1 in 10 Americans are dealing with diabetes. On top of that, 20 percent of people with diabetes have no idea they have it. Uncontrolled diabetes does a number on many parts of your body, especially your endocrine system.
How does diabetes affect the endocrine system? We have all of the answers for you right here. Read on to learn all about living with diabetes.
What Is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system is made up of a number of different organs and glands, all of which are meant to promote energy metabolism. The most prominent organ in the endocrine system is the pancreas, which regulates your blood glucose levels. It also includes the ovaries and testes.
Endocrine system glands include the adrenal, pineal, pituitary, and thyroid gland. The adrenal gland boosts your blood glucose levels and causes your heart to beat faster, while the thyroid gland regulates your metabolism. Finally, the pituitary gland is in charge of growth and the pineal gland regulates your sleep.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Endocrine System?
Think of your endocrine system like an engine. The food you eat fuels that engine, which in turn has an impact on your blood glucose levels. Ideally, you want a steady level of blood glucose to keep your body running.
When you have diabetes, your body has a harder time regulating your blood glucose levels. They can either go far too high or far too low. What happens to your blood glucose depends on the type of diabetes with which you’re diagnosed.
Type 1 Diabetes
People who have type 1 diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin to properly respond to the intake of food. This causes blood glucose levels to spike. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin in order to properly regulate their blood glucose.
Type 2 Diabetes
People who have type 2 diabetes produce sufficient insulin, but their body doesn’t respond to it. This also results in high blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes treatment includes medication that increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin and keeps blood glucose levels balanced.
Living with Diabetes
The impact of diabetes extends far beyond your endocrine system. If you have it, you should be seeing a doctor regularly to make sure it’s well controlled. You’ll also want to get eye exams and visit the podiatrist to avoid things like diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy.
The better you control your diabetes, the better the likelihood of positive health outcomes!
Are You in Need of Diabetes Help?
How does diabetes affect the endocrine system?
As it turns out, the answer depends on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. At a minimum, your body isn’t producing enough insulin or it isn’t responding to insulin. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it’s critical that you see your doctor regularly to make sure it’s properly managed.
Are you looking for compassionate care for seniors living with diabetes? WelbeHealth is there for you. Contact us today to learn how we provide seniors with full-service healthcare and personalized support to help you age well at home and in your community.