Our bodies produce the hormone insulin in our pancreas to metabolize and store sugar and fat from the food we intake. However, individuals with diabetes face problems where their body is unable to produce enough insulin or their body is unable to utilize it efficiently. Consequently, blood sugar levels fluctuate. To keep blood sugar levels normal, people with diabetes have to take insulin injections or maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes is classified into three types:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
This is an auto-immune disease in which the pancreatic cells are destroyed. Resultantly, the body is unable to produce insulin and metabolize the sugar, increasing its level in the blood.
Consequences Of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can lead to:
Weight Loss and Dehydration
One of the early signs of Type 1 diabetes is frequent urination and weight loss. When the body is unable to metabolize sugar, it builds up in the blood. The body then gets rid of it through urination. Since most of the glucose in the body is flushed out, the body gets deprived of calories. As a result weight loss and dehydration occurs.
When there is not enough glucose in your body to provide nourishment to cells, fat cells are broken down to release energy. This process releases ketones, which are acidic chemicals. These chemicals, along with the extra sugar in the blood lead to Ketoacidosis—a build-up of acidic chemicals in your system. Ketoacidosis should be treated promptly as it can be fatal.
Overall Damage To The Body
The nerves in the heart, kidney and eyes can become damaged due to high blood sugar levels. Moreover, your body becomes susceptible to heart attacks as the arteries contract.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to respond to the effects of insulin. It was once believed to be a disease affecting the elderly. However, according to WHO, the cases of Type 2 diabetes in children have grown worldwide.
Often, symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not evident, according to Joslin Diabetes Centre. However, if you notice the following changes in your body, consult a doctor right away.
Frequent Need For Urination And Extreme Thirst
Excess sugar in your body can deprive the cells of moisture, causing you to be thirsty. Resultantly, you’ll urinate more often.
Since your body is unable to utilize sugar from food, you’ll feel hungry more than usual.
Fatigue is common in people with diabetes as their cells don’t get enough energy from food.
Blurring In Vision
Blurred vision occurs as the excess sugar causes moisture depletion from the lenses in your eyes.
Vulnerability To Infections
People with type 2 diabetes have low resistance to infections and healing of sores.
This develops during pregnancy and can result in depression, high blood pressure and a possible Caesarean section.
Dealing With Diabetic Emergencies
Diabetic patients are vulnerable to having too high (hyperglycemia) or too low blood (hypoglycemia) sugar levels. This is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated immediately. It is advisable to the family members of a diabetic patient to take up a first aid training course. The patients can highly benefit if their family members are aware of the potential dangers of a diabetic emergency and know what to do in worst case scenarios.
Symptoms Of A Diabetic Emergency
Diabetic emergencies can manifest in these symptoms.
Symptoms for hyperglycemia include: an increase in thirst, fast pulse, fruity breath and drowsiness.
Patients suffering from hypoglycemia experience fatigue, disorientation and confusion, hunger and cold skin while sweating.
Since diabetic emergencies can be fatal, it is important to provide first aid to patients immediately. If you’re looking for first aid training courses in BC, Canada—get in touch with Metro Safety. Their extensive courses on emergency first aid training are all you need to protect your loved one’s life.