Diabetes – Symptoms, Causes and More

Diabetes mellitus or simply diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is leads to high blood sugar(glucose). The hormone insulin transports sugar from the blood into your cells for storage or energy production. In diabetes, your body either doesn’t make required insulin or can’t effectively use the produced insulin.

Diabetes can cause damage to your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs if left untreated.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes are of following types:

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys the Pancreatic cells, which form insulin. The reason behind this attack is not clear. About 10 percent diabetic people have this type.
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes  insulin resistant, and sugar level raises up in your blood.
  • Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal range, but it’s not that much high for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy.Placenta produces insulin-blocking hormones that cause gestational diabetes.

A rare condition called diabetes insipidus is not associated with diabetes mellitus, despite having similar name. It is a different condition in which your kidneys excrete excessive fluid from your body.

Each type of diabetes has different symptoms, causes, and treatments. Learn more about how these types differ from one another.

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes symptoms are caused by high blood sugar levels.

General symptoms

Common symptoms of diabetes are:

Symptoms in men

Along with general symptoms of diabetes, men with diabetes may have a decreased sex driveerectile dysfunction (ED), and decreased muscle strength.

Symptoms in women

Women with diabetes can also have symptoms such as urinary tract infections(UTIs), yeast infections, and dry, itchy skin.

Type 1 diabetes

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can include:

  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • unexplained weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • Fatigue or tiredness

It may also result in mood swings.

Type 2 diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:

  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • tiredness
  • wounds that are slow to heal

It may also cause recurring infections because of the elevated glucose levels make it difficult for the body to heal.

Gestational diabetes

Most women with gestational diabetes don’t have any symptoms. The condition is often recognized by regular blood sugar test or oral glucose tolerance test that is generally performed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

In rare cases, a woman with gestational diabetes will also experience frequent thirst or urination.

Causes of diabetes

Different causes are related to each type of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Doctors don’t know exact reason behind type 1 diabetes. Due to some reason, the immune system wrongly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

Genes may have a role in some people. It’s also possible that a virus start out the immune system attack.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight can also or obese raises your risk. Having extra fat, especially in your belly, makes your cells more resistant to the effects of insulin on the blood sugar.

This condition is hereditary. Family members share some genes that make them more likely to get type 2 diabetes and to be obese.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy. The placenta produces hormones that make a women less sensitive to the insulin. This results in high blood glucose during pregnancy.

Women who are overweight when they get pregnant or who gain too much weight during their pregnancy have more chances to get gestational diabetes.

Diabetes risk factors

Certain factors increase your risk for diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

There are more chances to develop type 1 diabetes if you are a child or teenager, and you have  parent or sibling with the condition, or you have certain genes that are linked to this disease.

Type 2 diabetes

Your risk for type 2 diabetes increases if you:

  • are obese
  • have 45 or more years of age
  • have a parent or sibling with this disease
  • are not physically active
  • have had gestational diabetes
  • have prediabetes
  • have high blood pressurehigh cholesterol, or high triglycerides
  • have African American, Hispanic or Latino American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Asian American ancestry

Gestational diabetes

Your risk for gestational diabetes increases if you:

Diabetes complications

High blood glucose level damages may tissues and organs of your body. The higher your blood glucose is and the longer you live suffer from it, the higher the risk for complications.

Complications related to diabetes are:

Gestational diabetes

Unchecked gestational diabetes can cause problems that affect both the mother and baby. Problems affecting the baby can include:

The mother can develop complications such as hypertention (preeclampsia) or type 2 diabetes. She may also need cesarean delivery, commonly called as a C-section.

The mother’s risk of gestational diabetes in future pregnancies also raises up.

Treatment of diabetes

Doctors treat diabetes with a some different medications. Some of these drugs are taken orally, while others are taken as intravenously.

Type 1 diabetes

Insulin is the primary treatment for type 1 diabetes. It replaces the hormone your body can’t produce.

There are four different types of insulin that are most commonly used. They’re distinguished by how quickly they start their work, and how long their effects last:

  • Rapid or fast-acting insulin starts to work within 15 minutes and its effects last for 3 – 4 hours.
  • Short-acting insulin starts to work within 30 minutes and lasts 6 – 8 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin starts to work within 1 – 2 hours and lasts 12 -18 hours.
  • Long-acting insulin starts to work a few hours after injection and lasts 24 hours or more.

Type 2 diabetes

Diet and exercise can help some people to control type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes prevention

Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented as it is caused by a problem with the immune system. Some causes of type 2 diabetes, like your genes or age, are not under your control.

Yet many other diabetic risk factors can be prevented. Most diabetes prevention strategies involve making simple healthy changes to your diet and fitness routine.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, ther are few things you can follow to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.These are:

  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling.
  • Remove saturated and trans fats, also refined carbohydrates, from your diet.
  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Don’t eat in bulk.
  • Try to control your weight your if you are obese.

There are another ways the to prevent diabetes. Discover more strategies that may help you avoid this chronic disease.

Diabetes in pregnancy

Women who have never had diabetes can instantly develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Hormones produced by the placenta can make your body more resistant to the effects of insulin.

Some women who had diabetes before pregnancy, carry it with pregnancy. This is known as pre-gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes should disappear after your delivery, but it does remarkably increase your risk for developing it in future.

International Diabetes Federation (IDF) says that approximately half of women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years of pregnancy.

Having gestational diabetes can also cause complications for your newborn, such as jaundice or breathing problems.

If you’re diagnosed with pre-gestational or gestational diabetes, you will require special attention and monitoring of doctor and family member to control all the complications. Find out more about the effect of diabetes on pregnancy.

Diabetes in children

Children can develop both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Limiting blood sugar is particularly necessary in young people, as the disease can damage important organs such as the heart and kidneys.

Type 1 diabetes

The onset of type 1 of diabetes generally occurs in childhood. One of the main symptoms is increased urination(polyurea). Children with type 1 diabetes may start bed wetting (peeing on the bed) after they’ve been toilet trained.

Extreme thirst, fatigue, and hunger are also signs of the condition. It’s important that children with type 1 diabetes get treated immediately. The disease can cause high blood glucose level and dehydration, which can be medical emergencies.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes used to be called as “juvenile diabetes” because type 2 was very rare in children. Now a days, more children have overweight or obesity, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in this age group also.

Type 2 diabetes can cause lifelong complications if not treated timely.These complications include heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness. Healthy diet and regular exercise can help your child control their blood sugar and prevent these complications.

Type 2 diabetes is more common than ever in young people. Learn how to spot the signs so you can report them to your child’s doctor.

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