Your Body

Common Disease - Diabetes

 

A lifestyle that is often accompanied by too little exercise and a diet containing too much fat is considered to be one of the main risk factors for developing diabetes. "Diabetes mellitus" is the diagnosis of a chronic metabolic disorder by doctors. It consists of the fact that too little or no insulin is produced in the pancreas. However, this hormone is needed so that carbohydrates in the form of sugar (glucose) ingested with food can enter the cells. Insulin is therefore a kind of key for nutrients. In diabetics, insulin production or glucose intake into the cells does not work properly. Glucose therefore stands in front of closed doors and remains in the blood - the blood sugar level rises. This does not sound dramatic at first, but it can have serious consequences if left untreated: The complication rate for myocardial infarction, heart failure and stroke increases. As a result of diabetes, legs, feet or toes are amputated, people affected can go blind; diabetes is the most common cause of people having to go to dialysis regularly. As a result, patients' life expectancy and quality of life are significantly reduced.

 

 

Not all diabetes is the same. There are two basic forms of diabetes that differ significantly from each other. Type 1 diabetes is the much rarer form. It mainly begins in adolescence. According to current knowledge, it is a hereditary autoimmune disease. The body no longer recognises the insulin-producing cells as its own tissue and gradually destroys them. The result is an absolute insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form. The reason for this type of diabetes is the insulin resistance of the cells that normally take up the hormone in combination with a relative insulin deficiency. This insensitivity to insulin can be congenital or acquired. Type 2 diabetes used to occur almost exclusively in elderly people over 40, hence the term "adult-onset diabetes". Today, doctors are increasingly finding it in children and adolescents and see the cause in poor nutrition, overweight and lack of exercise.

While type 1 has a real insulin deficiency from the beginning, type 2 begins with an overproduction of insulin. The cells in fat and muscle tissue become insulin-resistant, the hormone thus acts less and less and the glucose remains in the blood. As a result of food intake, even more glucose is transferred into the blood, whereupon the pancreas releases even more insulin. Both blood sugar and insulin levels rise continuously. In response, the insulin receptors continue to dull and degenerate. However, the cells in the pancreas constantly receive the information "too much sugar in the blood - insulin is missing" and continue to produce and continue to produce. Over time, they become so exhausted that they die completely "overworked".

Treatment of diabetes

Diabetes can be treated to such an extent that those affected can live completely free of symptoms. Consistent monitoring and good blood sugar control can also prevent secondary diseases. The type of therapy depends on the type of diabetes and the patient. The patient himself is decisively responsible for the success of the therapy. He must integrate the necessary measures permanently and consistently into his everyday life. If the doctor has diagnosed type 1 diabetes, insulin treatment must be started immediately. The insulin can only be injected from the outside. Oral antidiabetics, which cause insulin to be released from the islet cells, do not help here because the cells are no longer functional. In type 2 diabetes, a step-by-step approach is usually recommended. Since the sugar metabolism in this form is often disturbed as a result of unhealthy living and eating habits, it can possibly be normalised again by changing these habits. Otherwise, oral antidiabetics are used first, and the next step is to switch to insulin.

How can diabetes be recognised?

Observe whether
- You can see less well
- You feel itchy more often
- Your wounds heal more slowly
- You have to go to the toilet more often
- You are often tired or feel weak
- You are more susceptible to infections
- Your weight has been significantly reduced (unintentionally)
- You often have strong thirst or ravenous appetite

 

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