Diabetes mellitus, also known as diabetes, is a set of metabolic diseases characterized by a prolonged elevation of blood sugar levels. It usually results to either the pancreas’ failure to produce adequate insulin or the failure of the body cells to properly respond to insulin production.
Diabetes has three main types – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes happens when the pancreas fails to yield enough insulin; hence, it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). It typically affects children, so it is also called juvenile diabetes. Type 2 begins with insulin resistance wherein the body cells become unresponsive to insulin; thus, blood sugar is kept elevated. This type is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and since it is usually caused by excessive body weight and lack of exercise, it is sometimes called adult-onset diabetes. Meanwhile, gestational diabetes is the third kind of diabetes and it happens when pregnant women develops increased levels of blood sugar.
Diabetes presents several symptoms. According to Wed MD, a person with the disorder is unusually hungry, since glucose could not get into the cells due to decreased insulin or insulin resistance. As a result, the person also feels weak than usual.
A person with diabetes also drinks and urinates frequently. This is secondary to the body’s failure to reabsorb glucose as it passes through the kidneys. As an effect, the body will try to flush excess glucose through urination. Also, the elevated blood sugar levels prompts the body to decrease it though fluid intake; thus, a person will drink more. Since, there is increased fluid intake, the frequency of urination and amount of urine are also increased.
Along with frequent eating, drinking, and urinating, a person with diabetes is also likely to develop dry mouth and itchy skin. This is due to lack of water, which results to decreased moisture in the integumentary system. Moreover, blurred vision is also a common symptom, as the fluctuation in the body’s fluid levels cause the eyes lenses to swell, change shape, and lose their ability to focus.
With regard diabetes treatment, the goal is to monitor blood glucose levels and keeping them within normal range. As per Web MD, this can be done by a blend of diet, exercise, medications. Insulin is usually given in the form of injections or via continuous pump called insulin pump. Depending on the type of diabetes and the doctor’s advice, a person may receive a dose among rapid acting, regular or short-acting, intermediate-acting, long-acting, and ultra-long-acting.
In terms of diet, the American Diabetes Association recommends consumption of food choices that have a low glycemic index or GI and provide essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
As per the publication, the best food selections for diabetes include beans like black beans, navy, pinto, and kidney. Beans are notably rich in fiber an half cup of it provides nearly one-third of a person’s daily requirements. In addition, they are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium, which are both important for neuromuscular and cardiovascular health.
Along with beans, other food choices for the diabetic include dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and whole grains. Dark greens like kale, spinach, and collards are low in calories and carbohydrates, thus they prevent further rise of a person’s blood sugar level. Citrus fruits and tomatoes are packed with various minerals and vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin E while whole grains contain fiber, which helps the body get rid of waste products; omega 3 fatty acids, which boost cardiovascular health, and folate, which helps maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Overall, diabetes is a progressively deadly disease, if it is left untreated. With the aforementioned information, it is best to seek medical advice when one or more of the presenting symptoms are experienced.