We have talked about Diabetes in our previous posts, however, this month we are running a blog series which we titled ‘Chronic diseases and their symptoms.’ This is us playing our part in helping to eradicate chronic illnesses. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

When one is diabetic it means that the body doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Whilst there hasn’t been any cure for this chronic illness, there are measures that one can take to manage the illness and stay as healthy as possible. These steps are manageable with medications and/or lifestyle changes. It is a condition that affects people of all ages.

As already mentioned in the previous posts, there are several forms of diabetes. The common forms are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, however; there are lot more.  A combination of treatment strategies can help you manage the condition to live a healthy life and prevent complications.

Type 1 diabetes

With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes

If one has type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.

Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes and prediabetes.

Following are the symptoms of diabetes which you should watch out for:

Blurred vision: High blood glucose can cause fluid to be pulled from the lenses of the eyes, resulting in swelling, and leading to temporarily blurred vision.

Fatigue: When cells lack glucose, the body becomes tired. Fatigue can interfere with daily life when a person has type 2 diabetes.

Frequent urination and increased hunger: When too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream, the kidneys cannot reabsorb it. The body removes the excess glucose in the urine, taking water from the body with it. This can lead to excessive thirst and the need to drink and urinate more.

Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

Unexplained weight loss: When there is too little insulin, the body may start burning fat and muscle for energy. This causes weight loss.

Many of these symptoms occur as a result of the body trying to generate energy despite reduced or misused blood sugar.