DiabetesDiabetes mellitus, also known as diabetes, is not a rare disease. In Germany alone there are over seven million diabetics. You can get diabetes at any age, but the incidence increases with age. It is
Metabolic disease. The blood sugar level of those affected is permanently elevated, causing damage to various organs over time. Especially In older sufferers, the symptoms are often mistakenly understood as age-related weaknesses. Diabetes is not always curable, but can be controlled quite well in most cases. Many patients are not even aware of the risks of diabetes or underestimate them. Without any treatment, diabetes can be life-threatening. Fortunately, the disease can be detected early. Usually clearly detectable. We help you to better understand diabetes and give you tips on how to deal with the disease and those affected by it.
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Different forms of diabetes
Before you worry about causes, symptoms and treatment, you should first be sufficiently informed about the different forms of diabetes. The most common forms of the disease can be divided into three types:
One Type 1 diabetes most frequently affects children and adolescents. It is an autoimmune disease.
The Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It accounts for over 90% of all cases. Type 2 diabetes used to be often referred to as adult-onset diabetes because it tended to affect older people. This is also today the case, however this form occurs up-to-date also increasingly with younger ones. Insulin resistance is often promoted by risk factors such as obesity.
Type 3 diabetes is the collective term for very rare types of diabetes. This type of disease has a variety of subgroups. Possible causes can be, for example, other diseases or medications.
An exception is the so-called Gestational diabetes. This occurs exclusively in women during pregnancy and is also temporary. The so-called gestational diabetes cannot be assigned to any of the above categories and is therefore often referred to as type 4 diabetes.
If diabetes is suspected, researching typical signs is the first step. Symptoms must also be distinguished between the different forms of diabetes must be differentiated. Due to the large number of causes of type 3 diabetes, we will only discuss types 1 and 2 below:
Symptoms in type 1 diabetes: Typical symptoms here are severe weight loss, a pronounced feeling of thirst and a frequent urge to urinate. Other signs can be fatigue, muscle weakness, dry skin and poorly healing wounds. In addition, there is dizziness or increased feeling of nausea.
symptoms in type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is often asymptomatic at first. The signs are therefore not recognizable or are not assessed as such. Possible symptoms include forgetfulness, poor concentration and mild depression. These can easily be confused with the symptoms of dementia. Somewhat more obvious are signs such as itchy skin. Fungal or urinary tract infections. Most of those affected are older and/or overweight. In later stages, secondary diseases can also be identified as symptoms. For example, diabetic retinopathy may occur. This is a visual disorder due to a disease of the retina. Diabetic foot is also a common secondary disease.
Have diabetes tested
As with most diseases, if you suspect you have diabetes, you should not rely solely on the presence or absence of possible symptoms. A final diagnosis can only be formulated by a physician. Diabetes can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. Fortunately, diabetes can be confirmed or disproved quite clearly with just one test. Regular testing can be useful if there are many signs and a high level of suspicion. Such a test usually proceeds as follows:
A Talk to with your doctor about self-diagnosed symptoms and exercise and dietary habits is usually followed by a physical examination. In addition, the Blood prere measured by the affected person. Finally, a Blood test. In some cases, a small drop of blood can be used to determine the blood glucose level.
In some cases, there are also Urine tests carried out. The literal translation of diabetes mellitus is "honey-sweet flow". Due to the increased glucose concentration in the urine, it is actually sweetish in affected persons. In healthy people, no sugar can be detected in the urine.
Causes of diabetes
Blood glucose regulation is disturbed in all affected persons, regardless of the type of diabetes. If left untreated, the blood glucose level will be severely elevated. The differentiation between the various forms of diabetes therefore lies mainly in the symptoms Causes of this elevated blood glucose level.
Causes of type 1 diabetes
The hormone insulin is responsible for lowering the blood glucose level. This hormone is released in healthy bodies when blood glucose levels rise, with the help of so-called beta cells. Type 1 diabetes is a Autoimmune disease. The immune system of affected persons thus defends itself against its own cells. In this case, the beta cells are destroyed by autoantibodies, which impedes insulin production. The cause of the formation of these endogenous antibodies is as yet unknown; genetic predispositions are usually amed to be the main cause. This type of diabetes is rather rare and occurs mainly in children and adolescents.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Blood glucose levels are lowered by the hormone insulin. This is produced after food intake in both healthy and affected individuals by so-called beta cells. In diabetes patients, however, the body's cells develop insulin resistance over time. This leads to an initial sharp increase in insulin production. Due to an overload of the pancreas, however, the production of the hormone decreases again and insulin deficiency occurs. In type 2 diabetes, the disturbance of blood glucose regulation can have various triggers. There are both Influenceable as well as non-influenceable risk factors. A combination of causes is also possible.
Among the Influenceable factors These include obesity, lack of exercise or the use of certain medications. A large number of sufferers also suffer from overweight or obesity. Fat cells are particularly dangerous here, since they strongly influence the insulin sensitivity of the cells. To prevent the build-up of fatty tie, sufficient exercise is required. The right diet also plays a major role. In addition, certain medications, such as the contraceptive pill, can worsen sugar metabolism.
The above factors can be influenced to a certain extent. However, there are also Inevitable causes. As with type 1 diabetes, genetic predisposition can increase the risk of developing the disease. The risk also increases sharply with age, as insulin production often naturally declines with age. In the past, diabetes type 2 was often referred to as Adult-onset diabetes denotes. Today, however, a large number of younger people are also affected, often because of factors that can be influenced.