Type 2 diabetes is the most common type. Although it primarily develops in adults, it’s beginning to be seen more frequently in younger people.
In this reading, we’ll introduce you to what causes diabetes in the first place as well as the ways to pre-detect it.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes mellitus ranks #6 in top 10 deadliest diseases. Diabetes is a group of chronic diseases that affect the production and use of insulin in one’s body. In other words, it prevents the body from using the energy produced from the food you eat.
As reported by the International Federation of Diabetes (IDF), in 2019, diabetes alone caused 4.2 million deaths worldwide, including adolescents and kids. But it does not end there, the disease has not even spared poor domestic animals, such as cats and dogs.
Which is why, a World Diabetes Day is annually held on 14 November, raising global awareness of the diabetes community along with their loved ones. It also sheds light on the health threats and causes posed by diabetes, and ways of (possible) prevention.
Nevertheless, there are ways to detect diabetes in its early stages. So, if you notice yourself experiencing any of the signs mentioned in this article, it’s probably time to run some tests and do a health check-up, just to be safe.
But before we begin, let me tell you this, symptoms of any disease and their intensity differ from one person to another. And please do not even consider self-diagnosis through the internet or through word of mouth; it is dangerous and highly inadvisable. So, for more accurate information, please visit a specialized doctor.
Signs that appear on your skin
Due to insulin level disorder in the body, skin may react in the form of small raised solid bumps that look like pimples, then these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. One may also feel their skin getting itchy and painful. However, that skin condition is inconsistent; it gets active, inactive, and then active again.
Also, diabetics are prone to skin infections, as a result of low insulin levels in the skin. On getting infected skin, the person will notice hot, swollen skin, and/or an itchy rash, accompanied by tiny blisters or dry scaly skin.
And by the way, skin infections come in many other forms and may take place in any area of the body, including in-between toes and the scalp.
Sores and open wounds
Having high blood sugar levels for prolonged periods of time weakens the blood circulation in one’s body, which will also lead to nerve damage. This makes it hard for the body to heal wounds. These wounds are called diabetic ulcers.
Diabetic eye disease
Another notable symptom of diabetes is blurry vision. Changing fluid levels in the body can make the eye lens swell up and change in shape, which will cause the inability to focus. By time, high blood sugar levels can lead to a disease that destroys the sharp vision in a vital part of the eye, leading to partial vision loss or blindness.
Please make sure to visit your oculist regularly, if you are diabetic, for early diagnosis of such severe side-effects.
As most of you might know, feeling constantly thirsty is one of the main symptoms of diabetes. Because the body uses up all the fluids within to make urine, there is less and less water inside. As a result, dry mouth and dehydration occur.
Speaking of which, remember to drink more water!
Back in the 5th grade, we learned that our body transforms food into glucose for energy use in our cells. However, to take in glucose, the cells require insulin.
Sometimes, though, the body does not produce enough insulin (or not at all!), or the cells reject the insulin the body itself makes. As a result, the person will become hungry, tired, and even more tired. So, without food intake, one will have zero energy, which will cause constant fatigue.
Fluctuation in weight
In some cases of diabetes, people notice rapid, inexplicable increase in their body weight, even if they are maintaining a healthy diet. This is because the body makes more and more insulin as a response to chronically elevated high blood sugar levels.
However, as insulin regulates glucose levels in the body, it also works to store fats and block their release. So instead of losing weight on a diet, you just keep gaining, due to all the insulin.
When people hear the phrase “deadliest diseases”, the first thing that pops up to their heads are the fast-acting, incurable ones. In fact, however, many of those diseases are not even the world’s leading 10 causes of death.
So, yes, living with diabetes is a challenge, and controlling this nasty disease is a 24/7 job that someone’s life literally depends on. But it is all about the small steps we take. It is about being easy on ourselves when we lose control. Because hey! It is OK! Nobody is perfect; if you slip up, move back to your healthy habit as soon as you can.
Find support, educate yourself, and ALWAYS remember the big picture.