the pancreas; however, it is not converted properly.
There is no cure for Diabetes; however, prevention and some lifestyle changes may help to control Type 1 Diabetes and possibly slow the progression of Type 2 Diabetes. Following a specialized diet plan and engaging in regular physical activity are great ways to keep your weight at a healthy level, and also reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.
By making minor changes today, you could avoid some very serious medical complication, such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and heart damage due to Diabetes. There is no reason to be discouraged and feel that you are losing a battle, because each positive change is positive and every pound that you lose is one step closer to being healthier.
Symptoms of Diabetes may include:
- Excessive thirst
- Blurry vision
- Cuts and bruises that seem to take forever to heal.
- Numbness and/or tingling in hands and/or feet (typically associated with Type 2)
- Chronic dry skin.
- Increased risk of gum disease.
Early detection of Diabetes is vital in avoiding serious damage to your eyes (such as glaucoma and/or blindness), heart (stroke, heart attack, and narrowing of the arteries), kidney’s (failure to the point of needed a transplant), and neuropathy (nerve damage).