Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and More

Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and More

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Diabetes types

Diabetes mellitus, more frequently referred to as diabetes, is a metabolic condition that is responsible for elevated blood sugar levels. The hormone insulin is responsible for transporting sugar from the blood into the cells of your body, where it can either be stored or utilised as a source of energy. Diabetes is characterised by either an inability of the body to produce enough insulin or an inability to utilise the insulin that it does produce.

Diabetes can cause nerve damage, eye damage, kidney damage, and damage to other organs if the high blood sugar is not addressed.

Diabetes can take a few distinct forms, including the following:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune illness. The cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are subject to assault and death at the hands of the immune system. It is not known what the cause of this attack is. This kind of diabetes affects approximately ten percent of persons who have the condition overall.

Sugar builds up in the blood of someone who has type 2 diabetes because their body has become resistant to the effects of insulin.

Prediabetes is a condition that develops when a person has blood sugar levels that are higher than usual but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

High blood sugar levels during pregnancy are known as gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes is caused by hormones that are released by the placenta that inhibit the action of insulin.

Although they share a name, diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus are two entirely different conditions. Diabetes insipidus is an extremely uncommon illness. It is a distinct condition in which an abnormally large amount of fluid is removed from the body by the kidneys.

The symptoms, causes, and therapies for each form of diabetes are distinct from one another. Find out more about the ways in which these categories are distinct from one another.

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Manifestations of Diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes are brought on by an increase in blood sugar.

Indicators in general

The following is a list of the general symptoms of diabetes:

higher need for food

increased thirst and a loss of weight

frequent urination hazy vision

extreme tiredness

wounds that refuse to recover

Manifestations in males

Men who have diabetes may experience a diminished sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), and reduced muscle strength in addition to the normal symptoms of diabetes.

Symptoms in women

Women who have diabetes are more likely to experience symptoms such as yeast infections, dry, itchy skin, and infections of the urinary system.

Type 1 diabetes

The following is a list of possible symptoms of type 1 diabetes:

severe hunger accompanied by an increase in thirst leading to inadvertent weight loss

frequent urination hazy vision weariness

Alterations in one’s state of mind are also a possibility.

Type 2 diabetes

The following is a list of possible symptoms of type 2 diabetes:

higher need for food

increased need to drink

symptoms include frequent urination, blurred vision, and fatigue.

wounds that take a long time to recover from

Additionally, it may result in recurrent infections. This is due to the fact that high amounts of glucose make it more difficult for the body to mend.

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

The majority of pregnant women who are affected by gestational diabetes do not experience any symptoms. It is common for the disease to be discovered via a standard blood sugar test or oral glucose tolerance test, both of which are often administered between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

In unusual instances, a woman who is pregnant with gestational diabetes may also suffer an increase in the frequency or volume of her urination or thirst.


The signs and symptoms of diabetes are not always obvious at first since they might be rather subtle. Educate yourself on the symptoms that warrant a visit to the doctor.

Reasons why people get diabetes

Each form of diabetes is linked to a unique set of risk factors and causes.

Type 1 diabetes

The actual aetiology of type 1 diabetes is a mystery to medical professionals. The pancreatic beta cells that are responsible for manufacturing insulin are frequently targeted and killed by the immune system for unknown reasons.

There is a possibility that genes play a part in certain persons. There is also the possibility that a virus is what first triggered the immune system response.

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Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes type 2 is caused by a convergence of lifestyle choices and inherited predispositions. Having a high body mass index (BMI) also puts you at an increased risk. Your cells will become more resistant to the effects that insulin has on your blood sugar if you are carrying excess weight, particularly around your midsection.

This health issue seems to run in families. Genes that increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and being overweight are often passed down via families.

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

The hormonal shifts that occur during pregnancy are the root cause of gestational diabetes. A pregnant woman’s cells become less sensitive to the effects of insulin because the placenta produces hormones that have this effect. This has the potential to raise the woman’s blood sugar levels while she is pregnant.

It is more probable for women to develop gestational diabetes if they are overweight prior to becoming pregnant or if they gain an unhealthy amount of weight during their pregnancy.


Diabetes can be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors. Find out more about the factors that lead to diabetes by reading this article.

Diabetes danger signs and symptoms

Your likelihood of developing diabetes is increased by certain variables.

Type 1 diabetes

If you are a kid or a teenager, if either of your parents or one of your siblings has type 1 diabetes, or if you carry certain genes that are connected to the disease, then you have a greater chance of developing type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes

If you have any of the following, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases.

do not engage in regular physical activity are overweight are at least 45 years old have a parent or sibling who has the condition have a history of gestational diabetes or prediabetes

suffer from hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, or elevated triglyceride levels.

having ancestry that can be traced back to African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, or Asian Americans

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

Your chance of developing gestational diabetes increases if any of the following apply to you:

have a family history of type 2 diabetes are overweight are over the age of 25 have had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

The bare essentials

Your risk of acquiring diabetes can be influenced by a number of factors, including your family, where you live, and any preexisting medical conditions. Determine which of the hazards you are able to control and which of them you are not.

Complications caused by diabetes

A high level of blood sugar is harmful to all of the organs and tissues in your body. Your risk for problems increases both with the level of your blood sugar and with the length of time you have been living with diabetes.

Diabetes can lead to a variety of complications, including the following:

diseases of the heart, including heart attacks and strokes



retinopathy as well as a loss of vision

hearing impairment

Foot damage such as infections and sores that don’t mend skin problems such as bacterial and fungal infections foot damage such as infections and sores that don’t heal

depression \sdementia

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Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

Diabetes that is not properly managed during pregnancy can result in complications that harm both the mother and the baby. The following are examples of complications that can impact the baby:

a higher-than-normal birth weight, early birth, and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life are all associated with low blood sugar.

jaundice \sstillbirth

There is a possibility that the mother will develop difficulties, such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure) or type 2 diabetes. It is also possible that she will need to have a caesarean section, which is more often referred to as a C-section.

Additionally, the mother’s risk of developing gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies is raised.


Diabetes can result in major medical consequences, but the illness can be managed with medicine and by making adjustments to one’s lifestyle. With these useful hints, you can steer clear of the most typical issues that diabetes can cause.

Treatment of diabetes

A number of drugs are used by medical professionals to treat diabetes. Some of these medications are taken by mouth, while others are accessible as injections.

Type 1 diabetes

Insulin is the primary medication for treating diabetes type 1. It acts as a substitute for the hormone that your body is unable to manufacture.

The four forms of insulin that are most frequently utilised are listed below. They are distinguished from one another based on the speed with which they begin to exert their effects and the duration of those effects:

Insulin with a rapid onset of action begins to function within 15 minutes, and its effects continue for between 3 and 4 hours.

Insulin with a short-acting time begins to operate within 30 minutes and continues to be effective for 6 to 8 hours.

Within one to two hours, intermediate-acting insulin begins to operate, and its effects might continue anywhere from 12 to 18 hours.

After being injected, the effects of long-acting insulin begin to take effect a few hours later and continue for at least 24 hours.

Type 2 diabetes

Diet and exercise have both been shown to be helpful in managing type 2 diabetes in certain persons. If making adjustments to your lifestyle is not sufficient to bring down your blood sugar, you will need to take medication.

These medications bring about a range of reductions in your blood sugar, including:

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Types of drug How they work Example(s)
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors Slow your body’s breakdown of sugars and starchy foods Acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset)
Biguanides Reduce the amount of glucose your liver makes Metformin (Glucophage)
DPP-4 inhibitors Improve your blood sugar without making it drop too low Linagliptin (Tradjenta), saxagliptin (Onglyza), and sitagliptin (Januvia)
Glucagon-like peptides Change the way your body produces insulin Dulaglutide (Trulicity), exenatide (Byetta), and liraglutide (Victoza)
Meglitinides Stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin Nateglinide (Starlix) and repaglinide (Prandin)
SGLT2 inhibitors Release more glucose into the urine Canagliflozin (Invokana) and dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
Sulfonylureas Stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol), and glimepiride (Amaryl)
Thiazolidinediones Help insulin work better Pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)

You may need to take more than one of these drugs. Some people with type 2 diabetes also take insulin.

Gestational diabetes

During your pregnancy, you will need to perform blood sugar checks on a regular basis (perhaps several times a day). Alterations to one’s diet and increased physical activity might or might not be enough to bring it down if it is high.

The Mayo Clinic estimates that between 10 and 20 percent of pregnant women who have diabetes will require insulin in order to get their blood sugar levels under control. Insulin is not harmful to an infant who is developing normally.


Your doctor will prescribe a medication or combination of medications for your diabetes based on the kind of diabetes you have as well as the underlying cause of your condition. Take a look at this rundown of the many options for diabetes treatment medicine that are now on the market.

Diabetes and diet

A fundamental component of diabetes management is maintaining a healthy diet. Changing your diet can be all that’s needed to get the disease under control in certain circumstances.

Type 1 diabetes

What you eat can either raise or lower your blood sugar level, depending on what you consume. Consuming foods high in starch or sugar causes a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Protein and fat both contribute to slower and steadier increases.

It is possible that the members of your medical team would advise you to reduce the total number of carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis. You’ll also need to strike a balance between the amount of insulin you take and the number of carbohydrates you eat.

Collaborate with a dietician who is able to assist you in developing a food plan for diabetes. Maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar requires maintaining a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in your diet. Check out this step-by-step approach to getting started on a diet for type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Eating the proper kinds of foods will assist you in both maintaining a healthy blood sugar level and shedding any unwanted pounds.

When managing type 2 diabetes, monitoring carbohydrates is an essential aspect of a healthy diet. A nutritionist will be able to assist you in determining the appropriate amount of grammes of carbohydrates for each meal.

Try to space out your meals throughout the day so that you can maintain a consistent amount of sugar in your blood. Place an emphasis on nutritious foods such as:

fruits, vegetables, and grains of all types

lean sources of protein such as fish and poultry

olive oil and almonds are examples of healthful sources of fat.

Your efforts to maintain a healthy blood sugar level may be hampered by the consumption of particular meals.

Learn about the foods that you need to stay away from if you have diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy

During these nine months, it is essential for both you and your kid that you consume a diet that is well-rounded and balanced. If you make healthy decisions regarding your diet, you may be able to avoid using diabetes medication.

Be mindful of your portion sizes, and try to cut back on items that are high in sugar or salt. Even while your infant’s growing body requires some sugar in your diet, you should try to avoid eating too much of it.

Think about getting the advice of a dietician or a nutritionist when developing a strategy for your eating habits. They will make certain that your diet contains the appropriate proportions of the various macronutrients.

Diabetes diagnosis

Tests should be done on anyone who exhibits symptoms of diabetes or who is at risk for developing the condition. During the second or third trimester of their pregnancies, pregnant women should get tested for gestational diabetes as a matter of routine.

The following blood tests are used by physicians to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes:

The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is used to determine your blood sugar levels after you have abstained from food and drink for eight hours.

The A1C test gives an overall picture of how stable your blood sugar levels have been over the past three months.

Your doctor will check your blood sugar levels between the 24th and 28th weeks of your pregnancy to determine whether or not you are suffering from gestational diabetes.

During the glucose challenge test, your blood sugar is measured an hour after you consume a sweet liquid. This is done in order to determine whether or not you have diabetes.

After an overnight fasting period and immediately following the consumption of a sugary beverage, your blood sugar will be measured as part of the glucose tolerance test that lasts for three hours.

If you are identified with diabetes at an early stage, you will be able to begin treatment much sooner. Find out if you should get tested, and learn more about the tests that your doctor might do on you.

You can search for primary care physicians in your region by using the FindCare function on Healthline. This is useful if you do not currently have a primary care physician.

Treatment of diabetes preventive

Because of the role that the immune system plays in its development, type 1 diabetes cannot be avoided through preventative measures. There are some factors beyond your control that can put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, such as your genes and your age.

However, there are many other diabetes risk factors that can be managed. The majority of approaches to preventing diabetes entail making relatively uncomplicated changes to one’s eating habits and workout routine.

If you have been told that you have prediabetes, the following are some things you may do to either postpone the onset of type 2 diabetes or prevent it altogether:

Participate in aerobic activities such as walking or cycling for a total of at least 150 minutes per week.

Remove from your diet any foods that include saturated and trans fats, as well as processed carbs.

Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and grains that are whole.

Consume less calories and quantities.

If you are overweight or obese, you should make an effort to lose seven percent Trusted Source of your body weight.

These are not the only methods available for warding against diabetes. Learn other preventative measures that you can do to stave off this chronic condition.

Having diabetes when pregnant

It is possible for women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes to develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies. The hormones that are secreted by the placenta have the potential to increase your body’s resistance to the results of insulin treatment.

Diabetes is passed on to their child by certain pregnant mothers who had had the condition before becoming pregnant. This condition is referred to as diabetes mellitus before pregnancy.

Diabetes that develops during pregnancy typically disappears after a woman gives birth, but having it during pregnancy considerably raises the likelihood that the woman will develop diabetes in the future.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, between 5 and 10 years after delivery, type 2 diabetes will develop in approximately half of all women who had gestational diabetes during their pregnancies (IDF).

If you have diabetes during your pregnancy, there is a greater risk that your child will be born with issues, such as jaundice or breathing difficulties.

If you are found to have pre-gestational or gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, you will require further monitoring in order to reduce the risk of developing complications. Learn more about how diabetes can affect a pregnancy by reading up on the topic.

Diabetes in children

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are a possibility in children. It is especially crucial for young individuals to keep their blood sugar under control because diabetes can harm vital organs such as the heart and kidneys if it is not properly managed.

Type 1 diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, namely the autoimmune variety, typically begins in childhood. Urination more frequently is one of the most prominent symptoms. After they have been successfully potty trained, children who have type 1 diabetes may start wetting the bed.

Additionally, symptoms of this disease include extreme thirst, extreme weariness, and extreme hunger. It is essential that children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes receive treatment as soon as possible. Both high blood sugar and dehydration can be considered medical emergency, and both can be caused by the condition.

Type 2 diabetes

Because type 2 diabetes was so uncommon in children and adolescents, type 1 diabetes was historically referred to as “juvenile diabetes.” Diabetes type 2 is becoming more prevalent in children and adolescents as the prevalence of overweight and obese youngsters continues to rise.

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately forty percent of children who have type 2 diabetes do not exhibit any symptoms of the disease. A diagnosis of the condition is frequently made by physical examination.

Diabetes type 2 can lead to lifelong consequences if it is not managed, some of which include heart disease, renal disease, and blindness. Your child can better control their blood sugar and avoid these complications by following a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

Young people currently have an alarmingly high prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Learn how to recognise the symptoms so that you can discuss them with the paediatrician who treats your child.

Final Words

Certain forms of diabetes, such as type 1, are brought on by conditions that are beyond a person’s ability to control. Some, like type 2 diabetes, can be avoided by making healthier eating selections, being more physically active, and losing weight.

Talk to your doctor about the possibility of developing diabetes. If you think you might be at risk, you should get your blood sugar checked and then listen to what your doctor has to say about how to control it.

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