What is Diabetes?
Diabetes which is a metabolic disease and is also known as diabetes mellitus is a type of Disease that Causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin in your body is supposed to move sugar from your blood into your cells to store it so it can be used later as a source of energy. However, an individual needs to undergo diabetes Diagnosis when the body is unable to either make sufficient insulin or if it is unable to use it efficiently.
There are a few different diabetes types which have been discussed below for your understanding:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
Different types of diabetes mellitus have their own Symptoms, Causes and Treatments.
The general diabetes Symptoms as a result of rising blood sugar has been mentioned below for your reference. Having any or a combination of these is a Sign of diabetes:
- A sudden increase in hunger
- Feeling thirsty very often
- Sudden weight loss despite a proper diet
- Having sores on the feet that are not healing
- Experiencing blurry vision in daily life
- Having to frequently visit the bathroom due to increased urination
- A feeling of extreme fatigue in day to day life
It is desirable when early Symptoms of diabetes are identified in an individual so it can be treated in the early stages itself. The Symptoms as mentioned above depends on the type of diabetes that person has and on the individual itself and their different body types.
Who is at Risk?
Diabetes Risk Factors differ from individual to individual, their family history, their lifestyle and the eating habits that they have. However, for you to be more mindful about whether you need to get a diabetes Treatment done or not, we have listed down some warning Signs.
- If you have a sibling or a parent with Type 1 diabetes and you are a child or a teenager who is possibly carrying some genes that are linked to the Disease.
- If you are not physically active and or are overweight
- If you have either high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high triglycerides.
- If you have a family history of diabetes even outside of your parents and your siblings.
- If you are over the age of 45 and have a sedentary lifestyle
These are some Signs you need to keep a lookout for to understand if you have diabetes.
The Causes of diabetes differ depending on which diabetes you have. We have listed some red flags you should keep a lookout for:
- Genes are said to play a huge role in individuals who are Diagnosed with the Disease. If you have a history of it in your immediate family, you should be aware of it.
- Diabetes specialists have also said that lifestyle factors such as being obese or overweight also increases the risk. This is especially true if you carry most of the weight in your belly area.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy is also another factor. Women who tend to gain excess weight during pregnancy or are overweight at the time of getting pregnant should be careful.
How is Diabetes Diagnosed?
A diabetes doctor will Diagnose the Disease by conducting the following tests:
- Blood sugar test – a diabetes blood test, either random or fasting is the first thing that you will be asked to do. This also includes the HBA1C blood test which is specially done for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. This test reflects the average blood sugar level of your body for the past two to three months. It also measures what percentage of your haemoglobin is coated with sugar. The higher your A1C levels then the poorer is your blood sugar control. This also indicates a higher risk of complications due to diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test – this glucose test is done after you are asked to fast overnight and then your blood sugar level is measured. Having a blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL is considered normal. If the reading shows more than 200 mg/dL after a while then it means that you have diabetes. However, if the reading shows between 140 and 199 mg/dL then it is an indication that you have prediabetes.
- Urine test – if the case is that you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or the doctors suspect that you may have it, then, in that case, they will conduct this urine test to look for a by-product that is produced when fat tissues and the muscle are used to produce energy because your body is unable to produce insulin to make use of the ketones or the available glucose.
These are some of the common tests that a doctor will conduct to Diagnose the Disease. However, with everything else, it differs from individual to individual. If you are pregnant then the tests for you will be different. Always consult a doctor you trust.
How is Diabetes Treated?
The Treatment of diabetes must always be done under the consultation of a good doctor. We have listed down some common practises followed in the Treatment:
- The most common practice is to treat it with insulin medication or sugar control medicine to help get your blood sugar levels in place.
- Making adequate changes in lifestyle and eating habits by including regular exercise and food that is low on sugar.
- Hypoglycaemia Treatment encourages the consumption of high sugar food and drinks to raise the blood sugar levels and get it to normal levels.
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How can Diabetes be Prevented?
Type 1 and type 2 Diseases cannot be Prevented as they are caused due to issues in the immune system, however, other Risk Factors can be controlled to Prevent diabetes.
- Get some sort of exercises like walking, cycling or anything you enjoy for at least 150 minutes per week.
- Makes sure your diet is free of refined carbohydrates, trans fat and saturated fat.
- Include more of whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet and try to eat smaller portions.
- Additionally, you should also consult an endocrinologist to keep your hormones and metabolism in check so you can Prevent yourself from getting the disease in the near future and are able to lead a healthy lifestyle.