Diabetes: A Symptom of the 21st Century
You’ve heard the statistics, know of people who have it and may even be receiving treatment for it yourself. One thing is for sure, its hard to ignore the reality of Diabetes. This is especially true when living in the 21st century where our habits make us more vulnerable to lifestyle diseases like Diabetes Mellitus than ever.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when a person has higher than normal blood glucose levels, otherwise known as blood sugar levels. This is due to an inadequate production of insulin, a dysfinctional response to insulin by the body’s cells, or both.
Now that you know what Diabetes is, its important to recognize the two categories it falls into; either Type 1 or Type 2.
Type 1 Diabetes is the least common variation of the diease and is certainly more serious and in need of constant monitoring. It is characterised by a lack of insulin production in the body and accounts for only 10% of all diabetes cases.
Type 2 Diabetes accounts for the remaining 90% of all cases and results from a lack of suficient insulin in the body to properly function.
While Type 1 Diabetes lasts a lifetime, those with Type 2 Diabetes can experience an alleviation of symptoms through a combination of body weight control, exercise and a healthy diet. Neither Type means that one can no longer enjoy life. Those with Type 1 Diabetes need only follow a nutritious and balanced eating plan, do enough exercise and take insulin to lead a normal life. Type 2 patients can also life a fulfilled life if they are dilligent about monitoring their blood glucose levels, eating healthily and exercising or taking specific medication to help control their glucose levels.
How do you know when you have Diabetes and what signs should you look for if you are at risk of becoming diabetic? On of the primary signs of Diabetes is frequent urination, a constant feeling of thirst and hunger and unusual weight fluctuations. Other symptoms include fatigue, male sexual dysfucntion, cuts and bruises that don’t heal and feelings of numbness in one’s limbs with tingling in the hands and feet.
So, the question remains; how do we avoid Diabetes? A priority in Diabetes management is prevention. This implies healthy eating, regular exercise and a balanced lifestyle, which can be chanllenging to manage in the 21st century where unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyles and high stress environments are common. However, if one makes the effort to limit sugary and fatty foods and drinks, as well as engages in regular exercise, the risks for developing Type 2 Diabetes are significantly lowered. Type 1 Diabetes, in contrast, can not be prevented as its cause is simply genetic. Despite this, both types of Diabetes, when managed properly, do not mean the end of a flourishing life and the disease can be controlled through positive lifestyle changes.