Blindness and eye problems, becoming fat, urinating often, feeling thirsty, extreme fatigue and more so. If you’re one soul experiencing all of this at once, you might want to get your insulin levels tested.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that involve problems with the hormone insulin. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use sugar and fat from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when one of the following occurs:
- The pancreas does not produce any insulin
- The pancreas produces very little insulin
- The body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance.”
The key to self-analysis is to carefully understand the drastic changes in your body over a very short period of time. Let us understand how the symptoms actually make away in your everyday life.
- Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to take in glucose.
- If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you hungrier and more tired than usual.
- Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in.
- This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. The result: You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
- Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
- Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and can’t focus.
Here is a plain walkthrough to figure out if your symptoms resonate with type 2 diabetes:
- Yeast infections. Both men and women with diabetes can get these. Yeast feeds on glucose, so having plenty around makes it thrive. Infections can grow in any warm, moist fold of skin, including:
- Between fingers and toes
- Under breasts
- In or around sex organs
- Slow-healing sores or cuts. Over time, high blood sugar can affect your blood flow and cause nerve damage that makes it hard for your body to heal wounds.
- Pain or numbness in your feet or legs. This is another result of nerve damage.
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
Warning Signs of Diabetes Complications
Signs of type 2 diabetes’ complications may include
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itchy skin (usually around the vaginal or groin area)
- Frequent yeast infections
- Recent weight gain
- Velvety, dark skin changes of the neck, armpit, and groin, called acanthosis nigricans
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
- Decreased vision
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED)
Certain prevention tips include, a cup of hot cocoa may seem like a no-no for people with diabetes, but the beverage may actually serve up a healthy dose of prevention and ward off heart disease, the leading cause of diabetes-related death.
New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology provides substantial evidence that compounds in cocoa called flavanols to improve the function and overall health of blood vessels. Unhealthy blood vessels are a leading cause of cardiovascular complications in people with diabetes.
Flavanols are naturally occurring plant compounds found in chocolate, red wine, and certain fruits and vegetables. A growing body of evidence suggests that cocoa flavanols have circulatory health benefits.
For the study, Malte Kelm, MD, a professor and chairman of cardiology, pulmonology and vascular medicine at the University Hospital Aachen and the Technical University Aachen, in Aachen, Germany, and colleagues examined the effect of a specially made flavanol-rich cocoa on patients with stable, treated type 2 diabetes.
Types of Treatments
Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas makes to allow cells to use glucose. When your body isn’t making or using insulin correctly, you can take man-made insulin to help control your blood sugar.
Many types can be used to treat diabetes. They’re usually described by how they affect your body.
Rapid-acting insulin starts to work within a few minutes and lasts for a couple of hours.
Regular- or short-acting insulin takes about 30 minutes to work fully and lasts for 3 to 6 hours.
Intermediate-acting insulin takes 2 to 4 hours to work fully. Its effects can last for up to 18 hours.
Long-acting insulin can work for an entire day.
Your doctor may prescribe more than one type. You might need to take insulin more than once daily, to space your doses throughout the day, and possibly to also take other medicines.
How Do I Take It?
Many people get insulin into their blood using a needle and syringe, a cartridge system, or pre-filled pen systems.
The place on the body where you give yourself the shot may matter. You’ll absorb insulin the most consistently when you inject it into your belly. The next best places to inject it are your arms, thighs, and buttocks. Make it a habit to inject insulin at the same general area of your body, but change up the exact injection spot. This helps lessen scarring under the skin.
Inhaled insulin, insulin pumps, and a quick-acting insulin device are also available.
When do I take it?
It will depend on the type of insulin you use. You want to time your shot so that the glucose from your food gets into your system at about the same time that the insulin starts to work. This will help your body use glucose and avoid low blood sugar reactions.
For example, if you use rapid-acting insulin, you’d likely take it 10 minutes before or even with your meal. If you use regular- or intermediate-acting insulin, you should generally take it about a half-hour before your meals, or at bedtime. Follow your doctor’s advice.