There was a time when certain diseases were unheard of. Call it lack of awareness, or lack of the disease itself, truth is, there definitely were fewer people affected by diseases back in the day. Diabetes is one such disease. It isn't uncommon to hear of people suffering from diabetes these days. Forget the older generation, juvenile diabetes is on the rise too. With changing lifestyles, proper medical care is increasingly becoming the need of the hour. Strangely though, diabetes seems to be affecting people like never before too. I'm sure if you are reading this article right now, you most certainly are aware of what diabetes is all about, but for those of you who aren't entirely aware, a little overview wouldn't hurt. We'll get started with a brief look at diabetes, before moving on to the side effects of this disease.
Diabetes: An Overview
Diabetes or high blood sugar is a condition that comes about when the body is dealing with either very little insulin or a resistance to it. Our body is known to produce the hormone insulin, and it is when the pancreas do not produce this hormone in sufficient quantities that the sustenance of blood sugar levels creates problems for the body. But what if blood sugar levels are high? How does it matter? Well, it does. The sugar we also known as glucose acts as source of energy for the body. The insulin in our body is required to move this glucose from the bloodstream to areas such as fat, muscle, and liver cells, where this glucose will act effectively as that source of energy. When people have a high blood sugar content in their body, or in other words, suffer from diabetes, it is because the production of insulin in the body is low. Another possible cause is that the body/cells do not respond to the insulin produced. There are 3 types of diabetes that are commonly known to us.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IIDM), is a condition when the body simply does not produce insulin, and the person is required to inject insulin into his system.
Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIIDM), is when the body is insulin resistant, thus causing an insulin deficiency in the body. This is also the most commonly occurring type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is the third type of commonly occurring diabetes. This form of diabetes occurs when women who have never had any prior occurrence of diabetes, suddenly suffer from high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This form of diabetes is often known to lead to type 2 diabetes as well.
Now that you are familiar with the 3 common types of diabetes, we could move on to a little more on type 2 diabetes specifically.
A chronic disease, this is probably the most commonly occurring type of diabetes that there is. Although this kind of diabetes is most often seen in adults, cases of juvenile diabetes are becoming increasingly common too. One of the most common reasons for the rising occurrence of this level of the disease is that problems like obesity and inactive lives are increasing leaps and bounds with every passing day. The increased consumption of an unhealthy diet is also another major contributing factor towards this diabetes. Unfortunately, it is this very reason that is bringing about such health issues so largely amongst youngsters too. All these factors such as unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, etc., are perhaps amongst the most common reasons leading to such diabetes. The biggest problem with this stage of the disease is not the lack of production of insulin, but the fact that the body has become extremely resistant to it. A smart way to prevent getting affected by this type of diabetes is very simply to stay away from anything that causes high blood sugar. Another thing to be concerned about when considering any kind of disease are the side effects.
Let alone any other disease, the side effects of high blood sugar are bad enough in itself. It is of utmost importance to work on managing this disease, mainly because, this is a life long condition, and unless you take care, it can only make matters worse. It's important to understand that medication is available, but medication often has its side effects too, so let's move on to the side effects of this type of diabetes now...
Nerve Damage: High blood sugar levels are known to damage our nerves, and even blood vessels. In case of nerve damage, areas that are prone to getting affected are the digestive system, or even the hands and feet, which can be faced with tingling or other sensations such as numbness.
Heart Disease: It isn't unusual to find that a person suffering from diabetes is more likely to suffer from heart problems too. Living with diabetes can become pretty hard on people. According to reports from the American Diabetes Association, people suffering from diabetes are doubly prone to a heart attack as opposed to those who do not suffer from it.
Kidney Damage: Kidney damage, or kidney failure is yet another side effect of diabetes, this is mainly because the system that filters waste from the body can get damaged, thus, leading to problems such as kidney transplant, or even dialysis.
Eye Problems: The above mentioned conditions are amongst the more commonly known side effects of diabetes, but eye problems are yet another that can come about due to being diabetic. A condition known as retinopathy can lead to blindness in the long run too, due to damage in the retina's blood vessels.
Apart from these, common side effects that result from medication are: diarrhea, hypoglycemia, breathing difficulty, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, or a even decreased appetite.
Prevention is better than cure, and so it has been rightly said. Sometimes, those age-old cliches are as good as it gets, so take care of your health, because at the end of the day, if it isn't for your health, there isn't much to work with.