Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, but those who are not living with the disease may not understand what it is, and why it is so dangerous. In today’s post, we will provide a brief overview of diabetes, and why many patients eventually become unable to work because of it.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, diabetes mellitus is an umbrella term for a group of diseases affecting how your body absorbs glucose, or blood sugar. Glucose is a source of energy, but diabetes causes glucose to build up in your body, potentially causing serious health problems.
The two most common chronic versions of diabetes are called type 1 and type 2. For people with type 1 diabetes, their immune systems mistakenly attack insulin-producing cells in their pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that carries sugars like glucose from your bloodstream to your cells. Without sufficient insulin, the glucose remains in your bloodstream.
In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells become resistant to insulin. As with type 1 diabetes, the cause of type 2 diabetes is not clear, but genetics, environmental factors and being overweight can all increase your chances of developing it.
Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision and frequent infections. Over time, the disease can cause cardiovascular disease and nerve damage. It can affect the kidneys, eyes, feet, skin and hearing. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
If the diabetes cannot be controlled, continuing to work may become impossible. Fortunately, patients may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits to make up for the lost income.