What is Diabetes?

A series of illnesses known as diabetes mellitus alter how the body utilizes blood sugar (glucose). The cells that make up the muscles and tissues rely heavily on glucose as a source of energy. It serves as the primary fuel for the brain.  Each form of diabetes has a different primary aetiology. However, diabetes can result in an excess of sugar in the blood regardless of the type you have. Serious health issues can result from an excess of sugar in the blood.

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic diabetes diseases. Diabetes disorders including gestational diabetes and prediabetes may be reversible. When blood sugar levels are greater than usual, prediabetes develops. However, the blood sugar levels are not elevated enough to be classified as diabetes. Additionally, if no preventative measures are done, prediabetes might progress to diabetes. During pregnancy, gestational diabetes can develop. However, it can disappear once the baby is born.

Symptoms of diabetes

The severity of diabetes symptoms is influenced by blood sugar levels. Some people may not exhibit symptoms, particularly if they have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes frequently appear suddenly and are more severe.

Some symptoms include

  • Reduced urine output
  • Urinating often
  • Being thirsty more often
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Feeling irritable or having mood swings
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent gum, skin, and vaginal infections
  • Presence of ketones in the urine

Type 1 diabetes

Starts at any age, but often during childhood or teen years.

Type 2 diabetes

Is the more common type and occur more commonly in patients older than 40, but can develop at any age.

People with these symptoms should seek medical help immediately!

Most types of diabetes have unknown causes. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream no matter what. The pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, so this happens. Diabetes of both types 1 and 2 can be caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. It’s not clear what these things might be.

FAQs on diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that is produced from a gland, the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream where it circulates, letting sugar enter the cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the blood stream and as the blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

Glucose is sugar, which is a source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. The two major sources of glucose are food and the liver. The sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters the cells with the help of insulin.

The liver stores and produces glucose. When the glucose levels are low, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose and this keeps the glucose level within the normal range.

  • Glycated haemoglobin (A1C)
  • Random blood sugar
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Oral glucose tolerance test

If your doctor suspects that you may have type 1 diabetes, they may request to test for the presence of ketones in your urine. Ketones are by-product produced when muscle and fat are used for energy. Your doctor will test to see if you are at high risk for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy.

Depending on the kind of diabetes you have, your treatment plan may include oral medications, insulin, and blood sugar monitoring. A balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in regular exercise are all crucial components of treating diabetes.

Treatment and monitoring diabetes may be complex and the following signs of trouble in any type of diabetes needs care immediately

  • High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) – adjust meal plan, drugs, or both
  • Increased ketones in urine – contact your doctor immediately and seek emergency care
  • Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome – contact your doctor immediately and seek emergency care
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) – best treated with carbohydrates like fruit juice or glucose tablets

The condition of diabetes is critical. A complete commitment is necessary to follow your diabetes treatment strategy. Your risk of serious or perhaps fatal complications from diabetes can be reduced with careful management.

To reduce the chances of complications, ensure to commit to managing diabetes and choose healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight. Ensure to make physical activity part of your daily routine.

Other important lifestyle recommendations include

  • Wear a medical tag or bracelet to indicate that you are a diabetic
  • Schedule yearly physical and regular eye exams
  • Keep vaccinations up to date
  • Pay attention to your feet
  • Control cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Take care of your teeth
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink alcohol responsibly
  • Manage stress

Diabetes long-term consequences emerge gradually. The risk of problems increases with the duration of diabetes and the degree to which your blood sugar is under control. Diabetes problems could eventually become incapacitating or even fatal.

Type 2 diabetes can result from prediabetes. Potential issues include

  • Nerve damage
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage
  • Foot damage
  • Skin and mouth conditions
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • Hearing impairment

Pregnant mothers with gestational diabetes typically have healthy births. Untreated or unmanaged blood sugar levels, however, can harm both you and your unborn child.

Complications in your baby includes

  • Excess growth of foetus
  • Low blood sugar
  • Type 2 diabetes later in child’s life
  • Death of baby

Complications in the mother includes

  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes