Diabetes: An overview

Diabetes: An overview

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood sugar level goes too high when the blood sugar-regulating hormone “insulin'' is either insufficient or is not properly utilized. It is also known as Diabetes Mellitus.

What causes diabetes

Whatever you eat is broken down into nutrients during the digestive process. That’s how all the carbohydrates you eat break into simple sugars. In a normal body state, insulin acts as a blood sugar regulator by helping the glucose to enter cells and produce energy. When the body is unable to produce or use insulin properly, it leads to type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Types of diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes -

Type 1 diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease where the body attacks the beta cells in your pancreas to destroy them. When the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas deteriorate, the body needs insulin from an external source to regulate the blood sugar level. Two other names for type 1 Diabetes are Juvenile Diabetes and insulin-dependent Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body can’t utilize insulin properly or the pancreas cannot meet the demands. Genetics, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are the most common reasons leading to type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, women might develop insulin-blocking hormones which lead to gestational diabetes. People with diabetes in their family history are prone to this gestational diabetes. Also, half of the women who suffer from Gestational Diabetes are likely to get type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.

Causes

Type 1 diabetes - The main cause of type 1 diabetes is still not known to medical researchers. It is an autoimmune disorder where the body makes the mistake of damaging the insulin-producing cell in the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes - The most common known causes of type 2 diabetes are obesity, family history, age, high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol, and an inactive lifestyle.

Symptoms  

Type 1 and type 2 have some overlapping symptoms:

Frequent thirst

Increased hunger pangs

Fatigue

More urge to urinate

Type 1 diabetes:

Frequent thirst

Unexplained weight loss

More urge to urinate

blurry Vision

Fatigue

Mood swings

Occurs in children and young adult

Seizure and loss of consciousness

Type 2 diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes begins insidiously, however a few indicators that should make one suspect diabetes are:

Weight gain

Delayed wound healing

fatigue

Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes can easily be diagnosed by examining your blood sugar level. It is done mainly with four types of tests - Fasting glucose test, Post-prandial blood glucose test, Random plasma glucose test, and HbA1c test.

  1. Fasting glucose test - This test is done after 10-12 hours of fasting, of course, water intake is allowed during this period. In mg/dL, less than 100 is considered normal, 100-125 is noted as prediabetic and more than 125 is diagnosed as Diabetes.
  2. Random plasma glucose test - This is a regular test that can be done without any kind of fasting. In mg/dL, less than 140 is considered normal, 140-199 is noted as prediabetic and more than 200 is diagnosed as Diabetes.
  3. HbA1c test - This test is also known as HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test. It is performed by calculating your blood sugar level in the last three months. In mg/dL, less than 5.7% is considered normal, 5-7-6.4% is noted as prediabetic and more than 6.5% is diagnosed as Diabetes.
  4. PP2 test - The PP2 test is performed in two rounds of blood collection. The first sample is collected for fasting blood glucose levels after about 10 hours of fasting. Then, patients are asked to have a proper meal. 2 hours after this meal, a blood sample is collected again. If the sugar level is below 140 mg/dl in the test, the patient is considered normal/non-diabetic.

How to manage Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes - It can only be managed by taking insulin from external sources on a regular basis. Although insulin is the main treatment, a few lifestyle modifications are often suggested for better management of type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes - In this Diabetes, controlling measures are taken as per the sugar level in the diagnosis report. If detected early, lifestyle modifications and diet form the mainstay of treatment. Oral medications are added as per sugar levels and insulin is prescribed only if sugar levels are high or diabetes cannot be controlled with previously mentioned modalities.

Gestational Diabetes - A slight modification in diet and lifestyle is advised until the blood sugar level is not too high. However, if the glucose level exceeds, the doctors prescribe mild medication and insulin keeping the pregnancy complications in mind.

The most common type of lifestyle changes to keep diabetes in control

  1. Apart from controlling blood sugar levels, keep your blood cholesterol(HDL and LDL) and blood pressure in the normal range as well.
  2. Include vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits, and healthy fats in your diet. Plan your meals in advance to avoid mindless munching and picking junk foods.
  3. Keep your weight in check.
  4. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and ensure moderate exercise for 5hrs per week.
  5. Take proper follow-up with your doctor and obey the prescription without any negligence.
  6. Ensure your Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels are within normal limits.

Prevention of Diabetes

Diabetes can be possibly avoided by following the following measures -

  1. Keep your BMI normal with a balanced diet and regular exercise
  2. Keep your carb intake adequate according to your blood glucose level.
  3. Include a sufficient amount of protein in your diet.
  4. Avoid smoking.

Risk for Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

The genetic factor

Pancreas injury

Physical stress

Presence of virus or ven antibodies in the body

Prediabetic and Type 2 diabetes

The genetic factor

High blood pressure

Low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride level.

Sedentary lifestyle.

Gestational diabetes

Delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

PCOD

Heart disease or stroke in family history

Smoking habit

Gestational diabetes

The genetic factor

Obesity before pregnancy



FAQ

What is the main cause of diabetes?

The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. It is an autoimmune disorder where the body makes the mistake of damaging the insulin-producing cell in the pancreas.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, the most known causes are obesity and an inactive lifestyle.

What are the early signs of diabetes?

Increased hunger, fatigue, dry mouth, increased frequency of urination, and blurred vision are the most common.

What is normal blood sugar by age?

From 0-5 yrs, the normal blood sugar level is 100 to 180 mg/dl. Between the age of 6 to 9, the range of 80-140 mg/dl sugar level is considered normal. Anywhere after 10 years, 70-120 mg/dl is considered the parameter.

What are the first signs of being diabetic?

An increase in hunger and thirst, a higher urge to urinate, delayed healing of wounds, and weight gain are a few of the first signs of diabetes.

What are the self-monitoring skills for diabetes?

Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, eye health, and kidney functions are crucial. Apart from that, the patients should ensure that there are no cuts, injuries, or changes of colour on the foot.

What is type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease where the body attacks the beta cells in your pancreas to destroy them. When the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas deteriorate, the body needs insulin from an external source to regulate the blood sugar level. Two other names for type 1 DIabetes are Juvenile Diabetes and insulin-dependent Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body can’t utilize insulin properly or the pancreas cannot meet the demands. Genetics, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are known for giving birth to type 2 diabetes.

What foods diabetic should avoid?

Heavily processed and junk foods, especially refined carbohydrates, must be avoided at all costs.

What foods reduce diabetes fast?

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, olives, onions, tomatoes, fatty fish, nuts, eggs, seeds, cinnamon, and turmeric are the best food to keep the blood sugar level in control.

Which fruit is best for diabetes?

Apple, strawberry, tomato, and orange are recommended for diabetic people.