The major cause of deaths today is diabetes. All of us know today someone who is suffering from diabetes. Although it is more common in older adults, with hiked changes in people’s lifestyle, children and young adults are also being affected with this chronic disease.
Diabetes is a medical condition where a person suffers from increased blood sugar levels because of inadequate insulin production or the body’s cells do not respond to insulin or both. It is a metabolic disease. It is referred to as diabetes mellitus by doctors. It is long-term disease. It is derived from Greek word meaning “siphon” and Mel from Latin meaning “honey”. Therefore, diabetes mellitus literally could mean siphoning off sweet water. This led to the discovery of term “Sweet Urine Disorder” for this condition by ancient China people because they found ants attracted to the urine of some people.
The food we eat is broken down by digestive enzymes and glucose, a simple sugar and the main energy source of the body, is produced. This glucose enters the bloodstream and circulates in the body making it available to the body‘s cells for energy and growth. This process requires insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas for allowing glucose to enter the cells from blood. On the other hand, in people with diabetes, insulin production by the pancreas is either less or none. This results in building up of glucose levels in the blood and spills into the urine, finally voided out of the body. This way the body loses its main energy source or fuel, although the blood is loaded with glucose levels.
Diabetes is of three main types: type I, type II and gestational diabetes. Type I diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or sometimes juvenile diabetes and is an autoimmune disease. In this condition, the immune system attacks the beta cells responsible for insulin production in the pancreas and destroys them. This makes the pancreas to produce no or little insulin. Such a person needs intravenous insulin injections daily. This type is more common among children and young adults, though any one can get this disorder. Symptoms of diabetes include increased urination, weight loss, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, constant hunger and sometimes blurred vision. If left untreated, the condition may worsen leading to life threatening coma. Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and 90%–95% people suffering from diabetes are having type II. Earlier it was known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). It develops majorly in people above the age of 40. In this condition, although the pancreas produces insulin, the body’s cells are unable to use it effectively. Thus the glucose builds up in the blood. Symptoms include frequent urination, feeling tired, weight loss, blurred vision, unusual thirst and slow healing of sores. Gestational diabetes is the third type of diabetes, which affects females. It develops during pregnancy. It disappears after pregnancy is over putting such women at risk of developing type II diabetes later in their lives.
Prediabetes is the initial stage of type II diabetes. In this stage or condition, the blood glucose levels are high but not up to the extent to merit a diabetes diagnosis. The cells in this stage slowly develop resistance against insulin. During this stage also people may develop some circulatory system and heart disorders.
Both men and women can develop diabetes. There is no significant cause of developing diabetes. For type I, the cause is unknown, but the little known fact is that the immune system becomes overactive and attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are the thought causes of type I diabetes. For type II diabetes, the exact cause is also unknown, but being overweight can be a cause. But not all type II diabetics are overweight. Genetic susceptibility and environmental factors could be the possible causes, like type I. Gestational diabetes results during pregnancy when there is too much glucose in the blood and too little in the cells. The cause of gestational diabetes is the developed resistance of the body’s cells against insulin, which results in extra insulin production by the pancreas to overcome this resistance. Yet the pancreas fails to keep up.
The common signs and symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, increased feeling of hunger, blurry eyesight, dry and itchy skin, often urination, frequent gum infection/disease, sores that heal slowly, loss of weight, losing feeling in feet, increased fatigue, irritability, swollen gums and feel of pins in your feet.
The basic blood test is the main test to start with for diabetes determination. Detection of diabetes includes three main tests: fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, oral glucose tolerance (OGT) test and A1C test. Blood and urine samples are required for diabetes diagnosis. If you find ants in your washroom and suspect that you might have diabetes, then you can call on 0124-222-3197 anytime and from anywhere for free doctor consultation at NextDoorLab (NDL). NDL has stepped ahead to hold your hand and pull you out of any problem or disease. NDL provides free home sample collection. Therefore, you do not have to worry about sparing time from your hectic job hours or worried about getting tested on Sundays or long waiting appointments. NDL services are available 24*7. NDL is just a call away. It is your turn now! A value <5.7% of A1C test means normal metabolism, while 6.5% means diabetes and between 5.7% and 5.99% means prediabetes. FPG test value of 126 mg/dl means diabetes and <100 mg/dl means normal metabolism, while a value between 100 and 125.99 mg/dl, respectively, means prediabetes. But an abnormal reading following the FPG test is an indication of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in the patient. OGT test value of 200 mg/dl means diabetes and <140 mg/dl means normal metabolism, while a value between 140 and 199.99 mg/dl, respectively, means prediabetes. But an abnormal reading following the OGT test is an indication of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in the patient. Other screening tests may include follow-up glucose tolerance test and initial glucose challenge test.
Treatment of diabetes is possible; one most important thing is controlling and managing diabetes. Unfortunately, type I diabetes lasts for lifetime and cannot be cured. Regular insulin injections, special diet and exercise are main parts of treatment for this type. Type II diabetes require tablets, sometimes insulin injections, exercise and a special diet. If diabetes is not diagnosed properly, the person has a higher risk of developing other complications.
Untreated or poorly diagnosed diabetes can lead to long-term health complications, which affect not one rather every part of the body. This can lead to strokes, blindness, kidney failure, heart diseases, nerve damage, Alzheimer’s disease, blood vessel disease, skin problems, hearing impairment and amputations. Complicated pregnancy and birth defects are common to pregnant women. As a result of gestational diabetes, low blood sugar, death, excess growth and type II diabetes in later life are few risks in the baby. For mother, preeclampsia is a very common complication and another is gestational diabetes in the next pregnancy.
Risk factors for developing type I diabetes include environmental factors, family history, dietary factors, presence of autoantibodies and geography, i.e. certain places have higher rates of type I diabetes. For type II diabetes, risk factors associated are family history, age, weight, gestational diabetes, race, inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and polycystic ovary syndrome. For gestational diabetes, risk factors include race, age, weight and personal/family history. Therefore, self-managing of diabetes is important and crucial.
1. Exercise: daily exercising of 30-45 minutes can help in keeping you physically and mentally fit. It also helps in weight loss. It helps in maintaining a healthy heart. Increase your time gently up to an extent that is comfortable on a daily basis.
2. Diet: 4-5 meals daily are must for a diabetic. Their plate should include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, pulses and low-dairy milk products. Cutting back on salt and sugar is necessary. Moderate alcohol consumption is preferred. Pay attention on not buying “diabetic” foods, as they are of no particular benefit and highly expensive too. Reduce intake of trans and saturated fats. Moreover instead of going for diabetic foods you can concentrate on natural resources such as vegetables and fruits that can be consumed by diabetic patients.
3. Regular checking of blood glucose levels: a too low blood glucose level can cause hypoglycemia. It can lead to confusion and nervousness. It requires for the patient to take something sweet. On the other hand, too high levels can lead to a condition called hyperglycemia. Both conditions are life-threatening.
4. Weight loss: target to a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to developing diabetes.
5. Become social: staying aware and building network with people will help greatly towards staying relaxed and happy. Educating others is the best source of peace to anyone.
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