What is diabetes?
Diabetes is the body’s inability to regulate the glucose or sugar level in the blood. Diabetes is a disease that is usually caused by the improperly-working pancreas. The pancreas is a small organ in the human body that produces insulin, which is responsible for regulating the blood sugar level. Usually, diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin properly or the body stops using the insulin properly. In both cases patients suffer from high blood sugar and as a result, they suffer from different health conditions.
According to an estimate, there are around 500 million patients of diabetes in the world. Every year up to 5 million people lose their lives to diabetes and related health problems. According to recent studies it has been estimated that the number of pf patients will keep on increasing exponentially over the next few decades unless a cure is discovered. Diabetes has made the lives of people miserable and many patients tend to suffer from cardiovascular health issues.
What are types of Diabetes?
There are three different types of diabetes depending on the cause behind it.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes can affect anyone ranging from children to adults. It usually is common among children and young adults. Bodies of patients suffering from this type of diabetes produce no insulin or a very small amount of insulin. As a result of this patients need to take daily insulin injections to regulate blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
This type of diabetes usually affects adults and accounts for almost 90% of diabetes cases in the world. Usually, patients with this type of diabetes have a properly working pancreas that produces proper amounts of insulin but the body does not use this insulin to regulate the blood sugar level. Usually, patients are recommended to change their lifestyles and increase physical activities as an initial treatment. If patients don’t do that they will need to start medicinal treatments require insulin injections.
GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus)
Usually known as Gestational Diabetes, it is somewhat similar to Type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes usually affects pregnant women. It is estimated that around 5-10% of pregnant women suffer from it. This type of diabetes needs to be properly managed for the health of the mother and unborn child. GDM usually goes away after pregnancy but around 5% of women tend to suffer from some other type of diabetes even after childbirth.
What are symptoms of a diabetes?
Common symptoms of diabetes that should never be left unchecked. Consult a doctor if you are suffering any one or multiple symptoms.
- Frequent urination
- Increase in appetite and hunger
- Sudden unexplained weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Sores that take time to heal
- Frequent skin, gums, and vaginal infections
These are common symptoms that patients. Some patients might not feel these symptoms and they might go unnoticed. It is always a good idea to check blood sugar levels once in a while. You can do that at home or ask your doctor.
What causes diabetes?
Cause of diabetes varies depending on the type of diabetes.
Cause of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. This is usually done by the body itself when it forces the immune system to kill the beta cells that produce insulin. The body can do this due to multiple reasons, this reaction of the body can be triggered either by a virus, bacteria, or other environmental factors. Apart from all these factors genetics also plays a major cause behind type 1 diabetes.
Cause of Type 2 Diabetes
In the simplest words, less physical activity is the main reason behind Type 2 Diabetes. Inactivity forces the body to become obese and overweight, which in return is a major cause behind this type of diabetes. Accumulation of excessive amounts of fat in the abdominal area has been linked to insulin resistance. This excessive amount of fat and body mass forces the pancreas to produce more amount of insulin. Over time the pancreas comes under stress and this stress with time makes the pancreas inefficient and it is unable to keep up with insulin needs of the body. Like Type 1, Type 2 diabetes is also caused by genetics in many cases.
Causes of GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus)
GDM is caused by the hormones produced by the body during pregnancy. These hormones make the body resistant to insulin. Almost all women suffer from it to some extent. If a woman’s body is able to produce an excess amount of insulin they can overcome insulin resistance and may not experience severe GDM.
How to prevent diabetes?
Only Type 2 diabetes is preventable. There is no way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. People need to keep an active lifestyle and take a balanced diet, as it is the best option to decrease the risk of Type 2.
How is diabetes treated or managed?
Patients with Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin. There is no other treatment option for this. Apart from this these patients need to regularly monitor their blood sugar and take a healthy diet. By balancing food intake and insulin injections, patients need to keep their blood sugar levels in normal ranges. Patients should consult a doctor to know what type of insulin suits their lifestyle best.
Patients with Type 2 diabetes need to increase their physical activity and lose weight if they suffer from obesity. There are many treatment plans that help patients in losing weight and adjust to a healthy diet. Apart from this patients should completely stop consumption of foods with excess sugar, this includes sweets, ice creams, carbonated drinks etc. Some patients might need to use insulin for a short period of time while others may be prescribed medications to help the body to adjust insulin production and sugar levels.
Women suffering from GMA (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) will be asked to manage their diet and do regular exercises to burn calories to help with maintaining blood sugar levels. While some women may need insulin injection to help their bodies deal with GMA. Use of medications for managing blood sugar during pregnancy is not recommended by many doctors as it can have adverse effects on the fetus.
There are many alternative treatment methods being promoted nowadays. Patients should avoid these procedures as they usually don’t work, as a result of which diabetes can have an adverse effect on the patient’s health.