Are You Dealing With Diabetes?
First, let’s talk a little bit about diabetes (diabetes mellitus.) This disorder is a collection of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood, or high blood glucose. These diseases affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose) which is vital to your health due to blood sugar being a major source of energy for the cells in your muscles, tissues and your brain.
Abnormally high levels of glucose in your blood usually indicates an onset of diabetes and can manifest into other severe health problems down the road. It is normally the role of the pancreas to secrete insulin into the bloodstream allowing the blood sugar to enter your cells. The insulin then lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream as it spreads. As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
In Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, causing your pancreas to be unable to make enough insulin to properly deal out the glucose (blood sugar) to the bloodstream and into the cells. This causes the blood sugar to instead build up in your bloodstream, thus reflecting a dangerously high level of blood sugar.
Risk Factors for Diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is more hereditary and/or environmental in nature. Predispositions to disease, family history and an abnormally functioning immune system seem to be the risk factors for this type.
Type 2 Diabetes, also called hyperglycemia, is the more common type, where your body suffers from insulin resistance where the insulin can’t break down the blood sugar properly and it collects in the bloodstream. Over time, more blood sugar from the foods you eat begin to add to the backlog of sugar already in your blood causing serious side effects and dangerous disorders.
Some risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are:
- Weight. Your cells become more resistant to insulin the more fatty tissue you have.
- Family history/Genetics. Your family medical history and inherited genetic makeup may put you at higher risk for diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases.
- High blood pressure. Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, over 140/90 is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.