Diabetes or Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic condition that occurs when the blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is elevated. The Pancreas secrete a hormone called , Insulin, whose primary work is to carry the glucose that is broken down from the food that is consumed and store it into the cells which is then used as a source of energy for the body. People who have diabetes, their bodies either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use the insulin efficiently. Due to which abnormally high levels of sugar stays in the bloodstream also known as hyperglacemia. This can over time lead to many serious health problems such as loss of eye sight, kidney damage, and heart disease etc.
Types of Diabetes and their Causes:
- Type 1 diabetes- It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. Although it can develop at any age, it commonly appears during childhood or adolescence.
- Type 2 diabetes- It occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin and sugar builds up in the blood. It is a more common type of diabetes that can develop at any age,often among people above the age of 40.
- Diabetes Insipidus- It is a rare metabolic disorder in which the patient produces large quantities of dilute urine and is constantly thirsty.
- Gestational diabetes is a reversible form of diabetes in which insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta during pregnancy causes blood sugar levels to rise up.
- Prediabetes is a precursor of diabetes and occurs when the blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. It is however a reversible form of diabetes.
Some of the common symptoms include:
- Increased thirst.
- Extreme hunger
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the hands or feet.
- Blurred vision.
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Dry and itchy skin, and frequentunexplained yeast infections or urinary tract infections
- Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle strength
- Slow-healing sores or cuts.
- Unplanned weight loss.
- Frequent Oral infections
- High-blood pressure
- Excessive Cholesterol Levels
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Cardiovascular issues
- Nerve damage
- Renal (Kidney) Damage or Failure
- Eye damage
- Foot damage or Diabetic Feet
- Skin infections
- Hearing impairment
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Dental Problems
After a thorough study of the symptoms the doctors may perform the following tests to establish whether a patient is a diabetic or not:
- Random blood sugar test:This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
- Fasting blood sugar test: This test is best done on an empty stomach in the morning after an eight hour fast.
- Glycated haemoglobin test or the A1c test: This test doesn’t need the patient to fastandprovides the patient’s average blood glucose level over the past two to three months.
- In case of Type 1 diabetes samples of blood and urine will be collected and tested to determine presence of any autoantibodies or ketones.
- In case of gestational diabetes, a glucose challenge test is conducted and in some cases is followed by an oral glucose tolerance test.
Although there is no cure for diabetes as yet, the treatment include steps to manage the blood glucose levels, such as:
- Making healthy dietary changes
- weight management
- use of appropriate medications such as insulin and anti-diabeticoral medications
- Quitting smoking
- Continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels
- Stress reduction
- Adequate amount of sleep
- Limiting alcohol consumption
Abnormally low blood sugar levels can also lead to serious and life-threatening consequences. Hence care should be taken to regulate the blood sugar levels constantly and maintain it at a balanced stage.