Diabetes is a common disease that affects more than 400 million people worldwide. It’s a serious condition, but you can manage it.
When you’re living with diabetes, it’s important to understand how the disease affects your body, how to manage it, and what you can do to prevent complications. Our goal is to help you understand this complex condition so you can live your best life!
We’ll cover everything from what diabetes is and who is at risk for it to how it affects the body. We’ve also included some tips about managing diabetes. You might find something here that helps you take control of your health today!
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes affects about 30 million people in the U.S. It’s a disease that’s becoming more common every year as obesity rates continue to climb.
Diabetes is a condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to it normally. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose (blood sugar). Glucose comes from the food you eat and is an energy source for your cells.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means your body attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. With this type, you have little to no insulin production. Hence, your blood sugar levels can get dangerously high. It’s a lifelong condition requiring daily insulin injections to control blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when your body can’t use its own insulin efficiently due to resistance. This type of diabetes typically develops over time as a result of lifestyle choices such as poor diet and lack of exercise. However, it can also be caused by genetic factors or other health conditions such as obesity or high blood pressure.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops in pregnant women. It usually occurs during the second half of pregnancy and may last until the baby is born. Moreover, it happens when an imbalance between sugar and insulin levels causes your body’s cells to become resistant to insulin.
Who Are At Risk Of Diabetes?
Diabetes is an incredibly common disease affecting millions of people. But who’s at risk?
The answer is anyone! Diabetes can affect all age groups, genders, and ethnicities. And while it may seem like it only affects the overweight or obese, that’s not true either. Many people who are thin or average weight can still develop diabetes if they have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
So, what are the common risk factors for diabetes?
The older you get, the more likely you are to develop diabetes. People over the age of 65 are twice as likely to have diabetes than younger adults.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who are overweight have around twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who maintain a healthy weight. Those who are obese have three times the risk.
If you have a family history of diabetes, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. Having one parent with type 1 or gestational diabetes raises your risk by 20% while having both parents with type 2 diabetes increases it by 60%.
Complications Of Diabetes
Complications of diabetes are basically the signs that your body is reacting badly to the disease. These complications can lead to serious health problems. Some of the complications of diabetes include:
Heart disease is a common complication of diabetes and can be deadly. If you have diabetes, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease than someone without diabetes.
To understand why heart disease affects so many people with diabetes, you need to know a little about how it works. When you have diabetes, your body can’t produce enough insulin or use insulin properly to regulate blood sugar levels. This means glucose builds up in your bloodstream instead of getting into cells for energy or fat storage.
The extra glucose in your blood can cause damage to small blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply blood to the heart.
A stroke happens when a blockage or rupture in the blood vessels leads to or within the brain. This blockage or rupture causes blood flow to stop, which cuts off the oxygen supply to brain cells and can cause brain damage. A stroke can lead to death in severe cases, but most strokes are mild and don’t cause permanent damage.
Strokes happen more often in people with diabetes because their blood vessels are damaged from high blood sugar levels and reduced blood flow, which causes them to form clots. These clots can block an artery or break off and travel through the bloodstream until they get stuck somewhere else (like in your eye or heart).
The most common eye problem for people with diabetes is Diabetic Retinopathy, which causes a breakdown of blood vessels in the retina. It’s caused by high blood sugar levels over time and can lead to blindness if not treated.
Other common eye problems include:
- Cataracts (clouding of the lens).
- Retinal Detachment (when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye).
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye).
- Optic Nerve Damage (the optic nerve carries images from your eyes to your brain).
Diabetes can cause serious kidney disease. You may not notice any symptoms at first, but as the disease gets worse, you may have a hard time controlling your blood sugar levels and urinating properly. This can lead to kidney or bloodstream infections, which can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.
Nerve damage, which can cause numbness in the feet and hands, is a common complication of diabetes. You may not notice it until you experience numbness that lasts longer than 30 minutes. The feeling of numbness may come and go over time.
Nerve damage can occur when blood glucose levels are above normal for long periods of time. When this happens, your nerves become less sensitive to pain signals and may fail to send these signals to your brain. This condition is known as peripheral neuropathy. If peripheral neuropathy occurs, it may also affect your ability to feel heat or cold on your feet and hands—so you could get sunburned without knowing it!
How We Can Help
Managing diabetes is a challenge—especially when you’re new to it. We’re here to help! We know that dealing with an illness like diabetes can feel daunting. But we have faith that you can do it—and we want to be there with you every step of the way.
Here’s how we can help:
Understand the Underlying Issue
When you have diabetes, it’s easy to focus on the symptoms: the weight gain and all the other things that make your life harder. But there are underlying issues that need to be addressed if you want to manage your diabetes successfully.
The problem with the disease is that it’s caused by insulin resistance. That means the cells in your body don’t recognize insulin as a signal to absorb sugar from your bloodstream. As a result, they can’t take in all of the sugar they need—and so they don’t get enough energy to function properly.
This causes an imbalance between how much sugar is coming into your bloodstream compared to how much your body needs to function properly. The solution is simple: You need more insulin to absorb more glucose into your cells!
But if you’re not taking care of yourself properly, you’ll have difficulty getting enough insulin when you need it most!
Learn to Manage Symptoms of Diabetes
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment. You’ll likely spend your entire life working on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like an enjoyable part of your life. We’re here to help you learn how to manage the symptoms of diabetes, so you can get back to doing what matters most in your life: living it!
When you have diabetes, it’s important to keep track of what’s going on with your body. You have to understand your symptoms and how they affect you, so we can help you take the right steps to manage them. Here are some common symptoms of diabetes and how to manage them:
Increased thirst is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes, and it’s easy to understand why. When you’re dehydrated, your body needs more water than usual.
Diabetes can cause dehydration in two ways. First, by increasing urination. Second, by affecting the way your kidneys process waste products. As a result, you’re going to be thirsty all the time!
If you notice an increase in your thirst, try to drink more water throughout the day. This will help you stay hydrated and help keep your blood sugar under control. Moreover, avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you further.
It’s also helpful to keep track of how much water you drink in a day. This will help you know if it’s time to make sure you’re getting enough fluids or if you need to step up your consumption!
One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is increased hunger. As your blood sugar levels rise, your body may start to crave more food than normal. This can be dangerous if you don’t know how to manage it.
Learn to recognize when you’re hungry, and learn how to eat in a way that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. If you’re feeling hungry, eat something high in fiber and protein, like an apple or nuts. This will help fill you up without increasing your blood sugar levels too much.
If you find yourself craving sweets or starchy carbs like bread or pasta, try eating a small portion of these foods instead of overloading them. You’ll feel satisfied without putting too much stress on your body or its ability to process sugar properly.
This is caused by the kidneys trying to rid the body of excess glucose. People with diabetes should avoid drinking large amounts of fluid at once. This will cause their bodies to produce more urine and can lead to dehydration. It’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but in small amounts (8 oz every hour).
Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes, and it can be caused by a number of things. The most common cause of fatigue in people with diabetes is poor blood sugar control. Your body can’t use glucose for energy, which will make you feel tired.
So, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If possible, try going to bed at the same time every night, so your body gets used to it. It’s also important to wake up at the same time every morning to get into a routine. This will help you keep your energy levels stable throughout the day.
Create a Lifestyle that Works for You
As you can imagine, life with diabetes is not always easy. It’s important to remember that everyone’s body reacts differently to certain foods and exercise. This means that what works for one person may not work for another. The good news is we can help manage your diabetes and create a lifestyle that works best for you!
Our approach is holistic: we will baseline your current numbers so that we have a set of data to work towards managing and improving. Next, we take a deep look at your current symptoms and situation, as well as any other factors that may be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle. Then we work on creating a plan which can include everything from a balanced diet and exercise to medication (in some cases).
Our goal is to improve your quality of life, and we will work with you to make sure that happens. You can expect personalized care from a team that understands what it’s like to live with diabetes and who sees the person behind the numbers.