Did you know? Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the world. About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, particularly in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.
- Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
- Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
We heard a lot about diabetes and don’t have full information about why it happens to the people who are diagnosed with the types of diabetes 1 or 2. So here you can deeply understand about what is diabetes, causes, symptoms and it’s treatment.
What is diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is not a single disease but it is a group of metabolic disorders which is caused due to increase in high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) results with the production of insulin, its action and secretion.
There is no cure for diabetes, people having diabetes manage it by keeping them healthy.
Types of diabetes
There are 3 types of diabetes
1. Type 1 diabetes mellitus
2. Type 2 diabetes mellitus
3. Gestational diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, pancreas produces a small amount of insulin or no insulin. It is a chronic condition that can occur in any age, also called juvenile diabetes. Body is unable to make insulin.
Bodies of people suffering from type 1 diabetes are unable to process glucose because of very low insulin. Liver and muscle tissues store extra glucose, it releases energy when you need it in the time or exercise, between meals, fast, and sleep.
Symptoms of type 1 Diabetes
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are mentioned below;
● Rapid weight loss in very short period
● Increase of hunger
● Not seeing things properly
● Increase of thirst
● Excessive urination
● Night sweats
● Hair loss
● Fruity beats
● Swelling of ankles
What are the complications developed in type 1?
Without insulin it develops severe complications like coma and ketoacidosis which means the body is producing high levels of blood acids known as ketones and its symptoms are;
● Rapid breathing
● Dry skin
● Dry mouth
● Stomach pain
● Skin infection
Other complications include heart problems, kidney problems, feet problems and wound healing.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be developed slowly. Insulin is a natural hormone that pancreas produces and releases when you take a meal. It is a chronic condition, glucose is the fuel for the body.
It is also known as adult onset diabetes but nowadays it also occurs in children as well. Type 2 diabetes in uncurable. The person has to survive it with a healthy living. Its symptoms can be mild.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
Following symptoms occur in type 2;
● Patches on the skin
● Excessive weight loss
● Urinary tract infection
● Blurred vision
● Unusual breaths
● Low energy level
● Dry mouth
● Slow healing of wounds
If blood glucose level remains high for a very long time, it causes yeast infection, numbness of extremity, foot pain etc.
What are the complications developed in type 2?
Some people can manage type 2 diabetes. If you do not take care of yourself properly, it can damage your organs and causes serious complications, such as;
● Damage your nerves
● Kidney failure
● Cardiovascular problem
● Increase risk of eye diseases
● Bacterial and fungal infection on your skin
● Hearing problem
● Sleep apnea
Prevention against type 1 and 2 diabetes
You can’t prevent it because you can’t change your age and genes. All you can do for diabetes is change your lifestyle, exercise regularly, avoid sitting for a long time, go for a walk for 30 mins, lose your weight, take medication. This will keep your blood sugar level in normal range.
What is meant by pre-diabetic?
Pre-diabetic means you have a higher than normal blood sugar level, it can be curable through diet, medications, exercise. It’s not higher to consider it type 2 diabetes if you don’t take it seriously, it can be changed into type 2 diabetes. Family history and genetics can play an important role in development of type 2 diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes?
It occurs when blood sugar levels are high in pregnancy, it can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. It can be returned normally after the delivery but causes a risk of having type 2 diabetes. Symptoms are unnoticeable.
When to see a doctor?
When you notice excessive urination and loss of energy you should go to your doctor. He will recommend a test HbA1C, FPG (fasting plasma glucose) and OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test)
How to Diagnose diabetes?
HbA1C, FPG, OGTT result shows the diagnosis. Normal blood glucose range is 75 to 125 mg/dL. Diagnosis is made when the blood glucose level is increased.
The person is said to be pre diabetic when fasting glucose concentration is greater than 100mg/dL but less than 12mg/dL and OGTT values are greater than 140mg/dL but less than 200mg/dL.
1. Random glucose concentration greater than 200mg/dL
2. Fasting glucose concentration greater than 126mg/dL
3. Oral glucose tolerance test in which the glucose concentration is greater than 200mg/dL in hours after taking carbs.
Treatment for diabetes
As we know that it is chronic and uncurable we have to survive with it for the rest of life by taking a healthy diet, walking, taking insulin, avoiding sweets, need to be relaxed, take sulfonylureas, metformin, meglitinides etc. medication on time.
Why diabetic patients need insulin?
Insulin replaces natural hormones your body is missing. If you are diabetic your body does not make insulin and your body is releasing insulin throughout the day. It is given to type 1 and 2 diabetic patients whose daily requirements are not fulfilled by other medications.
What to ask from your doctor?
1. What is my A1C now?
2. What should be the ideal A1C?
3. Is this treatment helpful for achieving my goal?
4. I’m following all your orders so why is my A1C becoming low?
A student of Surgical Technology from Dow University of Health Sciences. She brings her expertise on surgical procedures, knowledge on Human Anatomy and Modern Day Surgeries to help students understand and learn easier ways and help patients understand hospital procedures before their surgeries.