Sugar, a pleasure we get through our food and beverage. Since our childhood, candy or a chocolate bar was mainly our favorite reward.
As much as we love the sweet taste, the dopamine rush, and the feeling of happiness, as much as we suffer from its consequences concerning various health conditions.
What is obvious is weight; sugar is full of calories that need much effort to be consumed. While the human body doesn’t need all this amount of calories daily, which leads to gain more weight and causes obesity.
However, this is not the only consequence, as we said, and maybe it’s not the most dangerous one, though it’s still significant. But what comes after it is mainly what we’re talking about through this article: Diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a common chronic disease that has a noticeable effect on mainly all the body organs.
It’s all about the Glucose levels or the sugar levels in the blood. To get a full image of how someone could be subjected to diabetes, let’ know first about how sugar, glucose, is consumed in our bodies.
Sugar needs Insulin Hormone to reach the body cells and gives them energy in a useful way, which is the main job of the pancreas to secrete.
The issue happens when the pancreas stops doing its job properly for whatever reason, which leads to increase sugar levels in the blood dangerously that could cause so many complications.
Therefore, a diabetes patient should be highly aware of his sugar blood levels periodically and maintain his nutrition system to keep it within the normal range.
Diabetes symptoms are apparent, that when they appear, a doctor visit is a must.
Diabetes symptoms could vary from one to another, according to many factors, including the type of diabetes, as there’s type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, which we’ll discuss in detail through the upcoming lines.
Generally, diabetes symptoms are:
– Extreme thirst
– Frequent urination
– Extreme hunger
– Weight loss
– Unclear vision
– Slow-healing wounds and sores
– Ketones in urine (due to the muscle and fat split, caused by low insulin levels.)
– Several infections
Diabetes has so many risk factors that vary from type to type; it could happen at any age if it’s type 1 and is most likely to occur after 40 for type 2. And obviously during pregnancy for gestational diabetes.
Diabetes Type 1:
Believe it or not, we still don’t know how this type could be caused.
Ironically, through this type, our immune system, which is meant to defend us from any infection, attacks the insulin amount in our blood.
And for bonus information, it’s believed that overweight or obese are innocent of any accusations concerning this diabetes type.
However, some factors could increase the risk of being a Diabetes type 1 patient.
1- Genes: it’s believed that type 1 has something to do with our genes coming from our parents. That’s why if someone is a type 1 diabetes patient, his kids are most likely to risk it.
2- Illness: in some cases, suffering from a severe illness could cause this type of diabetes.
3- Where are you from : not knowing why it happens, statistics had revealed that some countries and regions have more diabetes type 1 cases than any other place.
4- Damaged immune system: the immune system could produce what we call autoantibodies, which are linked to causing type 1 diabetes, which also could be transmitted through generations.
Diabetes Type 2:
Type 2 is of diabetes has some alarm signs that could indicate it’s on its way.
We call this phase prediabetes. It’s when sugar blood levels are high but not high enough to cause diabetes.
Diabetes type 2 happens when the body cells resist the insulin call to action to get the sugar inside, which increases the glucose levels in the blood.
For instance, we also don’t know why it could happen. We don’t know much, isn’t it?
But in this case, weight and obesity could be accused as one of the reasons, knowing that not every diabetes type 2 patient should be heavily weighed.
1- Weight: fat layers could increase the cells’ insulin resistance.
2- Age: getting old is also a factor, as it’s considered one of the most common geriatric diseases. If you want to know more about this phase and what happens through it, you can check this article.
3- Less activity: activities need energy, which mainly comes from glucose. Burning more glucose makes your body cells more likely to receive more glucose again and let the cycle goes on.
4- Genes: like type 1, type 2 could result from genetic reasons coming from our family.
5- High blood pressure: A blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg could suspect diabetes type 2. If you want to know more about high blood pressure, you can read this article.
6- Gestational Diabetes: during pregnancy, some women could have temporal diabetes, which is called gestational diabetes, which usually disappears after baby delivery. However, these women could have diabetes type 2 again.
7- Race: Statistics showed that some races are more likely to have diabetes type 2 than others.
The miracle of birth, as much it’s so inspiring, as much it’s so exhausting for any woman.
Gestational Diabetes happens during pregnancy, as a woman’s body starts to produce many hormones to sustain the pregnancy in a way or another that could affect the insulin role and makes the body cells more resistant against it.
Usually, the pancreas compensates for that by secreting more insulin. Though, in some cases, it could not be enough, which causes gestational diabetes for a pregnant woman.
1- Age: women beyond 25 are most likely to have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.
2- Weight: and we’re talking about the weight before pregnancy.
3- Genes: also, genes are a playing factor here.
How to treat:
Obviously, diabetes rolls around the lack of insulin, whatever was its type.
Still, every type has its unique treatment.
For type 1, external insulin intake is a must. Not ignoring maintaining the daily lifestyle properly.
However, type 2 could not need insulin intake. It could be managed by tablets, exercise, and sticking to a diet. But over time, a type 2 diabetes patient would need external insulin intake, which is decided by a Doctor.
Gestational Diabetes could be contained during pregnancy in several ways that won’t affect the baby. And it usually disappears post-pregnancy.
If a woman had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, she should be more aware and cautious to prevent diabetes type 2.
In general, diabetes patients should monitor their sugar blood levels periodically, stick to a diet and control their sugar intake, and most of all practice any kind of sport, even if it’s just an hour walk daily.
Unfortunately, all kinds of diabetes could lead to some serious complications if not treated and controlled properly.
From which we could mention:
1- Nerve Damage: high levels of sugar in our bloodstream could damage capillaries that provide body limbs with blood, which could cause pain, tingling, burning, and numbness.
2- Diabetic foot: nerve damage could cause the development of sores and wounds on the foot skin; due to high sugar levels, healing these sores is becoming very hard, which could cause a lot of severe more complications. If you want to know more about diabetic feet, you can check this article.
3- Alzheimer’s disease: it’s believed that Alzheimer’s is connected with diabetes type 2. Check out this article for more information.
4- Kidney failure: diabetes could cause severe damage to the kidney’s blood vessels, which could cause kidney failure.
5- Eye damage: high sugar levels could cause blindness.
6- Hearing problems: it’s most common among diabetes patients to suffer from hearing problems.
On the other side, gestational diabetes could cause some serious complications, not only for the mother but also for the baby.
– Low blood sugar level for babies: a baby could has a low sugar blood level after birth if his mother had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
– Excess growth
– Diabetes type 2: a baby whose mother had gestational diabetes is more likely to have diabetes type 2 during his life.
– Baby Death: it could happen before or after birth if the gestational diabetes weren’t treated properly.
How To Prevent?
Aside from genetic reasons, diabetes could be avoided easily through some simple steps.
1- Eat healthily: avoid high sugar and high fats, try as much as you can to go green, and get enough fibers.
2- Exercise daily: it’s highly recommended to practice any kind of sport on a daily basis.
3- Keep in shape: always take care of your weight and try to keep it within a healthy range.
4- Check-up periodically: it’s essential to check a doctor every now and then to assure everything is ok.
5- Healthy pregnancy: pregnant women need to have a healthy nutrition system to avoid gestational diabetes.