What are the symptoms of diabetes and how is diabetes caused?
The definition of diabetes is the condition where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or is not responding to the insulin it does produce.
Insulin is a hormone. Body cells need insulin to absorb glucose, which the cells use to produce energy. When this process goes awry and glucose is not absorbed by the body, it builds up in the blood. If the accumulation of insulin is excessive the result is diabetes.
At the most basic level, there are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Although both conditions are referred to as types of diabetes, they are totally different conditions in terms of their causes, origins and symptoms.
Type 1 diabetes is what is known as an autoimmune disease. It is mainly due to a person’s genetics but also some other factors.
Type 1 diabetes is referred to as an autoimmune disease because it involves the immune system going feral by attacking and killing the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
The most often noticed results or symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are:
- frequent urination,
- constant thirst,
- elevated hunger levels and weight loss,
Those key symptoms are often combined with:
- extreme fatigue
- irritability, and
- difficulty remaining focused.
Type 2 diabetes arises from the sufferer’s lifestyle and can be controlled and, sometimes, eliminated by changes in lifestyle.
The cause of Type 2 diabetes is either the body’s resistance to insulin or its inability to respond to insulin’s properties. The level of insulin in the body and/or bloodstream, whether it’s high, low or normal, is not important. Regardless of the level of insulin, with Type 2 diabetes the body simply doesn’t respond to it. The end result is that unabsorbed glucose builds up in the blood.
High glucose levels in the bloodstream in Type 2 diabetes can lead to sever symptoms which include:
- increased frequency of urination,
- dry mouth and elevated thirst levels,
- unusual hunger levels,
- vomiting or general feelings of nausea,
- persistent fatigue regardless of the amount of rest or sleep a suffer has,
- poor healing rates for sores or cut skin,
- blurred vision, and
- circulation problems which in extreme cases may necessitate the amputation of a limb.
If you are diagnosed with either type of diabetes the condition can be controlled by a combination of medications to control high glucose levels and changes to diet and other lifestyle modifications. The non-medication actions are more effective for Type 2 diabetes than for Type 1, although improvements in lifestyle obviously can have benefits for the general health of sufferers of both types of diabetes.
An important aspect to keep in mind if you have diabetes is that it can be life threatening and at times may require immediate medical attention. Also, the pattern of these extreme diabetic episodes is not predictable.