Diabetes (Type 2) is a lifestyle health disorder!
Diabetes is a health disorder in which blood glucose level rises above normal values due to body’s inability to process the sugar into energy. It is more commonly known as Sugar and has been increasing at an alarming rate, even in the younger generation. While it can be managed by changes in diet and lifestyle, it can also lead to serious complications if the blood sugar level is not managed properly. This our first post in the series that is dedicated to understanding diabetes, its causes, and on learning how it can be managed/cured through food and lifestyle changes.
Glucose is the main source of fuel for our body. When food is digested it is metabolised (broken down) into fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These macro nutrients are further processed into Glucose and Fructose, which then moves into blood stream and provides us with the required energy.
For the conversion of blood Glucose to energy, Insulin is required. Insulin is produced by Pancreas in the body and it acts as the gatekeeper to movement of Glucose from blood stream to the body’s cells, which further convert it into energy. In case Glucose cannot move out from blood stream to cells, one will have the symptoms of this health disorder:
- Higher blood Glucose levels
- Lower Energy levels of body
Diabetes occurs when
- The pancreas does not produce any insulin,
- The pancreas produces very little insulin or
- When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance“
Types of Diabetes
Type 1: It can occur in any age but it is mostly seen in children and young adults. Type 1 Diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all the cases. There does appear to be a genetic component to Type 1, but the cause has yet to be identified.
Type 2: It is much more common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes primarily affects adults. But recently Type 2 has begun developing in children. There is a strong correlation between Type 2 and lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, diet, and lifestyle.
Common Diabetes Symptoms
People usually fail to acknowledge the symptoms and realise only after the disease has reached its long phase. Regular health checkups should be taken into consideration by the families. That is the only way they will know about the disease their family members are suffering.
- Blurred vision
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Slow-healing cuts
- Unexplained tiredness
- Rapid weight loss
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
Symptoms in children
The most common symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes among children and adolescents include increased thirst, urination, and fatigue. Some children may also experience an increase in hunger and blurred vision, while girls might develop a yeast infection.
In Type 1, weight loss is often a common symptom before diagnosis. For those with Type 2, signs of insulin resistance, such as dark velvety patches of skin, called acanthosis nigricans, and polycystic ovarian syndrome may be present. Symptoms of Type 1 in children tend to develop rapidly over a period of a few weeks, while Type 2 symptoms develop more slowly and may go undiagnosed for months or years.