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What is diabetes, how does it occur, what are the main symptoms?
Diabetes is a disease that causes an increase in the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood due to absolute or relative lack of insulin.
Increased Blood Glucose
We turn much of the food we eat into glucose. This glucose is transported in the blood to the cells, where it will be used as a source of energy. To facilitate this transport, our body produces a substance called insulin. When you have diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or not enough insulin, or the insulin produced does not work properly. Hence the increase in the amount of glucose in the blood.
High Blood Glucose: Symptoms and Consequences
Without insulin or malfunctioning insulin, glucose builds up in the blood and is excreted in the urine. Symptoms of diabetes are tiredness, weight loss, thirst, frequent need to urinate and blurred vision. Over time, serious eye problems - leading to blindness -, nerves, heart, feet, arteries and veins can develop.
Type I diabetes (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)
The lack of insulin or its insufficient production by the body forces the person to apply insulin. It occurs most often in young people.
Type II Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
This is the case of people who produce insulin, which does not work properly. It most affects adults, people with a family history of diabetes or overweight. Proper nutrition, exercise, weight management, and in some cases medications, whether pills or insulin, help control this type of diabetes.
Blood Glucose Testing
The most common tests are:
- put a drop of blood on a special meter;
- urine test using a special tape which, in contact with the urine, indicates the presence of glucose or ketones. The presence of ketones in the urine may mean that the blood glucose level is uncontrolled;
- Blood test called HbA1C, which shows the average level of control of blood glucose (glucose) in the last 2 or 3 months. It is an important test for control during diabetes treatment.
In any case, the indication of the most appropriate test should be made by the doctor.
Low Blood Glucose - Hypoglycemia
Insulin or pills, while helping to control diabetes, can lower blood glucose levels, especially during or after exercise. (Other factors that can lead to this condition are poor diet or the use of excess medication).
Low Blood Glucose Symptoms
Symptoms are tremor, dizziness, irritability, sweating and tiredness. In the presence of any of these symptoms one should immediately eat or drink some sweet food. Important: Always seek the best advice from your doctor about how to avoid such situations due to hypoglycaemia.