Experts say that being overweight and out of shape can lead you toward becoming a diabetic. But, what exactly is it and why is that so frightening?
What Diabetes Is
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is a condition in which your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it as efficiently as it should. Because insulin helps get glucose (sugar) out of your body, if you don’t have enough of this key hormone or don’t use it very well, the sugar starts to build up in your blood. The result is what is called diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetics (5-10% of the cases) are insulin dependent. That means that the only way to deal with their blood sugar levels is to give themselves doses of insulin via shots, usually right before meals to help their body process the sugars in the foods. Type 2 diabetics, the other 90-95% of those diagnosed, are non-insulin dependent. This means that they can usually control their diabetes through proper diet and exercise.
There is a third type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, but it isn’t as common. Gestational diabetes occurs in 2-5% of pregnant women and, usually, isn’t a lifelong affliction. Typically, the woman reverts back to being non-diabetic once the pregnancy is complete.
A number of factors contribute to a diabetic diagnosis. Genetics play a role, as does eating and exercise behaviors. In addition, one’s age, sex and race all lead into whether or not a person is at risk.
How do you know if you’re diabetic? Other than a blood test at a doctor’s office, there are certain symptoms that may be a signal that your body isn’t properly disposing of its sugar stores. They include:
- Urinating excessively
- Frequently being thirsty
- Losing weight without trying
- Being hungry all the time
- Issues with your vision
- Numbness in your extremities
- Being tired a lot
- Overly dry skin
- Being sick a lot, or taking a long time to heal
If you have a number of these symptoms, it’s worth your time to make a doctor’s appointment. If you do have diabetes, the sooner you manage it, the better. If you don’t, maybe there’s something else going on that isn’t allowing you to feel as good as you could. Either way, isn’t it time you find out?