Diabetes: The Surprising Facts You Need to Know
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer because this condition affects so many people, yet they don’t even know that they have it. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 sufferers are insulin dependent and require life long treatment while Type 2 diabetes is the more common form with sufferers being resistant to insulin.
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone which is needed to help glucose (sugar) to enter cells to produce more energy. If there isn’t any insulin, too much glucose stays in the blood. High blood glucose can lead to serious health problems affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves as well as gums and teeth.
In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make sufficient insulin or the body can’t use insulin effectively. This is also called ‘insulin resistance’. When there isn’t enough insulin or insulin is not used properly, glucose (sugar) is unable to get into the body’s cells. This causes the glucose to build up in the blood and not in the cells (where it’s supposed to go), and the body’s cells are unable to function properly.
Are you diabetic or pre-diabetic?
Developing diabetes is a process. One does not simply wake up one morning with diabetes! This is a good thing, because it means that if you catch it in the early stages, you can take steps to prevent developing full blown diabetes – meaning that you may be able to avoid having insulin treatment if you take the right steps.
Diabetes symptoms often go unnoticed. Most people overlook early symptoms because they can be quite subtle. Some people may not even experience any symptoms at all but may develop serious complications at a later stage. Early detection of diabetic symptoms can help you to manage and treat this condition better. Here are some of the signs to look out for when diabetes becomes a concern:
1. Excessive thirst and urinating more than usual
Are you going to the loo more than usual? Increased urination is a common sign of diabetes. Diabetes causes your glucose (sugar) levels to build up in your blood which then forces your kidneys to work extra hard to filter and get rid of the excess glucose.
When the kidneys are overworked, excess glucose is excreted into your urine which results in frequent urination – and which also causes you to reach for more water, juice or an ice cold Coke. Drinking more fluids is your body’s way of trying to replenish lost fluids.
2. Weight loss or weight gain
You are eating normally but yet feel hungry all the time. You are also losing weight! When you have diabetes, your body does not process glucose properly from the foods that you eat. Your body then starts breaking down fat as an alternate source of energy which leads to weight loss.
Type 1 diabetics will typically experience dramatic weight loss, sometimes even between 4 and 8 kilos over a period of two to three months.
Many people who are overweight and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are at risk because the extra fat increases their insulin resistance. Losing weight will allow you to be able to use insulin better.
Feeling tired, lethargic and irritable? People with diabetes often describe themselves as feeling fatigued. They will feel like this due to either having too high or too low blood glucose levels. When there isn’t enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or the insulin is not working effectively (Type 2 diabetes), then the glucose in the blood cannot get into their cells and they are then not getting the energy they need.
4. Blurry vision
Experiencing blurred vision, occasional flashes of light and seeing floaters are also symptoms of diabetes. High levels of blood glucose changes the shape of your lens and eye and affects your ability to focus. If left untreated, this can lead to vision problems and even cause blindness.
5. Skin problems
Diabetes can affect the skin too! People with diabetes are prone to itching, fungal infections and bacterial infections. Other skin conditions which affect diabetes sufferers include diabetic dermopathy, diabetic blisters, and eruptive xanthomatosis.
6. Slow healing
Another common sign of diabetes is that infections, cuts and bruises take longer to heal. High blood glucose levels as a result of diabetes affects the nerves over time which causes poor blood circulation – and, therefore making it difficult for blood to help repair and heal the skin.
7. Tingling or numbness
Have you noticed tingling, loss of sensation in your hands and feet or a burning pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet? Very often these symptoms are mild in the beginning but tend to worsen over time. Too much sugar in the blood can lead nerve damage.
8. Red and swollen gums
Mouth problems also occur in diabetes – affecting your gums, teeth, jaw, tongue, inside of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. Once again, too much glucose in the blood can cause pain, infection, sores and other problems in the mouth.
As soon you notice any possible diabetes symptoms, consult your GP. If you can have this condition diagnosed early, you can treat and manage it as soon as possible. While diabetes is a serious condition, you can manage it and still live a healthy life.
Here are some tips to follow to help with the treatment and prevention of diabetes
1. Know what affects your sugar levels
As a diabetic or pre-diabetic, you have to learn to know your body. Be aware of what will cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall. There are many things that can affect your blood sugar and that’s it is vital that you are always aware of this.
2. Food and diet
Know what you can and can’t eat. Too much food may elevate your blood sugar while too little food can result in low blood sugar. Speak to your doctor or a dietician about a well balanced diet plan to make sure that you are eating the correct portion sizes. Learning how to count carbs is also important as these foods also affect blood sugar levels.
Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar, sucrose or fructose as they cause blood sugar to rise quickly. Sugar-sweetened beverages are allowed in an emergnecy where blood sugar is very low. However, the best approach is to keep blood sugar levels stable by eating regular meals and food with a low GI (Glycaemic Index)
Exercise and physical activity is an important part of managing diabetes. Speak to your GP about an exercise plan that suits your body’s needs. Make sure that you check your blood sugar levels before beginning any exercise. Stay hydrated and remember to always have water at hand. A good idea is to also take a small snack along in the event that your blood sugar drops too low.
4. Natural help
Your doctor may prescribe medications depending on what type of diabetes you have been diagnosed with. Once again, it’s important that you follow the guidance of your doctor and take medications as instructed, as well as follow lifestyle advice regarding diet and exercise. This may help you to avoid conventional medication altogether. However, if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, o are pre-diabetic, make sure that you monitor your progress and blood sugar levels together with your health professional to ensure that you receive the correct treatment .
Raw Moringa Juice For Diabetes is a herbal juice for diabetes which is specially formulated to maintain healthy insulin levels, reduce cravings for sweet foods and promote the health and functioning of the liver, heart and pancreas. This remedy also has significant benefits for healthy circulation and helps to maintain the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
Kidney Dr is a herbal remedy specifically formulated to support kidney health which is often compromised in people with diabetes.
Remember that diabetes can be treated and if properly managed, can be well controlled or even resolved altogether if identified early, in order to make the necessary healthy lifestyle changes.
If you have any health-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE advice. We always love hearing from you!