Diabetes is a growing problem in this country. With our population at an all time high in weight gain and a low in health care, the problem is only growing.
Diabetes is a disease of the metabolism. Our metabolism is what the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth.
Most food that is processed through our bodies is broken down by digestive juices into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the fuel our bodies run on.
When we eat, and our food is processed, the pancreas is supposed to produce the right amount of glucose from our blood automatically and release the right amount of insulin into our blood.
In people with diabetes, little to no insulin is produced or the body’s cells don’t respond correctly to the insulin that is produced. Therefore the glucose builds up and overflows into the urine and passes out of the body.
This is how the body loses its main source of fuel even though the bloodstream contains good amounts of the natural glucose.
There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. People who have type 1 are known as insulin-dependent.
This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s natural system is fighting against another part of the body. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the system attacks the insulin producing cells and destroys them.
Therefore the pancreas can produce little to no insulin. These people are in need of daily injections of insulin to live. Five to ten percent of diabetes cases are type 1 in the US.
All too often we get sick but ignore the symptoms we may be feeling, shrugging them off to a cold, stress from work, or just not feeling well.
There are certain symptoms that should not be ignored if they develop. These symptoms could lead to blindness, amputation of limbs, coma or even death.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often come on suddenly and are severely dramatic. The extra stress of diabetes can lead to something called diabetic ketoacidosis.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis may include nausea and vomiting, which may also lead to dehydration and serious problems with the blood levels of potassium. This could lead to a diabetic coma and ultimately death.
Other symptoms of diabetes may include extreme fatigue. We all get tired at times, but diabetes triggers a more severe fatigue than normal.
People with diabetes also experience unexplained weight loss. This is because they are unable to process many of the calories they consume. Losing sugar and water in the urine also contributes to the weight loss.
Extreme thirst is another symptom of diabetes. Diabetes develops high blood sugar levels and the body tries to compensate by diluting the blood, which translates to our brain that we are thirsty.
With this is also excessive urination. It is another way our bodies have of getting rid of the extra sugar in our system. But this can also lead to dehydration.
One of the hardest symptoms to deal with is poor wound healing. Wounds heal slowly, if at all when the carrier has diabetes. This along with infections that aren't easily remedied can attribute to ulcers and loss of limbs.
(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)