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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are above normal. It is a metabolic disorder where in human body does not produce or properly uses insulin, a hormone that is required to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy.

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. Human body has to maintain the blood glucose level at a very narrow range, which is done with insulin and glucagon. The function of glucagon is causing the liver to release glucose from its cells into the blood, for the production of energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Type of Diabetes:-

  • Type 1 diabetes - insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) – Less cases
  • Type 2 diabetes - non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) – Most cases
  • Gestational diabetes - only in pregnant women – Very less cases

Symptoms of diabetes:-

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

Who may suffer from type 2 diabetes:-

Older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, and prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. Risk factors are less well defined for type 1 diabetes than for type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in developing this type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing type 2 diabetes.

For type 1 diabetes

  • Healthy eating
  • physical activity
  • Insulin injections. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

For type 2 diabetes:-

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Blood glucose testing are the basic therapies.

In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels.

People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care, and keep blood glucose levels from going too low or too high.

Blood Sugar level before fasting:-

Min - 70  100 mg/dl and Max - 100  100 mg/dl

After taking food: - Less than 140 100 mg/dl

When breakdown of glucose is stopped completely, body uses fat and protein for producing the energy. Due to this mechanism symptoms like polydipsia, polyuria, polyphegia, and excessive weight loss can be observed in a diabetic. Desired blood sugar of human body should be between 70 mg/dl -110 mg/dl at fasting state. If blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl, it is termed as hypoglycemia and if more than 110 mg /dl, it’s hyperglycemia.

Risk from Diabetes:-

When blood sugar level is constantly high it leads to kidney failure, cardiovascular problems and neuropathy. Patients with diabetes are 4 times more likely to have coronary heart disease and stroke.

Though, Diabetes mellitus is not completely curable but, it is controllable to a great extent. So, you need to have thorough diabetes information to manage this it successfully. The control of diabetes mostly depends on the patient and it is his/her responsibility to take care of their diet, exercise and medication. Advances in diabetes research have led to better ways of controlling diabetes and treating its complications.

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