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Diabetes: What Is It? Understanding Diabetes: Causes, Types, and Warning Signs

Understanding Diabetes: What Is It? Diabetes is a condition that affects a person’s ability to process glucose in the blood, leading to elevated levels of sugar in the bloodstream, beyond what is considered normal levels.

Generally, diabetes occurs when the body cannot efficiently produce or use its own insulin. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone, through the Islets of Langerhans, using cells called beta cells. Insulin functions as the key that allows cells to open up, allowing sugar from the food we consume to enter.

After processing glucose, which is essentially the sugar we consume, cells convert it into energy.

When our body cannot process blood sugar and we do not follow proper treatment, diabetes can cause sugars to accumulate in the blood…

This increases the likelihood of dangerous complications, such as heart disease and cardiovascular accidents (stroke).

Untreated diabetes can also affect vision, nerves, kidneys, and other organs.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause other health problems such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease.


Types of Diabetes – Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that results in high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

When we have it, the body does not produce the necessary amount of insulin to process glucose, or the insulin it produces cannot be efficiently used.

Diabetes can develop in different forms, with the most common types being:

Type 1 Diabetes:

Also referred to as juvenile diabetes, as it typically develops in children and adolescents. It is a type of diabetes that occurs when the body cannot produce insulin.

This is an autoimmune disease, where the person’s own immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin.

The destruction of these insulin-producing cells results in the body’s inability to produce its own insulin.

As a result, the body starts to accumulate sugar in the blood, causing the body’s cells to begin to die because they cannot process the necessary glucose.

This is the most dangerous type, as it is insulin-dependent and requires strict insulin therapy.

Type 2 Diabetes:

This is the most widespread form of diabetes, affecting how the body uses insulin.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes, the body does produce insulin, but it becomes resistant to its effects.

Generally, Type 2 diabetes occurs in people who are overweight and have a sedentary lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes tends to manifest more slowly. People can overlook its symptoms or attribute them to other factors like stress or aging.

Gestational Diabetes:

This type of diabetes can affect women during pregnancy, increasing blood sugar levels…

This occurs because the placenta produces hormones that block insulin, leading to the development of gestational diabetes.

In most cases, gestational diabetes disappears after childbirth.

However, women who have experienced this type of diabetes need to be cautious, as their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future increases.

In other cases, misdiagnosed gestational diabetes during pregnancy can actually be Type 2 diabetes.


Doctors diagnose this condition when a person’s blood sugar levels fall within the range of 100 – 125 mg/dL.

Blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes.

If you have found our article Understanding Diabetes: What is it? useful, be sure to read, “Stem Cells for Diabetes

What are the warning signs of type 1 diabetes?

The onset of Type 1 diabetes is characterized by its rapid development and can lead to the sudden emergence of distinct symptoms that demand attention. These signs are too pronounced to be disregarded:

One of the initial indicators is an abnormal surge in thirst, a notable increase that can’t be easily ignored. Additionally, a frequent need for urination, which might intensify particularly at night, becomes evident. In children, bedwetting incidents could occur as a result.

A significant and swift reduction in weight becomes apparent, accompanied by a heightened appetite that stands out. This intensified hunger can be striking.

Mood changes, such as uncommon irritability, might become noticeable, indicating potential health changes.

Persistent feelings of feebleness or fatigue are prevalent, signifying the impact of the condition on energy levels.

A gradual decline in vision might manifest, affecting the ability to see clearly over time.

Offensive breath is another distinct indication, which can be attributed to the metabolic changes associated with the condition.

Skin itching might occur, potentially attributed to the physiological effects of the disease.

Feelings of nausea, episodes of vomiting, and discomfort in the abdominal area can arise, pointing to the broader effects of Type 1 diabetes on the body.

These signs collectively form a comprehensive picture that serves as a warning for the presence of Type 1 diabetes. It’s important not to overlook these indicators and to seek medical attention promptly if they are observed.

What are the warning signs of type 2 diabetes?

Signs of Type 2 Diabetes Warning Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are similar to those of Type 1 diabetes, but they tend to develop more slowly and are not as pronounced or alarming as in Type 1 diabetes.

This is one reason why most people with Type 2 diabetes mistakenly overlook the warning signs. Often, they confuse these symptoms with signs of other conditions like stress or aging.

The presence of symptoms can indicate the onset of a particular condition. First and foremost, an increased sense of thirst becomes apparent. This is followed by an intensified feeling of hunger.

Additionally, there is a noticeable increase in the frequency of urination. Vision may also become blurred, causing difficulties in focusing. Accompanying these signs is a persistent state of fatigue, often accompanied by a sense of exhaustion.

Slow healing of wounds is another common manifestation, where the body’s recuperative abilities are hindered. Lastly, recurrent infections can arise due to high blood glucose levels, which impede the body’s natural healing processes.

Health Issues That People With Diabetes May Develop

When an individual experiences elevated levels of blood glucose and receives a diabetes diagnosis, the potential for developing various health complications becomes elevated.

Firstly, there is an enhanced risk of heart disease, which can have profound effects on cardiovascular health. Following that, kidney disorders can emerge, potentially impacting the proper functioning of the kidneys. Additionally, dental problems may arise, affecting oral health and hygiene.

Lastly, concerns related to visual impairment or deterioration might become evident, impacting one’s eyesight. These medical issues are collectively referred to as diabetes complications, and managing blood glucose levels is crucial in minimizing their occurrence and severity.

When diabetes is detected early and receives appropriate medical attention, people can lead healthy lives with a reduced risk of subsequent complications.

What Causes Diabetes? (Understanding Diabetes)

The number of people annually diagnosed with diabetes has been increasing in recent years…

Studies on this matter have concluded that this is due to the aging population. Also, the lifestyle of modern society.

Modern societies are more technologically driven, and people’s lifestyles and eating habits have changed along with them…

Additionally, sedentary behavior has increased, while physical activity has decreased. These factors directly contribute to the onset of this condition.

It is well-known that factors directly influencing the onset of diabetes include:

• Obesity:

This condition is directly related to the development of Type 2 diabetes, often referred to as the interaction between both conditions. “Diabesity” is a term used to identify obese people who have Type 2 diabetes.

• Sedentary Lifestyle:

A hallmark of modern societies is that people tend to engage in less physical activity. This contributes to the accumulation of abdominal fat and obesity.

This, in turn, leads to multiple health problems, with diabetes being a prominent concern.

When someone is sedentary, their metabolism and glucose assimilation slow down…

Becoming a risk factor for both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

• Hypertension:

This condition does no favors for those predisposed to diabetes. It can exacerbate the damage diabetes causes to arteries, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks, thrombosis, and kidney failure, among others.

• Hyperlipidemia:

This is the high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood, cholesterol, and triglycerides. These components cause high blood glucose levels and high blood pressure.

These factors increase the likelihood of heart disease and arteriosclerosis in diabetics, with the risk being greater for those with Type 2 diabetes.

• Metabolic Syndrome:

One of the major risk factors stemming from morbid obesity and insulin resistance.

It increases the risk associated with Type 2 diabetes for developing cardiovascular diseases.

• Inadequate Dietary Habits:

To maintain a healthy life free from diabetes, a proper diet is essential. When this is neglected, the likelihood of developing diabetes multiplies.

Poor eating habits, and consuming junk food, are the primary triggers for the onset of this disease.

These bad habits are characterized by reliance on hypercaloric diets, which exceed the limits our bodies can handle for processing saturated and polyunsaturated fats.

If you have found our article Understanding Diabetes: What is it? useful, be sure to read, “Stem Cells for Diabetes

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