What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-lasting metabolic disease in which the level of blood sugar (or blood glucose) in the body gets too high. Most of the foods, your intake, break down into sugar/glucose. These glucose molecules are stored in the form of energy in your body and also plays a key role in biochemical functions and metabolic process. After break down, glucose molecules are released in the blood, and insulin transfers these molecules to get into the body cells.
Actually, Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by Pancreas to let the sugar release into your body cells and form energy. If the blood sugar level gets high in the blood then the reason may be either pancreas not release enough insulin or insulin can’t be used in a proper way. Because when there is not enough amount of insulin available or cells stop responding to insulin, an excessive amount of blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.
Hence, due to the malfunctioning in the function of pancreas or insulin, the problem of diabetes can occur. Gradually with time, that can cause serious health issues such as heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease, dental disease, foot problems and so on. Until now, there is not a permanent cure for diabetes, however, some activities like doing exercises or yoga to lose weight, diet consciousness, being active etc. can really assist you to prevent and keep the problem under controlled situation. By proper intake of medicine, being aware by diabetes self-management education and support and keeping regular healthcare appointments with experts or doctors can also be proved helpful to lessen the negative impact of diabetes on your life.
There are some symptoms that reflect as the result of diabetes or these symptoms signals you about this disease.If you experience such type of symptoms, then be alert and visit to the doctors.
- Very high appetite
- Increased thirst
- Loss of weight without any efforts
- Extreme fatigue
- Frequent urination, often at night
- Blurry vision
- Sores that heal slowly
- More infections than usual
- Very dry skin
Types of Diabetes and their causes
There are main three categories of Diabetes :
1. Type 1 diabetes
2. Type 2 diabetes
3. Gestational diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease as the immune system of the body attacks on itself (pancreas) and destroys the cells which are responsible to release insulin. This process stops the insulin to release and cause an increased amount of blood sugar in your body. Type 1 diabetes can be developed at any age but usually found in children and adolescence. Type 1 cases are observed approx 5-10% of the people and they have to take insulin injections to survive.
- Occurs due to very low or no insulin production.
- Doctors don’t know the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Mostly occur in children, teens, and adults. It can be prevented or controlled by a healthy lifestyle and some physical activities such as exercise, yoga, jogging etc. Approximately 90-95% of diabetic patients belong to this Type 2 category of diabetes.
- Developed when insulin is not well utilized due to some genetic reasons or improper lifestyle.
3. Gestational diabetes
This category of diabetes develops during the pregnancy which may lead to complications in both mother and child. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the birth of a child but it put the mother and child at risk for Type 2 diabetes later in their life. The child may face obesity at the age of teen or adult and may have other health related issues. This happens due to high blood sugar during pregnancy.
- The cause of Gestational diabetes is the hormonal changes during pregnancy because during this period, hormones are release by the placenta that makes the cells of pregnant lady less sensitive tothe insulin that leads to the high level of blood sugar in the bloodstream.
- Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are more prone to this disease.
In prediabetes, blood sugar gets higher than normal but it’s not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approx more than 84% of the people having prediabetes even don’t know that they have this problem. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that signals you or put you at risk of developing type 2, heart disease, stroke and other health-related complications. But prediabetes can be healed as the National Diabetes Prevention Program can assist you to make changes in your lifestyle in order to prevent type 2 and other health problems.
In the case of prediabetes, generally, the body cells don’t respond to insulin. Hence, pancreas releases more insulin and attempt to get responses from the cells. Later pancreas fails to keep it releases any more and the level of blood sugar increases which actually sets the path for prediabetes and type 2.
It may be a long time to have prediabetes, say for years, but it often doesn’t notice or detected until some serious health problems show up because it doesn’t show clear symptoms. So, it’s very important to visit to your doctor and ask about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes mention below, which includes:
- Age: 45 years or older
- Family genes: Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Less physical active
- Ever having gestational diabetes (or given birth to a child with more than 9 pounds weight)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Other cause of diabetes
There are some other causes that can lead to such disease. These are rare but significantly noticeable:
- Exocrine pancreas diseases such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis
- Drug-induced diabetes, such as the use of glucocorticoid.
Simple Blood Sugar Test
To ascertain whether if you have prediabetes or not, you can ask your doctor that if any test is required
or not, or you can go for a simple blood sugar test.