Diabetes- A Guide
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is one of the oldest known diseases.
Diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use the energy it gets from the food we eat. Normally, the food we eat is broken down by digestion into glucose. This glucose travels through the bloodstream to give the body cells the energy it needs.
Glucose needs insulin, a hormone produced by pancreas, to get inside the cells, where this glucose is burned for energy.
The most common symptoms of diabetes are:
- Frequent Urination
- You are always thirsty
- Unusual weight gain or weight loss
- Increased fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Wounds/Bruises don’t heal properly or quickly.
Types of Diabetes:
Diabetes are of two types
- Type 1
- Type 2
What is Type 1 diabetes?
This occurs when the pancreas are unable to produce any insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. This type usually appears in childhood or adolescence, but its onset is also possible in adulthood. In this type, the body’s immunity system destroys the insulin cells .
What is Type 2 diabetes?
This is a long term metabolic disorder where the pancreas do not produce enough insulin. This type is irreversible but the symptoms controlled. When glucose builds in blood instead of being absorbed by cells, the cells do not function properly. This leads to;
- Diabetic coma
- Body damage
What tests to get if you have Type 2 Diabetes
- A1C: This test monitors a person’s average blood glucose level in the last months.
- Fasting plasma glucose: Blood is drawn out for testing on an empty stomach. Once results are in the glucose levels are monitored. The normal fasting glucose is between 70-100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for non diabetics. A reading above this indicates prediabetes.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is usually conducted during pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes?
This occurs only during pregnancy. Even if you have this kind of diabetes, you can still deliver a healthy baby by altering certain things in your lifestyle ( as recommended by your doctor). This type of diabetes usually goes away once the baby is born.
Note: Gestational Diabetes can cause Type 2 diabetes at a later stage but this is not necessary.
Should you panic?
With proper care and attention you can keep your diabetes in check. Monitoring blood sugar, establishing a proper diet and making certain lifestyle changes can help you keep diabetes under control.