Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world. In 2015, in the United States, 9,4% of the population had diabetes and by the year 2050, it is suggested that 1 in 3 Americans would suffer this disease. Of the 30.3 million people who suffer diabetes, 7.2 million were not diagnosed and 1.5 million new cases are being diagnosed every year.

What is Diabetes?

It is a medical chronic condition where the body fails to use glucose in a proper way because there isn’t enough insulin or either because the insulin present doesn’t work in an effective way. When you eat, everything is broken down into glucose so the body can use it as energy.

Normally, the pancreas would regulate the amount of glucose in your blood stream. When there is more than needed, the insulin starts to act and makes cells absorb just what they need and store the rest.

When there is lack of glucose, insulin stops working and then glucagon also in pancreas will control liver to release glucose because the body needs it.

There are different types of Diabetes, but type 1 and 2 have common factors. You first must have a genetic predisposition so that it may be triggered and appear.

Triggers for type 1 diabetes are still being discussed. Studies have shown one of them is the cold weather. It is often more diagnosed in winter and it is more common to be diagnosed in cold climate places.

Type 2 diabetes is related to family history but most importantly to lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise.

Both have very typical symptoms, but sometimes they go unnoticed until they become life threatening, so it is important to try to look for them if diabetes runs in your family.

Look for the “3 P’s” first since they are the most symbolic of this type of illness.

Polyfagia: It is the sensation of being hungry all the time. Check if you have the habit of constantly snacking.

Polydipsia: Your body asks for more and more water but you never diminish the sensation. If you see changes in your thirst and drink water constantly, this might be a sign that you may have diabetes.

Polyuria: Since you’re constantly drinking water, your body needs to eliminate the excess. Frequent urination, production and passage will be observed. Check for changes in your urine habits.

Other symptoms are:

Skin: Skin will change color mostly in places where there is a lot of friction such as arm pits, neck, elbows and even face. A black darkened discoloration will appear suggesting insulin resistance. It is seen in type 2 diabetes.

Sleeping habits: You will feel restlessness at night because of frequent urination, disturbed sleep or because of changes in your limbs. By lack of sleep at night, people feel tired during the day and longer naps are needed.

Cicatrization process: People who suffer from diabetes tend to have a very slow cicatrization process. Wounds don’t heal as fast as healthy people making them have more propensity to suffer from skin infections that may lead to sepsis.

Sexual Function: Diabetes affects both men and women. Recent studies show that loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and vaginal dryness are some of the symptoms people experience.

Diagnosis:

A1C: shows your glucose levels for the last 3 months.

FPG: Fasting plasma glucose. Gives the amount of glucose in your blood after 8 hour fasting.

Make an appointment with a doctor if you feel you might be at risk. Tests should be made as well as discussion of family history.

References:

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/diabetes-warning-signs#diagnosis
  • http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/
  • http://blog.healthians.com/9-unusual-signs-of-type-2-diabetes/
  • https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Diabetes.aspx
  • picture source: https://pixabay.com/
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