Diabetes considers a chronic (long-lasting) disease in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body’s cells become unresponsive to insulin; ultimately, the glucose in the blood can’t metabolize. Consequently, the blood glucose level is elevated in the blood.
Thus, it has a significant impact on how your body converts food into energy. Our body processes the food and breaks it down into sugar, distributed into the bloodstream under normal conditions. Whenever glucose levels are elevated in the blood, the brain sends signals to the pancreas. In response, the pancreas releases insulin, breaking the glucose molecules and converting them into energy used by body cells.
In diabetic persons, the body can’t produce enough protein, or the body’s cells become resistant to insulin. Thus, the body can’t utilize glucose as much as it should. Therefore, glucose levels get raised in the blood, leading to several issues such as heart problems, vision issues, kidney problems, etc.
November is considered Diabetes Awareness month in America, and the 14th of November witnesses World Diabetes day worldwide. Statistics show that about 34 million people in the USA have diabetes, and 90 million people are diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
Facts about Diabetes:
Following are the most significant facts about diabetes that one should consider.
Two main types of diabetes:
There are primarily two main types of diabetes, and in both the diabetic conditions, blood glucose levels get increased. Includes,
- Type 1 (Insulin-dependent Diabetes)
- Type 2 (Insulin-independent Diabetes)
Patients experience the symptoms in both types of diabetes that have mentioned below;
- Increased thirst
- An elevated blood glucose level
- Excessive urination
- Frequent loss of vision
- Abrupt weight loss
If prolonged, it can lead to severe outcomes and cause damage to several body organs, such as,
- Blood vessels
- Nerves, etc
Type 1 Diabetes:
It is also known as ‘Juvenile diabetes’ or ‘Insulin-dependent Diabetes. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. Thus, the pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin.
Therefore, the body can’t catabolize and store the glucose properly, which results in a raised blood sugar level. Type 1 diabetes primarily occurs in young children and young adults. However, older people can also be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as ‘insulin-independent diabetes.’ In this type, the body’s cells become non-responsive to the insulin throughout the body. This resistance may be genetic or metabolic. Consequently, the pancreas produces more insulin to cope with the situation. However, due to insulin resistance of body tissues, the glucose gets accumulated in the blood to unhealthy levels.
Type 2 is the most commonly diagnosed diabetes instead of type 1. According to statistics, approximately 90% of people suffer from insulin-independent type diabetes all across the USA.
Risk Factors that Increase the Risk of Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is a long-lasting (chronic) and incurable condition. Its actual cause is still unknown or not well-understood. However, there can be specific causative agents that can trigger insulin-dependent diabetes. For instance,
Genes play a vital role in causing type 1 diabetes. For example, if both parents have diabetes, there are 25% more chances of diabetes in the child.
Surprisingly, geography also plays a vital role in causing type 1 diabetes. For example, people living away from the equator have higher chances of developing type 1 diabetes. However, its actual reason is not known yet.
There are two most essential ages when children can get diabetes during childhood. For instance, at the age between 4-7 and 10-14.
The Risk Factors Increase the Chance of Type 2 Diabetes:
There could be multiple factors that elevate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For example,
Overweight or obesity is one of the most prevalent causes of insulin-independent diabetes. For instance, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a BMI of 25 or higher.
Age is also one of the critical risk factors for diabetes. People aged 45 or above have higher chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Hypertension (High blood pressure):
Hypertension has a direct relationship with our immune system. It dramatically affected the working of immune cells and weakened the defense system. Thus, there are possibilities that due to hypertension, the autoimmunity process triggers in the body, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
History of Gestational Diabetes:
Gestational diabetes is referred to as the development of diabetes during pregnancy. Thus, if you have any such history, there are chances of its conversion into type 2 diabetes when you reach age 45.
Geography can also trigger the development of type 2 diabetes. For instance, Hispanic people, native Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans are at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
Certain Medications are Available to Treat the Diabetes:
Diabetes is a chronic disease, but different medications are available for treatment. Includes,
- Insulin is the most commonly used medication to treat type 1 and severe type 2 diabetes.
- Some medicines slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing the rise in blood glucose levels.
- Some medicines trigger the pancreas to release more insulin.
- Metformin is a medicine that increases the sensitivity of body tissues toward insulin. Furthermore, it decreases glucose absorption by the intestine.
Lifestyle changes can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes:
Lifestyle is one of the significant factors that can increase or decrease the risk of diabetes. Complications of Type 1 diabetes if patients regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and inject proper amounts of insulin.
Patients with Type 2 diabetes can also reduce their blood glucose levels by taking the following steps. Include,
- Lower the intake of carbohydrates
- Weight loss
- Regular exercise
Furthermore, in some cases, the situation can be reversed completely, and you don’t need to take any medicine after adopting healthy lifestyle changes.