With modern lifestyles so reliant on convenience and instant satisfaction, fast food has become a staple in many households. Cheap, accessible due to mass production, and full of flavour, junk food is a preferred option for those who work long hours and don’t have the energy to cook. This is also true for many individuals who often crave sweet, salty, and deep-fried meals. The downside to eating this way, however, is that it can contribute to a host of health problems, one of which is diabetes. This is not the only cause, however, as various kinds of the condition exist, and they depend upon genetics, hormones, and autoimmune responses. If you have never before been screened for the condition, then keep reading as we discuss what diabetes entails and how testing works.
What Is Diabetes, and Who is Most at Risk?
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that results in a high concentration of glucose in the blood. It is a metabolic disease that happens when your body either does not make enough of the hormone insulin or does not effectively utilise the insulin the body already produces. Insulin is important because it transports sugar away from the blood and into the cells of your body, where it can either be used for energy or stored. Without testing and diagnosis, untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can lead to severe organ damage in areas of the body such as the kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
There is more than one kind of the condition, however, and it is not always preventable for many individuals. These types include:
- Type 1: This type of diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease. The hormone insulin is made in the pancreas, and individuals with Type 1 have an immune system that destroys important insulin-manufacturing beta cells in the pancreas. While nobody understands yet why this happens, Type 1 can be treated by taking insulin to replace what the body is unable to produce.
- Type 2: Most people with the disease have Type 2, which occurs when the body is resistant to its own insulin and sugar accumulates within the blood. It is often caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, such as diet or moving too little. Individuals who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of the disease, and treatment usually includes adopting healthy lifestyle habits through diet and exercise. Some medications may be necessary too.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes happens when blood sugar levels are higher than usual, and it can, without the right lifestyle changes, be a precursor to Type 2.
- Gestational: During pregnancy, the placenta can produce hormones that block insulin, thus causing gestational diabetes.
What are the Symptoms?
While each type of the condition has its own symptoms, there are a few general symptoms for which one must look out, such as:
- An increase in hunger, appetite, and thirst.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Urinating often.
- Feeling lethargic and fatigued.
- Blurred vision.
- Wounds and sores that take a long time to heal.
It is important to note, however, that it is still possible to have diabetes without all of the above symptoms. This is precisely why testing for the disease is so important and potentially life-saving too.
Our Clinic Services Offer Testing
Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol need to be screened every few years as testing and diagnosis are key in preventing complications. At The Local Choice, our Clinics offer testing of these conditions to all members of the public. We also provide advice on diabetic care and how to put the right lifestyle changes in place for individuals with the condition.
To find out more about diabetes testing, get in touch with us today.