How to define Diabetes?
It is a chronic condition that occurs when the body is unable to process blood sugar properly. There are different types of this disease and the causes are different. The one thing that is common in all types is that glucose levels get high. Thankfully, different medications can help you manage your glucose sugar levels like
- Linagliptin( Trajenta)
- Glimepiride (Glypride)
- Glibenclamide (Glybovin)
- Metformin + Glimepiride(Glycomet)
- Sitagliptin + Metformin Hcl (Janumet)
When you eat food, the body breaks the food into glucose which is passed into the bloodstream to supply energy for the cells including the brain. It enables the pancreas to release a hormone – insulin which allows glucose to enter the cells.
In the case of diabetic patients, the pancreas is either not able to produce insulin or the cells in the body do not utilize insulin properly. It leads to an increase in glucose levels in the blood which gives rise to symptoms of diabetes.
There are 4 types of diabetes
This type is common in young adults, teens, and kids but can occur in any age group. This type occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It means you need to take insulin on daily basis.
This type can occur in any age group but is common in people over 40 years. Here, the pancreas doesn’t produce sufficient insulin or the body is unable to use insulin properly. It is common in around 90-95% of diabetic people. Medicines like Trajenta 5mg, and Glybovin can help manage blood glucose levels.
Some women who never had diabetes can develop it during pregnancy. It is known as gestational diabetes. It goes after the baby’s birth, but gestational diabetes can increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes for both mother and baby in the future.
This condition can increase the chances of getting type 2 diabetes. At this phase, the blood glucose levels elevate than normal but are not higher enough to be termed type 2.
What are the signs & symptoms of Diabetes?
After you are diagnosed with diabetes your medical expert may prescribe insulin injections to treat type 1 diabetes or prescribe medicines like Bigomet 500mg etc. but, you need to be aware of the symptoms of the disease that would alert you to visit the diabetologist.
Not every individual with diabetes shows symptoms or identifies them. This is common in prediabetes or type 2 as they occur over years. Women having gestational diabetes do not notice any symptoms.
On the other hand, type 1 symptoms are quick and get severe. The symptoms start showing when you are in your teens, childhood, or young adulthood. But, they can start in adulthood as well.
Some common symptoms and a sign of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are
- Feeling thirsty most of the time.
- Frequent urination during the night.
- Losing weight automatically
- Sores/cuts that take a long time to heal
- Blurry vision
- Feeling very hungry
- Numbness in feet/hands
- Feeling irritable
- Tend to develop more infections
- Very dry skin
Additional symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are
- Stomach pains
- Yeast infections/infections of the urinary tract
Causes of Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when your glucose amounts tend to increase in your blood. The causes may differ on the type of diabetes you may have.
Causes – Type 1
Experts are not sure what exactly causes this type, but they found it to be an autoimmune condition. It means your immunity attacks the cells that generate insulin in the pancreas and kills them. Some factors that contribute to this type are viral infection, genetics, etc.
Causes – Type 2 & Prediabetes
Type 2 or prediabetes condition occurs due to genetic & environmental factors.
Causes - Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy the placenta produces hormones. Well, in some ladies, these hormones can result in insulin resistance which increases blood glucose levels.
How do diagnose if I have diabetes?
Well, once you are aware of the symptoms and notice similar symptoms, you can get it diagnosed to find out if you have diabetes. You can book an appointment with your diabetologist to get a diagnosis done.
As a part of the diagnosis, your medical expert will check your blood glucose levels. Different tests can help check the blood sugar levels like:
Random Blood Glucose
Here, the blood test doesn’t need fasting and can be conducted at any time. In case your blood sugar level is 200 mg/dL or above, it means you have diabetes.
This blood test doesn’t need you to fast and uses blood. The reports of the test will help your medical expert know the average sugar levels for the last 2-3 months.
Fasting Blood Glucose
To undergo this test, you need to fast for 8 hours a night before you come to the lab for a blood test the next morning. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100mg/dL, you are not diabetic. If it falls within the range of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, it indicates prediabetes. If the level is 126 mg/dL or more, it shows that you have diabetes.
Oral Glucose Tolerance
Here, the test again needs to you fast for 8 hours one night before you appear for the test the next morning. The next day morning, the blood is tested to check your fasting blood glucose levels.
Once your blood is drawn, you will be given a sugary fluid to drink. After an hour your blood sugar level is checked and again checked after two hours.
- You are non-diabetic – if blood glucose levels are below 140 mg/dL after two hours.
- Prediabetes condition – if blood sugar is 140mg/dL to 199mg/dL.
- Diabetes – if your blood sugar level is 200 mg/dL or higher.
If you are pregnant, the medical expert will check if you have diabetes. After drinking sugary fluid, the lab professional will draw your blood after one hour and test it. Non-diabetic- If the blood sugar levels are below 140mg/dL
If the blood sugar levels are above 140mg/dL, you will be asked to undergo an oral glucose tolerance test. You will get to know about the results from your medical expert.
How to prevent Diabetes?
You cannot prevent the genetic and autoimmune types of diabetes. But, simple steps can help you reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Here are below listed tips you can follow for the prevention of diabetes (excluding) type 1)
- Incorporate a balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet
- Be physically active and to do so schedule a half an hour walk on weekdays.
- Exercise to manage weight which will keep you healthy.
- Try to manage stress
- Do not drink excessive alcohol
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep and consult your medical expert for treating sleep disorders.
- Stop smoking.
- Do not skip medicines. Take them as directed by your medical expert to control other risk factors like heart disease.
Remember, there are some diabetes risks you cannot reverse like family history, genetics, race, and age. Type 2 diabetes comes with other health ailments. So, it is better to manage diabetes to stay away from other possible health problems.