Do you know anybody who has diabetes? These days, it would be hard not to. In the developed world, it’s affecting more and more people every day. Our stressful, consumption oriented society opens us up to diseases that we never struggled with before. Although there isn’t any cure for it (yet), there are certain things we can do to decrease our chance of getting it, or even to prevent it from getting worse. These are 25 Fast Facts About Diabetes You Might Not Know.
The signs and symptoms of diabetes will manifest differently depending on what type of diabetes you have.
Type 1 diabetes is typically genetic. It happens when your immune system attacks your pancreas, and you are no longer able to create sufficient insulin. This means you can't break down the glucose (sugar) in your blood, and your body can't use any of it.
Type 1 diabetes is rare. Although it usually starts below the age of 20, it can happen at any age.
One common symptom of type 1 diabetes is dehydration. High blood sugar causes you to pee more in order to try getting rid of the excess sugar.
Weight loss is another sign of type 1 diabetes. Since you are losing glucose through your urine rather using it in your body's cells, you tend to lose weight.
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Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life threatening situation that can be caused by type 1 diabetes. Basically, since your body isn't getting enough glucose (sugar), it starts to break down fat cells. This creates chemicals called ketones in your blood. The combination of ketones, high sugar, and dehydration creates a significant medical emergency.
Blindness is another possible outcome. High blood sugar can damage optical nerves over time.
Too much sugar in the blood also leads to atherosclerosis. This basically means that the walls of the arteries harden, and the arteries get clogged with triglycerides, cholesterol, and white blood cells.
The eventual result of atherosclerosis is typically a heart attack.
Strokes are also a common result of type 1 diabetes. For those of you who aren't medically inclined, a stroke is essentially the brain's equivalent of a heart attack.
Type 2 diabetes is very different. It is sometimes called adult-onset diabetes because people typically get it later in life.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body just becomes less sensitive to it over time.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, the first signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not show up for many years. This means the disease can ravage your body without you being able to tell.
Many of the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes are exactly the same as type 1 diabetes.
With both diseases, circulation to extremities will eventually worsen. Remember the blindness? A simplified explanation for this is that the blood becomes syrupy and doesn't circulate very well.
This can lead to your fingers, toes, and even your appendages rotting away.
Either type of diabetes can eventually lead to significant cognitive decline.
Eventually, your kidneys will fail. At this point, you will either need a transplant, or you will have to go for dialysis several times a week. During dialysis, all the blood in your body is run through a machine to be "cleaned." Normally, this is the job of your kidneys.
Although type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, it can be controlled by a strict diet and constant blood sugar checks.
The best cure for type 2 diabetes is to avoid it altogether. How? The best way is to eat a balanced diet and exercise.
Type 2 diabetes has an extremely high correlation with being overweight or obese. So although these aren't typical signs of the disease, they are quite common preconditions.
As people in the developed world continue to live progressively less healthy lives, the incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to increase.
Although the signs and symptoms of diabetes start small, they eventually become quite unbearable and lethal.
Smoking is also correlated with the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Although there is no cure, even if you are diagnosed with it, diabetes can be maintained by living a healthy life and avoiding habits like smoking. You will never get rid of the disease, but at least you won't end up blind while connected to a machine that's filtering your blood.
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