Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, FAQs, Prevention
Everything That You Need to Know
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death not only in the United States but around the world. Yearly, it claims millions of lives and affects millions more. Diabetes also costs governments billions in health care and lost revenues, which proves how much of an impact this disease has on humankind.
However, what’s truly scary about diabetes is how it can stealthily creep in, and how it can adversely affect our lifestyle. You may be able to see a perfectly fit young man and neither you nor he would be aware that he is on the track to become a full-blown diabetic.
Unfortunately, once the disease sets in, it can be quite difficult to have a normal life without some big changes in your diet as well as your daily activities. Failure to do so may lead to dire consequences that will eventually lead to death.
This article provides you with an in-depth look at what diabetes is all about. This discusses everything that you need to know about diabetes, how it starts, how to treat it, and how you can protect yourself from contracting this horrible disease.
Overview – What is diabetes?
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a disorder wherein a person’s metabolism cannot process glucose properly. This causes a high blood sugar level in the body for a prolonged period, which will then wreak havoc in the body through the various complications that it will cause.
There are many ways by which this will occur but typically stems from either the pancreas’ lack of or minimized ability to produce insulin, or the body’s inability to properly use the insulin produced, causing the glucose to stay in the blood.
Diabetes mellitus, sometimes shortened into DM, can strike anyone, although some demographics are more at risk. Diabetes basically comes in three forms, mainly Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a type of diabetes that is also considered as an autoimmune disease. This is because the pancreas has little to no insulin production, which causes high blood sugar levels to remain in the body. This leads to further complications that are typically associated with diabetes.
The cause of Type 1 diabetes is not well known. However, experts agree that genetics, as well as lifestyle, play a part. Direct injections of insulin on a regular basis is required for the duration of the patient’s lifetime. This is to make up for the insulin that the body cannot produce.
Those with Type 1 diabetes make up five to ten percent of those suffering from diabetes, while most of those that have this affliction are the young, which includes children, teens, and those who have reached early adulthood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes, or noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or NIDDM. This type of diabetes is the more common type of diabetes, making up around 90% of all cases. While Type 2 diabetes is preventable, those who have family members who have this disease have a much higher risk of suffering from this affliction.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not know how to use the insulin effectively. As such, glucose is released by the liver into the blood. Effectively, these are not used by the body as intended. In some cases, Type 2 diabetes will lead to the kidneys not functioning properly which would lead to water and salt retention, increasing the inability to lose weight, as well as the onset of Type 1 diabetes on top of the current condition.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy. This is because pregnant women experience hormonal changes during this period, and these hormones may change how the body produces insulin or processes glucose in the blood. Symptoms would include thirst and frequent urination, but otherwise, there are no real visible signs that you have this condition.
Fortunately, gestational diabetes frequently goes away after pregnancy. However, this would also increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. Gestational diabetes has also been known to cause babies to be overweight upon birth or be diagnosed with hypoglycemia, which is a condition wherein blood sugar levels are low.
In worst cases, gestational diabetes may also cause a high likelihood of requiring a C-section to deliver babies, as well as a slightly higher chance of having a premature or stillborn child.
Pre-diabetes, or borderline diabetes, is a condition where a person has a high blood sugar that is higher than normal but can still not be considered as actual diabetes. At this stage, a patient can still fully recover. Otherwise, this can become full-blown diabetes in the future.
The importance of being tested for prediabetes is important as it usually does not manifest externally. That means that a person suffering from prediabetes may not even know that it exists due to the lack of symptoms.
Those with high blood sugar levels or are at high risk of contracting diabetes should have themselves checked regularly so that prediabetes may be reversed at its early stages.
How insulin works
Insulin is a very important hormone that is produced by the body, although it can come from external sources as well. Insulin, in a nutshell, is the one that helps process and distribute sugar to where it is needed, when it is needed. If this process fails, then either the blood will have high sugar levels, or it will be very low. Medically, these conditions are called hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, respectively. Hyperglycemia is the main symptom of a person with diabetes.
The process starts with the food that we eat. Almost all foods contain nutrients that will need to be absorbed by the body before it can be put to use. Most of these nutrients are stored in specific areas of the body and are released so that they can be put to use.
Insulin is the hormone that is released by the pancreas that directs glucose to where it needs to be, either in the liver for storage, in the blood for absorption, or into specific cells so that they can be put to use.
Under normal circumstances, the beta cells within the pancreas can help balance out the glucose in the blood. However, if blood sugar levels remain high for prolonged periods of time due to lack of insulin production or if the body can no longer process the excess glucose in the body, then diabetes would occur, causing lasting and often irreversible damage to the body.
Insulin can also be injected straight into the body, in order to supplement insulin reserves which would in turn help in reducing blood sugar levels. Several types of insulin are available, with some actions immediately while others are more gradually released throughout the body within several hours up to a day.
The role of glucose
Glucose is an amino acid that serves as energy for cells. It is a requirement for cells to properly function. Glucose comes from food that is consumed, specifically carbohydrates and sugar. These are converted into glucose that is stored in the liver. The liver will then release the glucose into the blood so that it can be absorbed by organs such as the muscles, nerves, and brain.
While the body does its best to maintain glucose levels in the blood, those with diabetes will have trouble maintaining these levels. When this occurs, high blood sugar levels will lead to poor circulation and other complications, while in some cases damages to organs due to fluctuating glucose levels will cause irreparable or long term negative effects such as decreased, impaired, or even total loss of function.
As such, while glucose plays an important role to keep the body functioning normally, it is imperative to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range, especially if you currently have or are at risk of contracting diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes
A person that is suffering from diabetes will definitely manifest some symptoms. Listed below are the most common ones that sufferers of all types of diabetes may experience. On the other hand, the lack of some of these symptoms does not mean that you have not contracted diabetes. As such, if even one or two of these signs come up, then it is highly recommended that you visit a doctor to have yourself checked out.
Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are fungal infections that are pretty common, especially in women. Yeast infections can affect different parts of the body but can be typically found in the vaginal regions.
Those with diabetes are more susceptible to yeast infections due to the high amount of sugar present in their bodies. Yeast feeds on excess glucose, which is why frequent or severe yeast infections should be checked out to rule out underlying conditions such as diabetes.
Slow Healing Wounds
A high blood sugar level will tax the immune system. This will cause the white blood cells, a component of the blood that is in charge of healing and fight off infections, to function properly.
A diabetic will have wounds that will heal slowly, if at all, and they are also more susceptible to bacterial infections. Poor blood circulation and nerve damage can also affect the body’s natural healing properties, which would prevent wounds from closing up at a normal pace.
Numbness on Lower Extremities
Numbness on the feet and legs are typically due to neuropathy, or damage to the nerves. High blood sugar levels cause poor blood circulation, and nerves in the lower region are not nourished with the nutrients that it needs to survive. This will cause numbness, as well as pain and tingling or burning sensations.
In some cases, even the hands may be affected. It is also very important to check for any open wounds on your hands and feet as you may not even feel it. This is important as unmonitored wounds can lead to infections and eventual amputation.
Dryness in the Mouth and Skin
High blood sugar levels will also cause dryness in the mouth as well as in the skin. This will cause increased thirst as well as susceptibility to mouth sores and skin irritations. Yeast infections, as stated, will be prevalent, so scratching dry skin will make it more prone to wounds. Frequent drinking of water and the treatment of topical ointments to moisturize the skin is essential to lessen the damage caused by these symptoms.
As a diabetic’s cells are not getting the energy that they need from glucose due to the lack or faulty functioning of insulin in their bodies, their metabolism would eventually slow down. They would often feel hungry as well as get feelings for lethargy and low energy levels.
This is because the energy that should come from foods being consumed is not being used properly by the body. This is especially concerning as excessive hunger may lead to obesity which would further complicate matters and make your condition more severe.
Changes in Urinating Habits
Urination is a side effect of another complication, which is increased thirst. As you drink more fluids to soothe your dry mouth, the kidneys will work overtime to expel these liquids from your body.
Diabetics will typically urinate almost twice as frequently as usual, and would sometimes be woken up in the middle of the night due to the need to urinate. In worse cases, urination may no longer be controlled which would require the use of diapers.
Those who are suffering from diabetes may have a breath that smells fruity or have a smell that is similar to acetone. This can be due to a number of causes, but most of them can be attributed to diabetes. A dry mouth, infected sore, and tooth decay due to the lack of saliva can lead to bad breath, while ketoacidosis can be due to your kidney being damaged or because your body is already using fat as energy instead of glucose.
High blood sugar levels will cause blood vessels to be damaged, and the eyes are no exception. This condition, called diabetic retinopathy, will also cause the lens of your eyes to swell, causing reduced function and severe damage, if not treated accordingly. Damage to your eyes may cause blurry or reduced vision, color blindness, and even temporary to permanent blindness in some cases.
Changes in Weight
A diabetic can either lose or gain weight quickly, depending on how much insulin is being introduced into the body. If glucose is not used by the body for energy, then it may burn muscles and fat to get what is required. This will result in abrupt weight loss as well as a reduction in muscle mass.
On the other hand, too much insulin due to insulin therapy may result in cells storing too much glucose than what is required. This, in turn, will be converted to fat and lead to weight gain.
Dark Skin Patches
Acanthosis nigricans is the medical term for dark patches or rings that may appear on the skin of diabetics due to high insulin levels in the blood. Those who are taking insulin injections are susceptible to this disease, although some prediabetics also manifest this symptom.
These dark patches typically appear around the neck or groin area, but can also appear in other locations such as the armpits. Spots or bumps on your skin should also be checked out as they may be signs of diabetes as well.
Causes of Diabetes
Diabetes can be caused by a number of factors. Managing these factors will help greatly towards minimizing the risk of diabetes as well as other chronic diseases. However, some diabetics suffer the disease but cannot be deemed to be guilty of committing the actions listed below.
That is to say that there is no concrete cause as to why diabetes occurs, although these habits certainly contribute to the condition.
A diet is the number one cause of Type 2 Diabetes. A diet that is high in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars will cause a significant rise in blood sugar levels, and your body may not react fast enough by producing enough insulin to process the glucose that comes into the body.
Eating unhealthily will also increase the chances of you contracting diabetes, especially since obesity is a high-risk factor for the condition.
Aside from the damage that it can cause your liver, alcohol also plays a part in diabetes as these drinks contain a lot of calories. These calories come in the form of carbohydrates which will include your blood sugar levels.
Alcoholic beverages can also cause you to overeat as well as gain excess weight due to its high-calorie content. Additionally, mixed drinks may contain sugars which would then cause your sugar levels to rise even higher.
Glucose is necessary for the body to function as it serves as energy for you. However, if you eat too much and produce more glucose than what is necessary, especially if you do not exercise, then there is no place for the glucose to go. As such, not being active is also one of the most common reasons for diabetes as glucose is not being used up, causing it to remain in the blood.
Diagnosis of diabetes is typically done by one of two ways, namely through a sugar test or glycated hemoglobin or A1C test. Both methods measure the percentage of sugar in both, although sugar tests are measured by mg/dL or mmol/L while A1C tests give out results by percentage.
Depending on the test being taken, the patient may be asked to fast for at least six hours, while others may require you to drink a sugary liquid immediately before a test. Others, on the other hand, can be taken completely at random. These tests will indicate whether your blood sugar levels are normal, or if you have pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes.
Diabetes Treatments & Care
Being a diabetic will require regular care, with the frequency of visits to the doctor increasing as the condition worsens. While there is no cure for diabetes, there are several ways by which the disease can be kept at bay. In fact, many diabetics enjoy a high quality of life for many years despite their condition. This, however, would require a strict monitor and even more stringent lifestyle changes.
Regular Doctor Checkups
While an endocrinologist is a doctor specializing in treating people with diabetes, you may be referred to other physicians especially if there are already other complications manifesting due to your disease.
You may be referred to an ophthalmologist for eye problems, a nutritionist for weight concerns, a dermatologist for skin disorders, or any obstetrician if you are suffering from gestational diabetes. Primary care of general practitioners may also be called upon to help treat your symptoms.
As a matter of fact, a diabetic may need to visit several specialists at varying frequencies. This is required to help control diabetes as well as keep complications for occurring and worsening.
It is very critical for a diabetic to monitor his blood sugar levels, and to have a steady supply of insulin so that the balance between insulin and blood sugar is maintained. If insulin is low, then administration of insulin through injections, insulin pens, or insulin pumps may be required.
It is very important to seek and follow the advice of a professional so that you can properly administer insulin to yourself. This is very critical as misuse of insulin can be very dangerous and even fatal.
On the other hand, having low blood sugar and too much insulin must be corrected, too. This would require that glucose levels be increased, usually done by drinking fruit juices, eating a piece of candy, or taking a spoonful of sugar or honey.
A doctor will often recommend that those suffering from diabetes follow a strict diet to help control their blood sugar levels. A dietician will help create a diet plan that contains a controlled amount of carbohydrates that can be easily broken down and absorbed by the body, as well as fibers and healthy fats.
A diabetic diet will also contain fewer sugars, salt, and will typically require you to avoid junk foods and other foods that may cause your condition to worsen.
A diabetic diet will also ensure that you are eating at the right time, as well as consume the right quantity and balance of nutrients required for those who suffer from diabetes and would need specific nutritional requirements to maintain or improve their condition.
Depending on the severity of the condition, diabetics may be required to take different medications to control the blood sugar levels in the blood, improve insulin production in the pancreas, decrease weight, or improve kidney functions. Other medications may also be required to help treat complications such as yeast infections or high blood pressure.
As conditions improve, a diabetes sufferer may be taken off certain medications, or at least have their dosages lessened. On the other hand, as conditions and complications worse, more medication may be prescribed as the physician sees fit.
There are some factors that put you at a higher risk of contracting diabetes. While some of these conditions are unavoidable, a number of these risk factors can be avoided so as to minimize the chance of suffering from this disease. Take note that some of these variables will only apply for certain types of diabetes.
Those who are obese, overweight, or who have low muscle mass are more susceptible to diabetes. This is because fatty tissues are more resistant to insulin than muscle tissues. This prevents glucose from leaving the blood and being processed into energy by the body.
The risk of contracting diabetes increases with age. Those who are 45 or older are at a higher risk, although those who are contracting Type 2 diabetes are currently getting younger as well. This is due to a combination of increased inactivity as well as reduced effectiveness of body cells which are normal occurrences as people get older.
There has been evidence that the susceptibility to diabetes may be hereditary. Those who have a family history of diabetes are more likely to contract the disease as compared to those who do not have parents that have diabetes. This applies for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Pregnancy causes the body to release hormones that may hamper insulin production. Those who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy and have birthed an overweight child will also have a higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes a short time after giving birth.
Certain diseases can trigger diabetes due to complications that will affect pancreases or general hormone production. Those who have polycystic ovary syndrome are also susceptible to the disease, especially during pregnancy.
In addition, the presence of autoantibodies may increase your chances of getting Type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies are antibodies that do harm to the body rather than protect it and is hereditary in nature.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure causes inflammation, and this has been linked to a higher chance of getting diabetes. Studies have shown that these two illnesses actually complement each other, with one condition eventually making the other more severe, and vice versa.
It has been noted that certain races are more susceptible to diabetes than others. Those whose lineages can be traced back to locations such as Africa, Mexico, Spain, and India are more at risk than others. Native Americans are also more prone and have a higher chance of contracting the disease.
Long Term Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes causes serious damage to the body, most of them permanent and very serious. Aside from the condition itself, diabetes causes some very serious problems that would require treatment as well. Listed below are some of the most common complications that diabetes sufferers will have.
Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves, will occur due to the lack of nutrients being transferred from the blood to the cells that make them function. Loss of feeling and numbness can occur, especially on the toes and feet. Other sensations such as pain and tingling may also be experienced. This condition is often irreparable and severe cases may lead to amputation.
Chronic heart disease, hypertension, and strokes are common complications caused by diabetes. Conditions such as atherosclerosis are caused by blood vessels being damaged. Nerves that control these arteries and other organs may also be affected. Diseases concerning blood vessels and arteries are very common for those who have diabetes, and it will worsen as the condition becomes more severe.
Nephropathy is a disease wherein the kidneys would be damaged and lose function. This is due to blood vessels and nerves being damaged. At some point, kidneys will eventually fail, and the patient may eventually need a kidney transplant or undergo dialysis at increasing frequencies.
Retinopathy pertains to damage to the retinas. As retinas become ore damaged, vision will be affected which can cause blurry vision, difficulty to distinguish colors, and partial blindness. If the retinopathy becomes more severe, the sufferer may experience permanent or temporary blindness in one or both eyes.
As diabetes worsens, skin infections will be more prevalent. This is because the skin will eventually lose its moisture and elasticity. Diabetics will also be more prone to bacterial or fungal infections, especially since wounds will be particularly more difficult to heal. With a compromised immune system, other skin disorders may also appear, so proper care for skin is essential for diabetics on top of other concerns.
As glucose levels in the brain are not being met on a regular basis due to diabetes, eventually, the brain will not function as intended. As such, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease may eventually manifest. Research has also shown that those with diabetes are also more prone to diabetes, which may be caused either by a malfunctioning brain or due to stresses brought about by the disease.
Despite some people being at a higher risk of contracting either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, several lifestyle changes can actually lessen your risk. While these preventive measures will not prevent diabetes 100%, these practices will go a long way towards lowering the possibility of this disease from occurring.
Eat a Proper Diet
Eating a proper and healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes. Eating right-sized portions that are low in carbohydrates and unnecessary sugars are important.
You should look towards healthier alternatives for harmful foods as well as those that do not raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are highly recommended, while salty foods, processed goods, and dishes with high amounts of fats should be avoided.
Smoking is a nasty habit, and quitting is a big step towards not only preventing diabetes but also towards better general health. Studies show that smokers are about 40% more likely to develop diabetes when compared to those who do not smoke. This is due to the fact that smoking increases blood sugar as well as insulin resistance, so quitting smoking will definitely help in preventing this disease.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight causes inflammation and damage to cells. Once cells are damaged, they may not process insulin as efficiently as those who have maintained a healthy weight. Those who are overweight and obese are thus more prone to Type 2 diabetes, with those who carry the extra weight around their waists more likely than those who are wider in the hips and thighs due to the presence of visceral fat.
Those who are at risk of diabetes should try and maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.
Not only does exercising help you maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps your body absorb and utilize more glucose from the foods that you eat. This means that less glucose stays in your blood as your metabolism increases. More muscle mass will also mean that more glucose will be burned, as muscle tissue is more effective than fat in this aspect.
Regular aerobic and strength training exercises will also help prevent complications caused by diabetes such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Get Blood Sugar Tested Regularly
The frequency by which you should have your blood sugar tested will depend on your current status. For those who have regular blood sugar levels or for those who have pre-diabetes, a regular checkup with your doctor once or twice a year is more than enough. Usually, a blood test will be ordered, and you can have this done at a lab.
For those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, however, you may need to have your blood sugar checked regularly, sometimes even several times a day. This can either be done through a blood sugar meter or a device called a continuous glucose monitoring system. The latter is utilized for more severe cases where sudden spikes can be life-threatening.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is a very important part of your diet as it aids in slowing down the absorption of glucose in the blood. Typically, foods with a low glycemic index are those that are rich in either soluble or insoluble fibers or both. Foods rich in fiber include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, as well as nuts and other legumes.
You may also choose to take a fiber supplement so that you are sure to get the recommended daily requirements necessary to promote good blood sugar levels.
Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been known to reduce insulin resistance, making your body more effective in processing glucose to promote good health of the pancreas, the organ responsible for creating insulin within the body. Vitamin D is also known for helping in the reduction of body fat and the promotion of wealth loss.
Vitamin D can be found in foods such as fatty fish and some dairy products such as eggs and milk. The body can also produce its own Vitamin D through controlled exposure to the sun. Around 15 to 20 minutes is adequate for the body to supplement its Vitamin D requirements.
Drink More Coffee or Tea
Many studies have proven that drinking coffee or tea can help to minimize the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Research has been made showing that drinking these beverages can reduce the risk by up to 25%. Decaffeinated coffee, based on the study, has shown to be the most promising, with those drinking two to three cups per day showing the most benefit.
Of course, drinking coffee or tea must be controlled, as including sugar in these drinks may do more harm than good.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people in the US have diabetes?
Based on 2015 figures, there are 30.3 million Americans that are suffering from diabetes. This is equal to almost 10% of the United States’ total population. Estimates have also shown that around 25% of those with the disease are not aware of their condition. Around 25% of those affected are also over the age of 65. A majority of these cases are also suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
What kind of doctor treats diabetes?
General care physicians are typically the first to detect any complications that might lead to diabetes. These would include high blood sugar levels or any other changes to the general health of the patient. Once diabetes has been confirmed and diagnosed, the general care physician may refer the patient to an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in treating patients with diabetes. This is because endocrinologists specialize in glands and the hormones that they produce. Since insulin is considered as a hormone, endocrinologists are best suited to control the condition as well as the symptoms and complications that may arise.
What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
Diabetes, in its worst stages, can lead to a variety of complications such as neuropathy wherein damage to the blood vessels that provide nutrition to the nerves will cause numbness or tingling to affected parts of the body such as the limbs or even the penis, among others.
Kidney and eye damage are also very likely, along with heart disease and fungal or bacterial infections on the skin. In some cases, diabetes can lead to complications wherein the foot would be very damaged and can lead to amputation.
When to see a doctor?
As a general rule, you should see your doctor at least once a year for regular testing. The frequency should also increase as you age, or if you belong to a group that is at high risk of contracting diabetes. However, you should get yourself checked out if ever you feel symptoms such as extreme thirst or hunger, fatigue, itchy skin, extreme weight loss, numbness in the extremities, or have wounds that do not or slowly heal, among others.
Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative to visit your doctor regularly so that the condition can be controlled and so that the disease will not get any worse.
What is the main cause of diabetes?
A scary fact about diabetes is that it can appear out of nowhere and can be caused by many contributing factors. However, one of the most leading causes is the consumption of too much sugar, whether in its pure form or in the form of starches. This, combined with a poor lifestyle, have a major contribution to the contraction of diabetes.
At its core, diabetes is caused by the body not being able to process the glucose that is found in the blood. This is due to various reasons such as damage to the pancreas or insulin resistance in the patient’s cells which makes it difficult for the body to process glucose.
What are the 3 types of diabetes?
The three types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition wherein not enough glucose is being produced. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is a disorder wherein insulin is not being used by the body properly.
Lastly, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. All three types will cause high blood sugar levels which will slowly damage different parts of the body and cause various complications.
Does stress cause diabetes?
Stress affects the body in many ways. In fact, there are some who believe that it may even cause diabetes. While this has not been medically proven, it has been known that stress induces the release of hormones as well as trigger the fight-or-flight response. This reflex action tells the body to access glucose so that it can be accessed for excess energy.
However, the body may not be able to convert glucose into energy, which means that blood sugar levels will spike. If this cycle of stress continues, then these levels will continue to be high and will eventually lead to diabetes. As such, it is recommended that those predisposed to have the disease try and maintain and stress-free lifestyle through meditation, breathing exercises, and other means.
Is Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2 Worse?
While both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are obviously considered as bad news, it is generally accepted that Type 2 diabetes is slightly worse than its Type 1 counterpart. The reason for this is that, while Type 1 sufferers may require more major lifestyle changes, those who have Type 2 diabetes are the ones that may suffer more severe complications in the long term.
These may include obesity, chronic heart disease, and high blood pressure, among others.
Type 2 diabetes also kills more sufferers than those afflicted with Type 1 simply due to the larger percentage of diabetics belonging to the former compared to the latter. Life expectancy upon diagnosis is also shorter for Type 2 diabetics when compared to those with Type 1.
What foods cause diabetes?
There are many foods that can cause or even aggravate diabetes. Typically, foods that raise blood sugar levels are those that should be avoided if you want to prevent getting diabetes.
The common denominator for these foods is that they are high in carbs. Carbohydrates, when consumed, are broken down into glucose, which is the main culprit for causing diabetes. However, some carbohydrates come in the form of fiber that is not converted into glucose. This is the reason why some high carb foods are allowed as their net card content is not that high.
As such, several foods must be avoided in order to prevent diabetes from occurring. These include fruit juices, white rice, pasta, processed foods, or anything with trans fats, sugars, and high levels of starch.
What is end-stage diabetes?
End-stage diabetes is that period wherein the condition has progressed beyond any treatment. This is also the time wherein complications caused by the disease are at its worth, and while drastic actions such as transplants or amputation may help in prolonging a patient’s life, the damage that has been done has gone too far and death is already imminent.
Can diabetics eat rice?
While diabetes can definitely still eat rice, the quantity by which you eat should be very carefully monitored. This is because rice is very high in starches, which in turn will raise your blood glucose levels. If you would still want to eat rice, choose varieties that contain more fiber as well as have a lower glycemic index.
The best types of rice for diabetics include brown rice and basmati rice. You may also seek other alternatives to rice such as oats, couscous, or quinoa which can serve as healthier substitutes to regular rice due to their diabetic-friendly properties.
How old can a diabetic live?
A diabetic is expected to have complications due to the disease as well as a reduced quality of life as the disease progresses or as the patient grows older. Fortunately, advances in health care have shown a significant improvement in life expectancy even for those with severe cases of diabetes.
Generally, people with diabetes will die 5 to 10 years earlier as compared to those without the disease. However, this would depend on many other variables such as quality of health care, the existence of other diseases, and lifestyle, among others.
Can you be hospitalized for diabetes?
You can definitely be hospitalized for diabetes, and for a variety of causes. Both mild and severe complications may require you for both short term and long term care, and frequent visits to an endocrinologist are essential to ensure that the disease does not advance even further.
As the disease progresses, patients would also expect visits to medical centers to become more frequent in order to handle and treat more serious conditions caused by diabetes such as hypertension or kidney failure.
Is coffee bad for diabetics?
According to our specialists, drinking coffee affects diabetics in different ways as it may either increase or decrease blood sugar levels. The reason for this is unclear, which is why experts agree that patients with diabetes should closely monitor how coffee affects them.
However, experts say that drinking coffee, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, is relatively safe for as long as not too much sugar is added, and for as long as it is drunk in moderation.
What are signs your blood sugar is high?
There are many signs that would indicate high blood sugar levels. These would include frequent urination, having a dry mouth, nausea, shortness of breath, an increased level of thirst, as well as a breath that smells of dry fruit.
Some may also experience an increased heart rate, stomach pains, and vomiting. If any of these signs appear, it is recommended that you seek professional assistance immediately so as to prevent more severe and more lasting damage to the body.