When you eat, your digestive tract breaks down nutritive elements, converts them into glucose and sends it to the bloodstream. At the same time, the pancreas releases hormone insulin in order to transport glucose from blood into the cells, which can use it as energy.
But this system may fail, and blood sugar levels may become elevated because of insufficient production of insulin or decreased cells’ sensitivity to it.
This condition, commonly known as diabetes, affects nearly 30 million American people, some of whom don’t even know about the problem.
In 90% of cases, diabetes appears when body cells become resistant to normally produced insulin.
Specialists say that those who are overweight or obese, don’t manage high blood pressure, have high cholesterol levels and are physically inactive, have dramatically high risks for developing this type 2 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes body’s immune cells think that its own pancreatic cells are foreign agents, and start to destroy them. As a result, number of insulin-producing cells drops down.
Autoimmune diabetes usually becomes apparent in children and young adults, while insulin resistance is much more common in older people.
If left untreated, diabetes may contribute to serious damage of the vessels and nerves.
The problem is that diabetes often causes mild or no symptoms, until blood sugar levels become extremely high.
CHECK UP THESE EARLY SIGNS OF DIABETES AND DON’T IGNORE THEM:
1. Need to urinate more often – when the kidneys can’t deal with excessive glucose, they allow it to go into the urine. Glucose drags water from the cells that leads to more frequent urination.
2. Unusual thirst – feeling thirsty is OK, especially after vigorous workout or in the hot environment, but inexplicable extreme thirst may be a sign of diabetes. It occurs because the body tries to replenish fluid, lost with urine.
3. Unexplained tiredness – as body cells don’t attain energy fuel, they can’t perform their function as required. This often results in long-lasting causeless fatigue.
4. Intense hunger – lack of energy activates compensatory mechanism that makes you feel hungry all the time.
5. Weight loss without trying – despite increased hunger, people with diabetes lose in weight rapidly. The reason is that the body starts to break down proteins from your muscles in order to get some energy. In addition to this, kidneys work hard to remove excessive sugar and use many calories to do this.
6. Hazy vision – if blood glucose stays elevated for a long time, it can change the shape of the lens and cause blurry vision. Once sugar levels are normalized, your vision becomes normal.
7. Impaired healing processes – poor circulation, associated with diabetes, delays healing processes after cuts, bruises and infection.
8. Yeast infection – diabetes can significantly suppress your immune system, boosting your risks for vaginal yeast infection and oral thrush.
9. Dark spots – dark patches that appear in the skin folds, armpits, groin are called acanthosis nigricans and are one of the early signs of diabetes.
10. Pins and needles – tingling, pain and numbness in the hands and feet occur because of nerve damage related to diabetes progression.