Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness, if left untreated. That's why it's essential to understand what diabetes is and how to manage it properly. Here is an overview of what you need to know about diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder when the body cannot produce enough insulin or doesn't use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. When blood sugar levels become too high, diabetes develops. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two main types of this disease.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when there's insufficient insulin for the body, while type 2 occurs when the body does not use insulin effectively. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections, while those with type 2 may be able to control their condition through diet and exercise alone.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of diabetes can vary depending on the type of diabetes and how far along it has progressed. However, common symptoms include infections, increased thirst, weight loss problems, and dark skin patches on the neck or armpits.
Additionally, there are also oral implications of diabetes. Studies have found that people with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other oral health complications. To reduce these complications, diabetic people are suggested to get teeth implants. These implants can cover the gaps between teeth, reducing the chances of bacteria growth within the area. It can reduce both periodontitis and oral cancer among diabetic people.
Risk Factors For Diabetes
The reasons for diabetes vary. However, here are some of the most common risk factors for people with diabetes.
It is believed that genetics can play a role in some cases of diabetes. If you have family members with type 2 diabetes, your risk of developing it increases. However, this doesn't mean that you will necessarily get diabetes if someone in your family has it – lifestyle and environmental factors are also important determinants in whether or not you develop this condition.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Excess weight can increase insulin resistance when your body doesn't respond well to insulin (a hormone responsible for moving glucose from the bloodstream into cells). As a result, blood sugar levels remain higher than usual, leading to an increased risk of diabetes over time. Reducing weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity can help lower these risks significantly.
The older you get, the greater your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is because our bodies become less able to process sugars as we age due to declining levels of insulin production and sensitivity in our cells. Therefore, individuals aged 45 and above should be especially mindful of their potential risk factors for developing this condition.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, several treatment options are available to help you manage your condition. However, there are now newer treatments for different types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body stops producing insulin, leading to dangerously high blood sugar levels. A new type of treatment addresses this problem by using stem cells to regenerate the cells that produce insulin. This is effective in reducing symptoms and helping patients manage their diabetes more effectively.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, leading to a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream. New treatments focus on increasing sensitivity to insulin and managing weight and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. Metformin is one of the most common medications for type 2 diabetes, but other drugs, such as thiazolidinediones (TZDs), are also used to lower blood sugar levels.
In addition to medications, lifestyle interventions play a significant role in managing type 2 diabetes. For example, exercise helps reduce glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity while improving overall health. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can also help control blood sugar levels and reduce symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.
Living with diabetes can be challenging, but proper care and management don thave to be overwhelming. Knowing what type of diabetes you have and understanding the signs/symptoms associated with each type are critical steps in developing an effective treatment plan that works for you.