Diabetes


Definition

It is a condition in which disturbance of carbohydrates metabolism due to insufficient secretion of insulin hormones. Diabetes is a serious and chronic disease which occurs when your blood glucose or blood sugar is too high.

Diabetes involves a number of diseases and unfortunately there is no cure for it. The diabetic patients need to manage their disease with diet, exercise and medication to stay healthy. Diabetes occurs when our body produces very little or no insulin, or does not use insulin well. Without enough insulin, glucose stays in our blood and doesn’t reach the cells. Glucose level in blood increases. This is known as Hyperglycemia.

Normal blood sugar level:

Fasting: 70-110 mg/dl

Postprandial: 80-150 mg/dl

Diabetes

Types of Diabetes

There are three common types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

  • In this condition, patient is unable to produce endogenous insulin due to destruction of pancreatic beta cells by genetic immunologic and environmental factors.
  • About 5-10% cases have diabetes type 1.
  • Patients are insulin-dependent, means they need to take artificial insulin daily.
  • It has sudden onset, usually before the age of 30 years (mostly in children)

Type 2 Diabetes

  • 90-95% patients have type 2 diabetes.
  • This diabetes is first treated with diet and exercise and then with oral hypoglycemic agents as needed.
  • It occurs mostly after 40 years of age.
  • About 80% cases are due to obesity.
  • There is no need of exogenous insulin.

Gestational Diabetes

  • Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that characterized by any degree of glucose intolerances with onset during pregnancy.
  • Patients with gestational diabetes have greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Usually this type of diabetes resolves after the baby is born.

Sign & Symptoms

Major symptoms of diabetes are listed below:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Slow wounds-healing
  • Nausea
  • Skin infections, gums infections and vaginal infections
  • Numbness of hands and feet

Risk Factors

  • Gender
  • Heredity (family history)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Ethnic background
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol level
  • Age
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Lack of sleep
  • Less testosterone in men
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Disorder of pancreas
  • Infection or illness

Complications

  • Kidney diseases
  • High blood pressure
  • Uremia
  • Pain in legs
  • Sexual impotency
  • Sweating
  • Muscles damage
  • Foot damage
  • Eye damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart problems 
  • Skin infections
  • Hearing disability
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Appendicitis
  • Tonsillitis

Prevention and Control

Prevention depends upon three factors:

  • Dietary management
  • Exercise
  • Insulin therapy

Medication

  • Insulin injection is given according to blood sugar level. It should be given before meal in two-three times a day.
  • Hypoglycemic drugs such as Metformin, Pioglitazone Hydrochloride, Glipizide (second generation sulfonylureas)

Dietary Management

  • Sufficient quantity of diet is very necessary which satisfy to appetite.
  • About ½ energy should be get from carbohydrates, and 1/3 energy get from fat and 15-20% from protein.
  • Meal should take at regular time. If you late eating meal, it may cause hypoglycemic attack.
  • Calories 2200/8800 KJ should be taken.
  • Diet should include fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low fat dairy and nuts.
  • Avoid taking high sugar foods such as sweetened sodas, fried foods, high sugar deserts and bakery items.

Prediabetes

Doctors refer to some people as having prediabetes when blood glucose level is higher than normal, usually in the range of 100 to 125 mg/dl, but a person does not yet have diabetes.

Prediabetes and high blood glucose level is a risk factor of developing type 2 diabetes, although people do not usually experience the symptoms of full diabetes. If a person is diagnosed with prediabetes, then he should make healthful changes in life that can ideally stop the progression of type 2 diabetes, like weight loss and healthy diet.

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