What is Diabetes?
First, How is Sugar Processed in a Healthy Body?
To understand diabetes you have to know how a healthy system functions. When we eat or drink, our pancreas produces a hormone called insulin.
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat. It is formed and stored inside the body. This is the body’s main source of energy for its cells. It’s carried to each cell through the bloodstream.
Insulin is released into the blood to help regulate the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
A Balanced Healthy Body
When the body is balanced, it drives glucose into the cells for energy production and once blood-glucose levels drop to a fasting range, insulin production stops.
An Out of Balance Unhealthy Body
When the body is out of balance, possibly due to age, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet lacking nutrition but featuring refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, our cells become insulin resistant, causing blood-glucose levels to rise.
Rising glucose levels trigger the pancreas to release more insulin to counter the glucose—creating a vicious and dangerous cycle.
Effects of This Dangerous Cycle
Too much sugar in your body at any time is dangerous. When you constantly eat food high in sugar (sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, etc.), your body produces an excess of insulin to balance the sugar. Too much insulin is also dangerous for your health since it affects your arteries (circulatory system). This causes the artery walls to grow faster than normal which in turn makes them tense. This strain adds stress to your heart and damages it over time, possibly causing heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, excess sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems, and other metabolic issues.
Diabetes is the inability of the body to process sugars properly. It is a condition where the process of sugar intake being controlled by insulin does not function correctly. As a result, your body has too much glucose and too much insulin.
With diabetes such an epidemic today, it is essential that you know exactly what it is. Through understanding, you have a better chance of diabetes prevention as well as better health promotion.
Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes) is a condition where no insulin is produced by the pancreas. This requires the use of insulin injections, strictly followed on a daily schedule. It also means following diet guidelines to allow for the best balance between your blood glucose and these insulin injections.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas. The insulin has no effect on the glucose levels in the blood. This diabetic condition is rapidly becoming more common.
Diabetes is a serious health condition. But the danger to your body is due to the long-term effects of high blood sugar can be damaging to your health. Uncontrolled diabetes and prolonged high blood sugar levels can cause problems to many organs including the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and the heart. Loss of extremities is possible as well as nerve damage.
This may sound grim, however controlling blood sugar by a combination of medicine, diet, and exercise can vastly reduce long-term complications.
According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes. 88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes. And new diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults.
Alarmingly, 8.1 million might be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
How Do You Find Out if You Have Diabetes?
The simplest way to check if you have diabetes is to arrange a blood sugar check with your doctor. A tiny sample of blood, obtained by pricking a finger is checked using a small electronic tester.
Normal blood sugar level is generally between 72 – 126 mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre) or 4 – 7 mmol/L (millimoles per litre), where 1 mmol/Ll = 18mg/dl.
Diabetes is diagnosed if the body is unable to keep the blood sugar level within these limits.
A diabetes diagnosis can occur out of the blue during a routine check-up. More often it follows from an office visit resulting from experiencing some or all of the “symptoms” of diabetes. These symptoms can be many or few and mild or severe depending on the individual. These could be symptoms for something other than diabetes. The test and your doctor’s advice provide your best health resolution.
Most-Common Symptoms Explained
Loss Of Weight – Glucose is the form of sugar which is the body’s main fuel. Diabetics cannot process this properly so it passes into the urine and out of the body. Less fuel means the body’s reserve tissues are broken down to produce energy, resulting in weight loss.
Thirst – Often it seems no matter how much you drink you are still thirsty. The problem is compounded by drinking huge amounts of sugary drinks! Of course this only increases the blood sugar level and leads to increased thirst.
Urinating More Often – Sufferers need to urinate often and pass large volumes each time. In addition, sleep is constantly disturbed by having to visit the bathroom during the night. It is a mistake to think this is caused by increased thirst and drinking more. Keep in mind, high sugar levels in the blood spill over into the urine making it syrupy. To counter-act this water is drawn from the body causing dehydration and thirst.
Feeling Tired: Because the body cannot properly use glucose for energy, a person can feel unusually tired.
Additional Symptoms: Increased hunger especially just after eating; excessive dry mouth; blurred vision; headaches.
Consult Your Physician
If you experience any of these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you are diabetic. However, it is advisable to visit your doctor to be sure. If it does turn out that you have diabetes please do not panic! It can come as a shock and it means some changes in your life. It can be treated so long-term complications are reduced or possibly eliminated.
By knowing exactly what diabetes is—and recognizing the symptoms early on—you can prevent long-term complications and additional health conditions.
Start today by monitoring your health and daily eating habits. Prevention is better than needing life-long medication!
There is so much information about diabetes—Type 1 and Type 2, best solutions to help prevent diabetes, diets for diabetics, herbal and natural supplements to help with diabetes symptoms and the disease itself, and more. Become educated about this disease that is on the rise in the United States. Learn how to become as healthy as you can to aid in preventing being diagnosed with diabetes.
Natural Care Diabetes Resource
Whether you have been coping with Diabetes, just diagnosed, or just want to lower your glucose blood levels, the following resource provides information necessary to enhance your health through lowered blood sugar and diet intended to help keep your glucose levels within the normal levels for overall health.
See the sidebar for additional reads for enhancing your health by keeping your glucose levels within the normal levels.