Diabetes is a prevalent disease in the United States. Due to people's lifestyles, the disease's risk is very high and can lead to severe issues. It is better to be aware of the condition and take care of yourself before it is too late. The care for the disease involves some changes in lifestyle and diet. However, the disease can get very severe if you don't give it proper attention. To prevent it or treat it, it is essential to understand what exactly it is. So here is a small guide for everyone to know more about diabetes;
What Is It?
Diabetes is a disease that causes your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Normally when you eat a meal, the sugar enters the blood after being absorbed from the intestine. This increase is sensed by an organ named the pancreas. The pancreas is located in the central abdomen and produces a chemical called insulin. Insulin instructs the fat and muscle cells to take up the extra sugars and save them as fat and other substances for future use. This way, the sugar is shipped to different sites, and its level in the blood goes down. In a person with diabetes, this mechanism is dysfunctional for various reasons, causing sugar to stay in the blood for longer and damage the vessel wall and other organs.
What Are the Types of Diabetes?
Diabetes is classified into two main types:
- Type 1 diabetes is a disease of the young; it is due to the failure of the pancreas to make insulin. This is diagnosed as early as at birth but in some cases can occur much later in life. Most cases are diagnosed before the age of 21 and need insulin to survive. Insulin is administered as injections given under the skin of the abdomen or thighs and has to be taken before every meal.
- Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a repercussion of a sedentary lifestyle. It occurs when we consume more sugar than the body needs. Initially, the pancreas can produce more insulin to combat the excess sugar, but over time, the body becomes resistant to the constantly high insulin levels. This is treated by changing diet patterns and increasing physical exercise. Some patients might also need medications and insulin.
What Happens if Diabetes Is Left Untreated?
Diabetes can cause many short and long term complications if left untreated. The blood's high sugar levels can weaken the vessel walls and cause lipid, fats, and cholesterol deposit, narrowing the lumen. A narrowed blood vessel lumen can interrupt the blood flow and supply of oxygen and nutrients to essential organs such as the heart, brain, and major muscle groups. It can lead to heart diseases, strokes, weakness of muscles. Diabetes can also weaken immunity and cause infections. Foot infections are commonly seen in such patients and need extensive antibiotic therapy. In some patients, amputation might be the only way to get rid of the infection completely.
Diabetes is a prevalent disease. So you need to know about it to understand it better. It can be diagnosed at any stage of life or be there since birth, depending on the type. So the best way to remain fit and healthy in any case is to maintain a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. There is nothing more to be grateful for than good health. So to protect yourself and your loved ones, get a good health insurance policy quote, and stay protected!