Diabetes- A Quick Guide

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to balance and regulate the blood sugar level in the bloodstream. Causing a dis-balance of insulin

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to balance and regulate the blood sugar level in the bloodstream. Causing a dis-balance of insulin and starting a chain of symptoms thereon. The condition arises when the body does not make enough insulin or can not use the insulin generated in the body.

Types of Diabetes

Type I diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes, it occurs when the body fails to generate insulin. Those who have type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means it is necessary for them to take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body makes use of insulin. As the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond as effectively as they once did. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and it also has strong links with obesity as well.

Gestational diabetes: This type occurs in women during the time of pregnancy when the body became less sensitive to insulin. Gestational diabetes mostly does not occur in all women and usually resolves after giving birth. Less known types of diabetes include monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.


Causes and Risk Factors in Diabetes

Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood triglyceride (fat) levels
  • Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • High-fat and carbohydrate diet
  • High alcohol intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Ethnicity


Insufficient production of insulin (either absolutely or relative to the body’s needs), production of defective insulin (which is uncommon), or the inability of cells to use insulin properly and efficiently leads to hyperglycemia and diabetes.

  • This latter condition affects mostly the cells of muscle and fat tissues, and results in a condition known as insulin resistance. This is the primary problem in type 2 diabetes.
  • The absolute lack of insulin, usually secondary to a destructive process affecting the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, is the main disorder in type 1 diabetes.

Exercise and diet tips

If a doctor diagnoses a person with type 2 diabetes, they will recommend you make a change in your lifestyle to reduce weight and overall development.

A doctor can also refer a person with diabetes or prediabetes to a nutritionist. A specialist can help you to maintain a balanced diet which helps to control insulin levels.

Diabetes in Men Versus Women

Type 2 diabetes is more common in men than women. However, the risks, symptoms and deaths are higher in diabetic women as compared to diabetic men. The symptoms of diabetes in males and females is the same. Women with diabetes face consequences which are more serious, such as possible heart disease. Therefore, diabetes affects each sex differently and can lead to serious life-altering health complications.

How insulin problems develop?

Till today doctors do not know the exact causes of type I diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistance. Insulin grants glucose from a person’s food to access the cells in their body to produce energy. Insulin resistance is usually an outcome of the following cycle:

A person has genes or an environment that make it more likely that they are unable to make enough insulin to cover how much glucose they eat.The body always tries to make more insulin to process the excess blood sugar.

The pancreas is unable to keep up with the increased demands, and the excess blood glucose starts to circulate in the blood, causing severe damages. With passing time, insulin becomes less effectual at introducing glucose to cells, and blood glucose levels continue to rise.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance takes place at a rapid rate. And that is the reason why doctors often recommend making lifestyle changes in an attempt to slow or stop this cycle.


Steps that can be taken to embrace a lifestyle with diabetes include:

Eating fresh and nutritious foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy energy sources, such as nuts.

Avoiding high-level sugar foods that provide calories and do not have other nutritional benefits, such as sweetened sodas, and high-sugar desserts.

Avoiding excess amounts of alcohol or keeping intake to less than one drink a day for women and 2-3 drinks a day for men.

Engaging in at least 45 minutes exercise a day on at least 4 days of the week, such as walking, aerobics, riding a bicycle, or swimming. Known signs of low blood sugar while exercising, including dizziness, weakness, and profuse sweating.

Recently, diabetes has become a very common disease across age groups, but adapting a healthier lifestyle would help in reducing the risks.

Images: Unsplash

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