Describing Diabetes and Its Complications

Diabetes is a condition that many don’’t understand — including those who have been diagnosed with it! That lack of knowledge can lead to a host of complications. To avoid the health complications of Diabetes, it is important to learn everything you can to take care of yourself when you are diagnosed with this chronic disease.

What is Diabetes?

In simple terms, diabetes is the imbalance of blood sugar in the body that throws the metabolic process into chaos. The body uses sugar, called glucose, for fuel. This fuel is used by the cells for their processes as well as to keep you moving. Burning glucose is the reason you are able to do all that you do during the day without simply dropping from sheer exhaustion. You usually can save that for the end of the day! 

Carbohydrates are broken down by the body and glucose is released through the intestinal tract. The liver picks it up and stores it as glycogen until it is needed. The glucose that makes it into the bloodstream stays there waiting to be used.

The pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin that acts as a carrier for glucose.Insulin moves into the bloodstream and bonds with the glucose, carrying it to cells where it is needed. The cells allow the glucose in because it likes insulin and allows it to attach to it and release its precious cargo.

With diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or the cells have developed sensitivity to it and won’t allow it to bind to the surface. In both cases, blood sugar rises to dangerous levels, causing several reactions, once which diabetes sufferers notice right away – fatigue from the lack of proper fuel.

Carbohydrates, Weight, and Complications

It seems we have a love-hate relationship with carbohydrates. We love to eat them but we hate the way certain ones can make our body look. We might as well glue those muffins to our waistline.

Obesity is one of the risk factors for diabetes. However, it’s important to note that it’s not just the extra weight itself, but what we ate to get that extra weight. Eating carbohydrates, like breads and muffins, and other sugars causes the blood sugar to rise significantly. Remember, carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body. Keep this high carbohydrate and sugary diet up, and over time your body may not be able to produce enough insulin to counteract all of the sugar you are taking in. That can lead to a diagnosis of diabetes and future complications if you are not careful.

High levels of blood sugar can affect a variety of systems in the body. For example, these high levels of sugar can damage your nerves which is a common complication of diabetes. Damaged nerves can result in losing the feeling in the hands and feet. This nerve damage has been known to cause injury by burning on a stove, or stepping on a sharp object where the person couldn’t even feel the pain until the injury was very severe. The resulting injury may take a long time to heal, another complication caused by a diabetic condition. Sadly, these injuries can lead to very serious conditions such as gangrene, and even amputation.

The complications of diabetes can also affect the kidneys. You may urinate more frequently as the body tries to rid itself of excess sugars through the urine. The kidneys are trying to handle this bombardment of sugar; a task the kidneys were not designed to do.

Your entire body can be thrown out of whack by diabetes, especially when it is uncontrolled. Refuse to be uninformed. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, ask your doctor to help you manage it to avoid dangerous complications.

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