What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterised by high blood glucose levels. Too much glucose in the blood can create health problems, and diabetes is diagnosed when the blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high in any individual. Blood glucose is the primary source of energy and is obtained from the food. And, Insulin is a hormone found in the body that aids in the transport of glucose into cells for energy production.
Diabetes is classified as Type I, Type II, gestational, and pre-diabetes. When a person has diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, thus glucose does not enter the body cells and remains in the blood. This increased blood sugar or glucose level can lead to complications such as eye damage, renal damage, heart disease, and so on. Diabetes, if left untreated, may be a dangerous illness. While there is no permanent cure for diabetes, a person may take efforts to manage their diabetes and live a healthy and fit life.
What are the Different Types of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a collection of disorders in which the body fails to make enough or any insulin, fails to utilise the insulin that is produced effectively, or shows a mix of the two. When any of these events occurs, the body is unable to transport sugar from the blood into the cells. As a result, blood sugar levels rise.
Diabetes is classified into three types:
- Type 1 diabetes: A person’s immune system incorrectly assaults and kills insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Genes may possibly have a role in the development of this disease in certain persons. As a result, insulin is not created, and blood glucose levels are elevated.
- Type 2 diabetes: Insulin resistance causes this. The risk of this condition is increased by a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese. Because of the extra weight in the abdomen, the cells become more resistant to the effects of insulin on blood sugar levels.
- Gestational diabetes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy are the primary cause of this issue. The placenta secretes hormones, which can make cells less responsive to the effects of insulin. This can result in elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This illness may be avoided by eating a healthy diet.
What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes?
Diabetes’s early indications and symptoms include:
- Increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, and dry mouth
- Fatigue and weight loss
- Irritability and headaches
- Wounds that take a long time to heal and blurred eyesight
- Skin infections, such as eczema, can cause nausea and vomiting. Darkening of skin in creased parts of the body (acanthosis nigricans) Breathe odours that are fruity, sweet, or acetone-like.
- Hand or foot tingling or numbness
- Low testosterone with retrograde ejaculation (low-T)
- Sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise and/or not physically active) and low testosterone in males are associated with decreased sex desire (decreased libido) and sexual dysfunction.
- High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
- Sleep deprivation and heart disease
- Kidney illness with nerve damage and neuropathy (nerve discomfort)
- Stroke and Retinopathy (nerve damage in the eye resulting in blindness)
- Yeast infections and peripheral vascular disease
What are the Causes of Diabetes?
Diabetes is caused by and prevented by the following factors:
In Type 1 diabetes the causes are: A person’s immune system incorrectly assaults and kills insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Genes may possibly have a role in the development of this disease in certain persons. As a result, no insulin is made.
In Type 2 diabetes the causes are: Insulin resistance causes this. The risk of this condition is increased by a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese. Carrying additional weight in your abdomen, in particular, makes your cells more resistant to the effects of insulin on blood sugar.
Gestational diabetes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy are the primary cause of this issue. The placenta secretes hormones, which can make cells less responsive to the effects of insulin. This can result in elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This illness may be avoided by eating a healthy diet.
How to Diagnose Diabetes?
There are numerous tests that might assist a doctor in diagnosing diabetes and those tests are the following which are shown below:
1. Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Random blood sugar test: A blood sample will be taken at random. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrammes per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) — or higher, regardless of when you last ate, implies diabetes.
- Fasting blood sugar test : Before and after meals, the patient’s glucose levels are measured. It is okay if the glucose levels are less than 100 mg/dL. Diabetes is confirmed by a fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL or greater, even after many different tests.
- Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: This test determines a person’s average blood glucose level for the two to three months preceding the test. The blood sample can be obtained either with or without food.
2. Tests for gestational diabetes
If you are at average risk of gestational diabetes, you will most likely undergo a screening test for gestational diabetes during your second trimester, which is usually between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- Initial glucose challenge test.
- Follow-up glucose tolerance testing.
What are the Best Treatment for Diabetes?
In order to treat any form of diabetes, the patient needs follow basic instructions, such as eating nutritious and correct food and having a decent activity regimen.
- Treatments for type 1 diabetes: Insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump, regular blood sugar tests, and carbohydrate counting are all part of the treatment for type 1 diabetes.
- Treatments for type 2 diabetes: Treatment for type 2 diabetes largely consists of lifestyle adjustments, blood sugar monitoring, and diabetic medicines, insulin, or both.
- Medications: Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, and others) is commonly used for type 2 diabetes. Transplantation and bariatric surgery are other alternatives for people with severe damage. Medication, such as metformin, is also used to treat pre-diabetes (Glucophage, Glumetza, others).
- Treatment for gestational diabetes: Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is critical to keeping your baby healthy and preventing difficulties during birth.
What are the Side Effects of Diabetes Medication?
To help control their diabetes, many persons with type 2 diabetes use a combination of drugs. There is an increased risk of low blood sugar with combo treatment. These medications may result in the following negative effects:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), skin rash or itching, sensitivity to sunlight, upset stomach, and weight gain are all possible side effects of sulfonylureas.
- Meglitinides have been linked to hypoglycemia and weight gain.
- Lactic acidosis, an uncommon but serious adverse effect, can occur in people who use biguanides.
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors have been linked to gastrointestinal issues.
- Sitagliptin (Januvia), a DPP-4 inhibitor, can induce severe allergic responses, sore throat, upper respiratory infection, and headache.
- Pramlintide (with insulin) may induce nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, anorexia, modest weight loss, headache, tiredness, disorientation, coughing, sore throat, and skin reactions at the injection site.
How to Prevent Diabetes?
There are some diabetes preventions that are the following which are shown below:
- Type 1 diabetes is unpreventable since it is caused by an immune system malfunction. Insulin supplements are used to compensate for insulin deficiency.
- Type II diabetes and gestational diabetes can be managed and avoided by taking medications and adhering to a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Type-II diabetes is treated with medications such as Glumetza, Glucophage, Fortamet, and Riomet. Aerobic workouts such as cycling and walking can help prevent diabetes and should be done at least 150 minutes per week. Lose weight and include a nutritious diet into your diet.
What are the Complications of Diabetes?
The complications of diabetes are the following which are shown below:
- Eye Complications: Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts are all examples of eye diseases.
- Foot Complications: Diabetes-related gangrene, ulceration, or neuropathy may need foot amputation.
- Skin Complications: Diabetes patients are more likely to have skin problems and infections.
- Heart Problems: Diabetes can cause a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscles, resulting in ischemic heart disease.
- Hearing Loss: Diabetes patients are more likely to suffer hearing issues.
What are the Home Remedies for Diabetes?
The following are some home cures for diabetes management:
- 1. Bitter gourd or karela: Bitter gourd, which includes two highly important chemicals called charatin and momordicin, is the greatest available alternative for decreasing blood sugar levels.
- 2. Fenugreek: It aids in diabetes management by improving glucose tolerance, lowering blood sugar levels, and stimulating the release of glucose-dependent insulin.
- 3. Mango leaves: Boil some fresh mango leaves in a glass of water and set them aside to cool overnight. Drink the water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- 4. Indian gooseberry or amla: One of the best sources of vitamin C is Indian gooseberry or amla, which helps your pancreas produce at its peak so that your blood glucose levels remain balanced.
- 5. Drumstick or moringa leaves: Drumstick or Moringa oleifera leaves are most recognised for their ability to manage blood sugar levels and enhance energy levels.
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- Diabetes- Medline Plus, Health Topics, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 25 July 2019]. Available from:
- Diabetes Type 1- Medline Plus, Health Topics, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 25 July 2019]. Available from:
- Diabetes Type 2- Medline Plus, Health Topics, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. medlineplus.gov 2019 [Cited 25 July 2019]. Available from:
From these references you can learn more about diabetes, its types, etc in detail.