Diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as diabetes) is a health condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, or does not properly respond to it.
The thing about diabetes is that it can strike anyone. More than 380 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes mellitus. And the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, that number of people living with diabetes will more than double.
Role of insulin:
Whenever we eat something, our body turns that food into sugar or glucose. This glucose is used to provide energy to our body. And at this point, our pancreas is responsible for the release of insulin.
Insulin serves as a “key” to open our cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allow us to use the glucose for energy.
But with diabetes, this system does not work.
Types of diabetes:
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease, but there are also other kinds, such as gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, as well as other forms.
Symptoms of Diabetes:
Effects of Diabetes:
In addition to the symptoms, diabetes can cause long term damage to our body. The long term damage is commonly referred to as diabetic complications.
Diabetes affects our blood vessels and nerves and therefore can affect any part of the body.
• On heart: It contributes to high blood pressure and is linked to high cholesterol which significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
• On eyes: Lead to rectinopathy which is caused by blood vessels in the back of the eye (the retina) swelling and leaking.
• On nerves: Can lead to nerve damage (neuropathy) which is noticed by:
1. Lack of arousal in the penis or clitoris
2. Excessive sweating or
3. Diagnosis of delayed stomach emptying
• On kidneys: Leads to diabetic nephropathy, a term given to damage of kidneys by diabetes.
• On digestion: Diabetes can affect digestion in a number of ways. If diabetes has caused nerve damage, this can lead to nausea, constipation or diarrhoea. An alternative cause of disturbed digestion can be the result of diabetes medication.
Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual needs unique care. People with diabetes and their families are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the latest medical therapies and approaches, as well as healthy lifestyle choices.
One of the most important thing to be kept in mind is getting proper nutrients and following a healthy diet. Given above is a diabetes portion plate that can be referred to maintain a proper diet.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.