Diabetes, simply put, is a complex metabolism disorder. There are those who refer to this disorder as ‘the sweet disease that kills you’ due to its ability to induce a lot of other health complications.
The manner in which our bodies uses digested food for growth and energy is referred to as metabolism. Most of the food we consume are broken down into a form of complex sugar called glucose. Glucose is present in the bloodstream and the body makes use of it as a principal source of energy or fuel.
The Full Story
Once the food in our guts is digested, the resulting glucose is transported directly into our bloodstream via the small intestine. Every cell in the body and the brain taps into this glucose, burning it up for energy and growth, this is one reason why you are so weak when hungry but strong once you’ve eaten some food. Unfortunately, the glucose cannot get into any of the cells without insulin being present – even the brain has to produce its own insulin separately from the body. Insulin is the only substance that makes the absorption of glucose by the body’s cells possible. This is the way nature has made it.
Insulin is actually a hormone, secreted by the pancreas glands (large digestive and endocrine glands: lying near the stomach). Each time we finish eating, our blood sugar levels get high as glucose is rapidly produced and channeled through the small intestine into the bloodstream. The pancreas glands see this and automatically release adequate supplies of insulin to move the glucose present in the bloodstream into the cells. Once the glucose gets into the cells ‘blood-sugar levels’ drop.
Diabetes is the condition in which glucose levels in the blood become too high (hyperglycemia). This is a result of either a decrease in insulin production by the pancreas glands, no insulin production at all, or, for some reason, a rejection of insulin by the cells. Whichever the case may be, it leads to a massive buildup of glucose in the blood. This surplus blood glucose is eventually moved out of the body through the urine. Consequently, even though the blood is loaded down with glucose, the cells that need it for their essential energy and growth are not getting any (this is one reason why extraordinary weakness and tiredness is a major symptom of Diabetes).
THE SWEET DISEASE THAT KILLS
According to present statistics, Diabetes, which affects people of all ages, is the world’s number one killer disease. The statistics offered by different world health bodies including the World Health Organization, over 500 million people around the world have this disease. In the United States alone, one out of every nine persons has diabetes but the situation is worse in the Orient, particularly China.
Technically called diabetes mellitus, this illness is described by medical experts as a group of metabolic diseases in which the victim has high blood glucose (or blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate (low), or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin (rejection of insulin), or both. Patients who have high blood sugar (glucose) will characteristically experience polyuria (constant urination), they will also become progressively thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry too (polyphagia).
The 3 main types of Diabetes.
Below are the three major types of this terrible disease and how they show up in the human system.
Type 1 Diabetes
Also called insulin-dependent diabetes, this is the condition where the body does not produce any insulin. People normally develop type 1 diabetes before the age of 40, there are cases where this disease has surfaced in teenagers. Under 15% of all diabetes cases are type 1 diabetes. This disease is nowhere near as common as type 2 diabetes.
All patients with type 1 diabetes are completely dependent on insulin injections for the rest of their life, hence the second name for this disease – insulin dependent diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is a condition where the body’s insulin production levels are below adequate. Approximately 80 – 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide fall into this type 2 category. In certain case, people may control symptoms of type 2 diabetes by losing weight, regular exercise, an improved dietary habit, and constantly monitoring blood glucose levels. However, since this disease is a progressive one (it slowly gets worse). The patient will still end up needing insulin, typically in tablet form.
People who are overweight or obese, those with belly fat, in particular, have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as compared to healthy people with normal body weight.
1. Numerous research has highlighted the impact of sugary foods and soft drinks on the increased risk of diabetes as a direct one. It is now clear that this habit does not just induce an increase in body weight as previously imagined.
2. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes also increase as we get older. Experts are not entirely sure why, but say that with aging comes weight gain and a decrease in physical activity. Those with a close relative who suffered from type 2 diabetes, particularly, people of African, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent tend to have a higher risk of developing the disease.
3. Low testosterone levels in men have been found to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, low testosterone levels are directly linked to insulin resistance.
This type of diabetes affects only women and during pregnancy too. Some women, when pregnant, develop a sharp increase in blood glucose levels which their bodies are unable to contend with (unable to produce enough insulin to transport all that glucose into the cells). This results in a progressive increase in the levels of glucose within the blood, and thus, diabetes.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES
Some of the most common symptoms of this dieases include frequent urination, fatigue (tiredness), intense thirst and hunger, unusual weight loss or weight gain, cuts and bruises that refuse to heal, sexual dysfunction in men, numbness and tingling in feet and hands. There is also the confusing condition of prediabetes.
Most patients with type 2 diabetes originally had prediabetes. This is a unique condition where blood glucose levels become higher than normal, but never high enough to trigger a diagnosis of diabetes. The cells of the body are slowly but progressively becoming resistant to insulin.
Diabetes Prevention, Treatments and Cure
With Type 1 diabetes, maintaining healthy eating habits, doing adequate exercise, and taking insulin, can help you lead a normal life.
In the case of Type 2 diabetes, patients need to maintain healthy eating habits, adequate physical activity and perform regular tests to check their blood glucose levels. Taking oral medication (insulin pills) to control blood glucose levels is the case here
Diabetes heightens the risk of cardiovascular disease, so it’s important that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored closely.
Smoking is a high-risk habit that drastically increases the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases. Diabetics must stop smoking completely.
Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose – can also have a harmful effect on diabetics.
Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose – can have a harmful effect on diabetics.
Tips To Determine Whether You Have Diabetes, prediabetes or Neither
The easiest and surest way to do this is by visiting the hospital where doctors will give you an answer all too quickly using the best diabetes detection equipment, technology is simply that good.
However, one way to do this yourself is the sweet urine test which has been used for ages in traditional medicine in different parts of the world.
People in ancient China noticed that sugar loving ants would be attracted to some people’s urine because it was sweet. This was how the term “Sweet Urine Disease” was invented. This technique and terminology hold true in many parts of rural Africa today.
Certain natural foods and supplements are used by these traditionalist healers to deal with the “sweet urine sickness” before it worsens and these include bitter leaves, pumpkin leaves, scents leaves, lime, and garlic. Of these, the only realistic opinion is garlic.
Foods That Really Help with Diabetes.
- Blue Berries
- Aloe Vera
- Urine Therapy
- CoQ10 supplements
- Chromium supplements
Therapies that Help
There are a lot more and we shall talk about them in time.
BEWARE OF THE SYMPTOMS
- Skin complications – patients with diabetes are highly susceptible to skin infections and such disorders
- Hearing loss – in certain case, diabetes patients have been known to develop hearing problems
- Feet complications – these include ulcers, neuropathy or even gangrene which leads to the amputation of the foot.
- Eye complications – cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, etc.
- Heart problems – chemic heart diseases, which occur with a reduction of blood supply to the heart.
- Neuropathy – Diabetic neuropathy is a type of complex nerve damage that can lead to a host of other problems.
- Hypertension – all too common in people with diabetes. This condition increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and eye problems.
- Mental health – uncontrolled, diabetes heightens the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Ketoacidosis – Joint accumulation of ketone bodies and acidity in the blood or brain (Click here to understand more)
- Gastroparesis – in this condition, the muscles of the stomach stop functioning correctly
- HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome) – This is a dangerous condition where blood glucose levels shoot up way too high in the absence of ketones, which are neither in the blood or urine. (emergency treatment is required).
- Gum disease – diabetes increases the prevalence of gum disease.
- Erectile dysfunction — impotence in men.
- Stroke – with an uncontrolled hike in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels, comes a significant increase in the risk of stroke.
- Nephropathy – an uncontrolled spike in blood pressure which leads to certain kidney disease
- Infections – badly controlled diabetes always results in one manner of infection or the other.
- PAD (peripheral arterial disease) – symptoms: pain in the leg, problems walking properly.
- Healing of wounds – cuts and wounds take forever to heal.
Diabetes is a disease of modern times. You may watch your sugar intake carefully but still fall it because of other foods you eat or lack of inactivity. For this reason, it is always best to look out for the early warning symptoms.
Well, now we know a bit more about this illness. Look out and stay healthy. For results from all new research on the subject, stay tuned to this blog.