Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease that causes your blood sugar levels to be too high. The hormone known as insulin moves sugar from your blood to your cells so it can be stored or used to give you energy. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body cannot produce enough insulin or use the insulin it does make to its full potential.

When your blood sugar levels are too high, it can damage your nerves and other organs such as your kidneys.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes- This type is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack and destroy cells in your pancreas which is where insulin is made. 10% of adults with diabetes in the UK have this type.
  • Type 2 Diabetes- Type 2 is where your pancreas just does not produce enough insulin and your cells do not react to the insulin that is produced. Around 9-% of UK adults with diabetes have this type.

The other type of diabetes which is less common is known as gestational diabetes, pregnant women can suffer from this due to the fact when you’re pregnant your level of blood glucose can go so high that the amount of insulin that would be needed to absorb this cannot be produced.

Causes of Diabetes

Blood sugar levels are controlled by the insulin hormone that is produced in the pancreas, which is a gland located behind the stomach. When we digest food and it enters the bloodstream, the insulin moves glucose from the blood into cells which is then stored or broken down.

If you have diabetes, the insulin that is produced cannot break the glucose down into energy because there is either enough glucose to do so or the insulin that’s been produced cannot break it down properly.

Researchers are unsure of the direct cause of type 1 diabetes, but it’s believed that genetics and family history play a part. Type 2 diabetes is caused by unhealthy lifestyles such as being overweight and not having a balanced diet.

Symptoms of Diabetes

The symptoms of the types of diabetes are as follows:

General symptoms:

  • Feeling hungrier or thirstier than usual.
  • Losing weight or muscle mass.
  • Needing to urinate at night more.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Cuts or sores taking longer to heal.

Additional symptoms in men:

  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Decreased strength.

Additional symptoms in women:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI).
  • Yeast infections.
  • Dry or itchy skin.

Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Feeling extremely hungrier or thirstier than usual.
  • Losing weight or muscle mass.
  • Needing to urinate at night more.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Tiredness
  • Mood changes.

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Feeling extremely hungrier or thirstier than usual.
  • Losing weight or muscle mass.
  • Needing to urinate at night more.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Tiredness
  • Cuts or sores taking longer to heal.
  • Recurring infections.

Treatments for Diabetes

If you suspect you have one of the types of diabetes then you can take a Glucose Tolerance Test, this test is used to assess the level at which your body processes glucose so that endocrinologists (who are doctors that specialise in Diabetes) can diagnose whether or not you have diabetes and if you do, which type you have.

You can also have a private Diabetology and Endriconology consultation, where a doctor will be able to offer a diagnosis, treatment, or management for diabetes.

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