In simple words, diabetes can be defined as a disorder of blood sugar levels. It mainly occurs because of the inability of the pancreas to generate insulin in the body. The primary function of insulin is to signal fat cells, liver, and muscles to take in glucose, which is used to generate energy.
In the absence of insulin, your body struggles to regulate your blood sugar levels. And, when your body has enough energy, glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen.
Types of people with diabetes
There are two types of people with diabetes. Those with type 1 diabetes can take insulin injections and be careful with their food choices to avoid any complications in the future. On the other hand, people with type 2 diabetes can practice lifestyle changes, take oral medications, and insulin injections when other treatments fail.
Today, there are a lot of medications available to treat diabetes but it’s difficult to choose the best one.
How does high blood sugar feel?
Since glucose in your bloodstream is the primary source of energy, you don’t feel an energy boost when glucose content is high. Instead, you may experience the following:
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Need to urine frequently
- Have bloating issue
- Feel tiredness or drowsiness
- Have a dry mouth
- Unable to concentrate
- Have a feeling a bloating
- Experience wounds taking longer to heal
- Have blurred vision
When the blood sugar levels are high and the insulin level is low, they can lead to the generation of ketones or diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a complicated stage where you may need emergency medical attention. In this case, you may experience the following:
- Shortening of breath
- Disorientation or confusion
- Elevated heartbeat
- A fruity smell while breathing
In addition to these, the affected person may have blood sugar levels above 250 ml/dL, which is very dangerous. These people usually have high blood sugar levels in the morning. While people can test blood sugar levels and ketone levels at home using testing kits, having clear signs of diabetes simply implies visiting a doctor.
The effects of high blood sugar levels in the body
Apart from directly implying diabetes, the person experiences the following signs and symptoms when the blood sugar levels are high:
- Extreme thirst and frequent urination
Having high blood sugar directly affects the kidneys and causes frequent urination. As a result, the person feels extremely thirsty even after they had enough water or other fluids already.
- Baffling weight loss
With increasing blood sugar levels, the person undergoes rapid and unexplained loss of body weight. This is because the body’s cells don’t get enough glucose for energy and, therefore, they start burning body fat and muscles for the required energy.
- Tingling and numbness
High blood sugar levels also sometimes cause burning, tingling, and numbness in hands, feet, and legs. This turns up because of Diabetic Neurotherapy – a serious diabetes complication that occurs when a person has been having high blood sugar levels for a long time.
Long-term complications of type 1 diabetes
Carrying high blood sugar for a long time can harm other vital organs in the body. Besides, the blood vessels also start getting damaged, which further leads to several complications like:
- Kidney disease or failure
- Loss of vision or damage to the one or both the eyes
- Stroke or a heart attack
- Wounds won’t heal
- Nerve problem in the feet
Causes of type 1 diabetes
High blood sugar levels can lead to different types of diabetes. In case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system starts attacking the pancreas that generates insulin – the hormone that carries glucose from the bloodstream and takes it to the fat cells, muscles, and liver to generate energy. As a result of this attack, the body lacks insulin and glucose levels in the blood increase.
People with type 1 diabetes can take insulin from an external source like injection, pen, or an insulin pump to ensure that their blood sugar levels are controlled.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), only 5% of the population of the United States is suffering from type 1 diabetes. Once this diabetes type is diagnosed, it’s wise to keep in touch with your doctor and follow their advice to lead a healthy and happy life ahead.