Do I have diabetes? This is how you know

Hand holding a blood glucose meter measuring blood sugar, the background is a stethoscope and chart file

Nowadays, diabetes is one of the diseases that affects more and more people over the world. As each year passes, the number of patients who are diagnosed with this disease grows. But, is it possible to know you have diabetes before the dangerous complications of this disease appear in your body? Yes, it is possible to know if you have a problem with your insulin production that can cause this disease.

That is why it is so important to be educated about diabetes, its causes, and symptoms. And also to consult a doctor constantly to know how your health is.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body is incapable of transforming the food you eat into energy. The main characteristic of this disease is that it makes your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, increases to dangerous levels.

The hormone in charge of converting the food into energy is called insulin and it is made by the pancreas.

The main job of insulin is to convert all the glucose from the food we eat into energy that it is transported to the cells. This will be the normal process of glucose and insulin. However, some people do not produce enough insulin to make this process correctly, and some patients are diabetic.

Although glucose seems like something that can cause damage to your body, this is not the case. Glucose is vital to the correct functioning of our body that helps our muscles and tissues. 

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes. These are:

  1. Type 1 diabetes: Patients who have this kind of diabetes produce an insufficient amount of insulin which is too little or none. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to use insulin injections to help your body cope with the levels of glucose. This disease can occur at any age but it is most common in children and adolescents.
  1. Type 2 diabetes: 90% of the patients who are diabetic have type 2 diabetes. In this type, your body does not use the insulin that it produces in the right way. In some cases, patients with this type of diabetes will need oral medicine or insulin to keep their glucose levels under control.

These are the symptoms

The most common symptoms of both of the types of diabetes are:

  • Blurred vision
  • More hunger than usual
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent skin infections
  • Weight loss
  • Ketones in the urine
  • Extreme thirst
  • Itching in the genital area

If you have any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately. This way, you can be sure that you will receive a good diagnosis and treatment.

Consequences of diabetes

Complications due to diabetes can be the following:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart diseases
  • Pancreas malfunction
  • Gastroparesis
  • Nerve damage
  • Strokes
  • Ulcers on the foot
  • Cracked skin

Diabetes can cause serious complications in the patient’s life. However, with good treatment and regular doctor’s appointments, it is possible to live a normal life with precautions, especially with the diet.

References:

  1. International Diabetes Federation
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  3. Mayo Clinic


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