Spirit of Women
The Dog Days of Diabetes
The dog days of summer - the sticky, sweaty, humid weather - are often unpleasant. A diabetes diagnosis used to elicit the same feeling - no more eating your favorite foods, not being able to exercise and painful glucose monitoring. But wait! There's good news! Just as a steamy summer fades to a crisp autumn, since the discovery of insulin in 1921, living with diabetes allows you to do just that - live.
Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, is a treatable metabolism disorder where you have high blood glucose (blood sugar). This is either because your body produces an inadequate amount of insulin, because your body's cells don't respond properly to insulin, or both. Without insulin, your body cannot convert sugar from food into nutrients for cells. The excess sugar buildup in your bloodstream and may eventually cause severe organ damage and premature death.
Doctors can determine whether you have a normal metabolism, prediabetes or diabetes with a urine test, which finds out if excess glucose is present. This is usually followed by a blood test, which measures blood glucose levels
There are three types of diabetes - type1, type 2 and gestational - each with their own set of symptoms. Because many of these symptoms go unnoticed or appear harmless, diabetes often goes undiagnosed. Early detection and treatment of symptoms can decrease your chance of developing diabetic complications.
Learn more about each type, its symptoms and how to help manage diabetes.
Check out other ways to take action for your health