What is it? What is actually diabetes?
This word means a group of diseases, actually. All of them happen because your body (or, to be exact, your pancreas) can’t produce enough insulin (it’s a very important hormone in your body, insulin regulates the absorption of glucose from the blood). There are three kinds of diabetes, and all of them have similar symptoms. The most common of them are related to the high blood sugar levels. They are:
- Frequent urination;
- Increased thirst and hunger;
- Weight loss.
All types of diabetes should be treated, and you should tell your doctor if you think you can have it. In order to understand this disease better, let’s talk about three types of diabetes.
So the first one (type 1 diabetes) is a form of diabetes, which occurs when your body can’t produce enough insulin. The symptoms of this one are usual (frequent urination, thirst, hunger), but if you don’t treat it, it can result in several more serious problems. People who have a family member with type 1 diabetes are at the risk group.
The second type is very similar to the first one. It also concerns the lack of insulin, and it can lead to blindness, heart problems and serious kidney problems. This type of diabetes can even lead to amputations because of worsening of the blood flow. Patients who suffer from obesity, people with a family history of diabetes, Asian, African and Hispanic people, people who have high blood pressure or high levels of fats in the blood, and people with sleep apnea (as well as people with psychiatric disorders) are at risk.
The third type is related to pregnancy. It’s called “gestational diabetes” and pregnant women can have this disease. It can be dangerous not to a woman but to an unborn baby, so you shouldn’t ignore the symptoms. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, women with obesity, women older than 35 and women who have family members with type 2 diabetes are at risk group.
It’s a very serious disease, but it can be treated. A lack of insulin is a problem, but it can be treated by injections, and, despite the fact that the treatment can last during the whole life, the symptoms can be minimized and you can live a long and happy life, even if you have diabetes.
But what you should definitely know is that if you don’t treat diabetes, it may end badly.
What are the possible complications of diabetes?
Well, there are lots of them.
- Heart diseases and other heart problems.
- Kidney problems (like kidney failure, which is very dangerous).
- Eye problems.
- Ketoacidosis (it can be life-threatening, too). This complication is characterized by vomiting, problems with breathing, abdominal pain, etc. It will most likely happen to those who have type 1 diabetes. It can be caused by infections or some other drugs you use (like steroids). Again, it can be extremely dangerous, so you should tell your doctor if you feel bad.
- It means the hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, and it’s caused by dehydration. HHS can lead to coma and even death, but it can be diagnosed by special blood tests. Just like ketoacidosis, it will most likely occur if you have type 1 diabetes, so you should be very careful with it. The main symptoms are increased thirst and alteration in consciousness. Plasma glucose tests will show if it’s HHS or not, so don’t ignore all those tests and tell your doctor about the problems you have.
One of the common complications of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. What is it?
Well, the very first thing you should know is that this complication can be dangerous, too. It usually happens because the nerve fibers in your body can be injured by the high level of glucose in your blood.
The symptoms of this complication can range. The most common ones are:
- Pain (especially in leg or in foot);
- Problems with urination;
- Digestive system problems;
- Heart problems;
- Muscle weakness;
- Problems with speaking, etc.
They can be both mild and severe, but the thing is that you should never ignore them. Diabetic neuropathy is a very dangerous complication and it usually affects all the organs in your body.
Due to the fact that we don’t exactly understand how the diabetic neuropathy works, all we can say is that it can result in injury of your feet. It can be treated by antidepressants, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antiepileptic medications and other drugs.
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