Diabetes is a metabolic disease wherein the human body has abnormally increased levels of glucose in the blood. This surge of glucose levels in a diabetic is due to the lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin.
The food you eat is digested and broken down to release glucose into the bloodstream. Meanwhile, the pancreas produces a hormone called “insulin”, which works to help the body’s cells absorb the glucose from the blood. In diabetes, your body stops producing insulin or is unable to utilize the produced insulin
Diabetes is a growing concern, especially in low and middle-income countries like India. According to the WHO, 422 million people around the world are diabetic, and diabetes is also a leading cause of death!
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune systems respond such that it jeopardizes the pancreas, rendering it ineffective to produce insulin. Only about 10% of all diabetic patients have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a common form of diabetes in the world. In this type, the human body loses its ability to utilize the produced insulin effectively. Hence, the glucose remains in the blood of the diabetic person, and the sugar levels rise.
Diabetes is diagnosed through a random blood sugar test. It can be checked on fasting as well as when food is consumed. This depends on the discretion of the doctor and also the needs of the patient.
What Causes Diabetes?
As mentioned before, diabetes is caused due to the inability of the cells’ to assimilate blood sugar because of inadequate insulin levels.
This metabolic disease can manifest in a person’s body when their pancreas is, in essence, overworked.
When a person consumes food, the pancreas begins to produce insulin. If you are consuming food in quantity above the required level for daily activities, your pancreas begins to produce insulin at much higher levels. Over time, the pancreas stops producing insulin which further leads to diabetes.
Some of the major causes of diabetes are:
- Continuous overeating
- Excess intake of sugar
- Lack of physical activity
Symptoms vary depending on the type as well as gender. However, below are some of the general symptoms to tell if a person is diabetic:
- Increased appetite and thirst
- Sudden loss of weight
- Frequent tiredness
- Frequent urination
- Slow healing of wounds
Some symptoms that can be witnessed in diabetic men are:
- Lowered libido
- Decreased muscle strength
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Some symptoms that can be seen in diabetic women are:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Yeast infection
- Dry and itchy skin
How to Treat Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease. However, there are treatment options that will help the patient muddle through.
For Type 1 diabetic patients, insulin is the main treatment, because these patients cannot produce insulin on their own in the first place for their body to use.
For Type 2 diabetic patients, there is a whole host of treatment options ranging from simple exercises and a diabetic diet to pharmaceutical drugs.
It is critical to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, consulting with an endocrinology consultant before taking any action is highly recommended.
How to Prevent Diabetes?
Prevention is undoubtedly better than cure. One can prevent diabetes or prevent the pre-existing diabetic condition’s aggravation through regular exercise and following the right diabetic diet.
Exercising helps in lowering the blood glucose levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and increasing the effectiveness of diabetes medications.
Here are some steps to keep fit:
- Do everyday household chores by yourself
- Light outdoor jogging
- Outdoor cycling
Maintaining a proper diabetic diet is also crucial in preventing the aggravation of diabetes. A diabetic diet must be tailored to the patients’ specific needs.
All in all, diabetes can take a toll on a person’s overall well-being. However, with proper care, it is an extremely manageable condition. Regency Health has a multidisciplinary facility filled with endocrinologists, diabetologists, as well as dietitians so that you get all rounded care for Diabetes