Diabetes or Diabetes mellitus is a disease seen in individuals due to high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is commonly known as blood glucose, which provides the body energy from the food consumed. However, glucose can only provide energy if it gets into the cells. This is possible by insulin, a hormone secretion by the pancreas. The problem arises when the glucose does not get into the cells due to a lack of insulin or its absence. This results in excess glucose staying back in your blood, causing diabetes. Even though diabetes has no cure, preventive measures can always be taken to ensure better health.
Types of Diabetes
People might get affected by different kinds of diabetes, and treatment varies according to the type. Some Diabetes can be present from a very young age, whereas some occur due to a person’s lifestyle.
The various kinds of diabetes are:
- Type 1 Diabetes – This is the type of diabetes which is also often known as Juvenile Diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease which occurs when the body is not being able to secrete enough insulin for the cells to absorb glucose. It is because of the absence of this insulin that the glucose remains in the bloodstream, making the sugar levels high. For people with Type 1 Diabetes, taking insulin is necessary. This needs to be done as long as the person is alive to ensure the health and not being attacked by complications otherwise. There is no fixed age as to when a person can get Type 1 Diabetes. It can be caused to a person belonging to any group; however, it is more commonly seen in young people and children rather than people of older age.
Type 2 Diabetes – In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin. This means that the response of the blood cells towards insulin has decreased compared to how it was before. Insulin is produced by the pancreas to consume food, helping in creating energy. If proper precautions are not taken for Type 2 Diabetes, it could result in various complications, increases the blood sugar levels as well as various other symptoms. Even if the body is producing some amount of insulin, in later stages of Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas can be completely damaged, resulting in no hormonal secretion at all. Type 2 Diabetes can also occur in some people due to the malfunctioning of the Liver. The Liver may produce excess glucose than required causing Type 2 Diabetes.
Prediabetes – This is the stage before diabetes. In this, the blood sugar levels of the body are higher than usual. However, it is not as high as the sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes. If the treatment for the same is not started immediately, a person can be affected by Type 2 Diabetes or other major diseases. Its a good thing that it can be treated. Prediabetes can be of three types, Impaired glucose tolerance, Impaired fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1c level that lies between 5.7 and 6.4 %.
Gestational Diabetes – This is a condition usually experienced by pregnant women. This is because the sugar levels during pregnancy may go quite high, resulting in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as Gestational Diabetes. Although this type of diabetes is not very common as it happens to only 20% of women, it should be taken care of. It is usually caused during the later stages of pregnancy when the mother has reached 24th week or more. One thing that is commonly misinterpreted is that diabetes was present already in women previously, who now have GDM. However, this is not the case. Gestational Diabetes can result in Type 2 Diabetes for some women after pregnancy, and for some, it will cure.
Various Symptoms of Diabetes
There are various symptoms of diabetes, and most of these are seen in all types, while some differ. Some symptoms also differ according to the gender of a person. The symptoms are-
Type 1 Diabetes symptoms
The various symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are-
- Feeling of extreme hunger
- Constantly feeling thirsty
- Losing weight drastically
- Need to urinate often
- Feeling tired constantly
- Blurred vision
- Mood Swings
Type 2 Diabetes symptoms
The symptoms that occur due to Type 2 Diabetes are-
- Increased feeling of hunger
- Increased thirst for water
- Constant urination
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Recurring infections
- Slower rate of healing sores
- Unclear vision
It is because of the increase in glucose levels that the healing process continues at a slower rate than usual.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms –
There are no specific symptoms for this type. It does not happen very often, but there can be symptoms of excess weight gain and constant urination.
The experience of Cold feet is a very normal symptom of all kinds of diabetes. A person can experience cold feet due to many reasons. These reasons include the changes in temperature, changes in lifestyle. Let’s talk about them in detail.
Causes of Cold Diabetic Feet
There can be various reasons due to which a person can experience cold diabetic feet and arms. They are-
- Cold Temperature
It is quite common to experience cold feet when the temperature levels decrease. This is because the body constricts the arms and feet to reduce the blood flow to keep the warmth to the more important parts of the body. The temperature also reduces the reach of oxygen in the tissues. This can result in the bluish color of the arms and feet.
- Increase in Anxiety and Stress levels
One of the major reasons for cold feet can be due to increased stress or anxiety that a diabetic person is feeling. This is because of our body’s defense mechanism to release adrenaline in the bloodstream that restricts blood flow in the limbs. The response takes place in order to make sure that the body experiences minimum damage in cause of harm to the outermost parts. However, external harms are not often caused, and hence the defense mechanism itself proves harmful, resulting in cold feet.
- Lack of proper circulation
Circulation of the body is very important in all parts. However, people often experience restricted circulation due to various reasons. Sedentary lifestyle, smoking tobacco, lack of movement, high cholesterol are additional reasons for poor blood circulation and hence cold feet.
All of the above reasons are commonly seen and are a part of diabetes, which makes the patient have cold feet. Its simply because of the high sugar levels that the arteries contract, and there is a lack of blood supply to the tissues that cause cold feet. Diabetes can also cause damage to the nerves, which can result in numbness, tingling sensations, and hence cold feet.
Ways to prevent Cold feet
There are various ways in which a diabetic person can avoid cold feet. They are-
- Constant Movement
- Soaking feet in warm water
- Placing heat pads on feet
- Placing hot water bottles on feet
However, amongst all the other ways to help a diabetic patient feel better and prevent cold feet, using socks is the most effective one.
Wearing socks is the easiest and the most effective way for a diabetic patient to feel better by avoiding cold feet. The socks should provide proper airflow and should be well insulated. It is also to be made sure that the socks are of great quality and should provide comfort at the same time with its soft fabric. Socks are the best way to keep the patient feeling warm and cozy.