Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel.
The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type. But, no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems.
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. And prediabetes is often the precursor of diabetes unless appropriate measures are taken to prevent progression. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered.
Why is your blood glucose level high? How does this happen?
The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta), your body breaks this down into sugar (glucose). When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help – a “key” – to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells (cells make up your body’s tissues and organs). This help or “key” is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas; an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the “key” that unlocks the cell wall “door,” which allows glucose to enter your body’s cells. Glucose provides the “fuel” or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.
Types of diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults). You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too.
What’s more, more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is if you have prediabetes, a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program can help you take healthy steps to reverse it
The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
Frequent urination. Increased thirst. Always feeling hungry. Feeling very tired. Blurry vision. Slow healing of cuts and wounds. Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet. Patches of dark skin.
Early signs and symptoms of diabetes
Frequent urination. When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. Increased thirst. Fatigue. Blurred vision. Increased hunger. Unexplained weight loss. Slow-healing cuts and wounds. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
What food causes diabetes?
To start eating healthier today, keep an eye out for these four food groups that are known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Highly Processed Carbohydrates. Sugar-Sweetened Drinks. Saturated and Trans Fats. Red and Processed Meats What Colour is urine if you have diabetes
· Diabetes can cause cloudy urine when too much sugar builds up in your urine. Your urine may also smell sweet or fruity. Diabetes can also lead to kidney complications or increase the risk of infections of the urinary tract, both of which can also make your urine appear cloudy.
What are the signs of diabetes in a woman
Symptoms in both women and men increased thirst and hunger. Frequent urinating, weight loss or gain with no obvious cause, fatigue, blurred vision, wounds that heal slowly, nausea, skin infections.
How do you feel when sugar is low?
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Sweating, feeling tired, dizziness, feeling hungry, tingling lips, feeling shaky or trembling, a fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations) becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious, or moody.
What are the 5 worst foods for diabetics?
Sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugary beverages are the worst drink choice for someone with diabetes. Trans fats. Artificial trans fats are extremely unhealthy. White bread, rice, and pasta. Fruit-flavored yogurt. Sweetened breakfast cereals. Flavored coffee drinks. Honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup. Dried fruit.
What should you eat to avoid diabetes?
Choose whole grains and whole-grain products over refined grains and other highly processed carbohydrates. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea instead. Choose healthy fats. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, beans, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead.
Is banana good for diabetes?
Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized diet plan. A person with diabetes should include fresh, plant food options in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables. Bananas provide plenty of nutrition without adding many calories.
Can diabetes go away?
According to recent research, type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but individuals can have glucose levels that return to the non-diabetes range, (complete remission) or pre-diabetes glucose level (partial remission) The primary means by which people with type 2 diabetes achieve remission is by losing significant amounts of weight.
Is dizziness a symptom of diabetes?
People with diabetes may experience dizziness, either as a symptom of the condition or as a result of dehydration or certain medications. A doctor can help determine the cause and how to manage or treat it. Diabetes can cause low or high blood sugar, which can make people feel dizzy or lightheaded
Can diabetics eat eggs?
Eggs are a low-carbohydrate food and have a very low glycaemic index score. This makes them a good source of protein for people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) state that eggs are suitable food for people with diabetes
What is the best breakfast for a diabetic to eat?
Eggs. Eggs are delicious, versatile, and a great breakfast choice for people with diabetes. Greek yogurt with berries. Overnight chia seed pudding. Oatmeal. Multigrain avocado toast. Low carb smoothies. Wheat bran cereal. Cottage cheese, fruit, and nut bowl.
is fruit good for diabetics
While some forms of fruit, like juice, can be bad for diabetes, whole fruits like berries, citrus, apricots, and yes, even apples — can be good for your A1C and overall health, fighting inflammation, normalizing your blood pressure, and more
Is chicken good for diabetics?
Chicken can be a great option for people with diabetes. All cuts of chicken are high in protein and many are low in fat. When prepared healthily, chicken can be a great ingredient in a healthy diabetic eating plan.
How can you avoid diabetes?
Cut sugar and refined carbs from your diet. Work out regularly. Drink water as your primary beverage. Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Quit smoking. Follow a very-low-carb diet. Watch portion sizes.
Avoid sedentary behaviours.
Is honey good for diabetes?
Generally, there’s no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes.
Can drinking water prevent diabetes?
Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes
How do I know if you urinating too much?
In most people, the bladder can store urine until it is convenient to go to the toilet, typically four to eight times a day. Needing to go more than eight times a day or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom could mean you’re drinking too much and/or too close to bedtime
Does diabetes affect your legs?
Having diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels that supply your legs and feet. This puts affected people at increased risk of developing ulcers on the feet and legs which can become infected, and in the worst cases, develop gangrene (where the tissue dies, resulting in the need for amputation).
Is rice bad for blood sugar?
Rice has a high glycaemic index and a lot of carbohydrates, according to Harvard Medical School. That means that rice can quickly raise blood glucose to very high levels. Eating a lot of high-glycaemic foods can increase insulin resistance and make it harder to control your blood sugar
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Author: Dr Hassan Azadeh, senior lecturer at the University of The Gambia, clinical director at Medicare Health Services