WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes is a health condition that affects the blood glucose level in your body. When we eat some food that is broken down into glucose and absorbed in our blood and when blood glucose gets raised it gives signals to the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is a very important hormone to make blood sugar convert into energy that body cells are using.
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In diabetes, your body cannot produce enough insulin. And this condition makes your blood sugar levels high and you get some serious health problems like kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease if not treated well. In this article, I have shared some important knowledge about diabetes that will help people to know about this disease.
TYPES OF DIABETES
There are three main types of diabetes-
Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
TYPE 1 DIABETES:
In type 1 diabetes your immune system destroys insulin cells in your pancreas. When you have this condition your pancreas makes less or no insulin. This condition mostly affects children and young people. You will need insulin injections on a daily basis to control your blood glucose level.
TYPE 2 DIABETES:
This condition is the most common in adults. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body gets insulin resistant and sugar levels are raised in your blood. In the US, around 29 million people are diagnosed with type2 diabetes. People take oral drugs and insulin to control glucose levels.
This condition occurs during pregnancy when the placenta produces insulin blocking hormones. Gestational diabetes disappears after pregnancy. But if a woman does not take precautions after GDM she might get type2 diabetes in the future.
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There are different causes of each type of diabetes:
TYPE1 DIABETES CAUSES:
The actual cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown yet. Only one reason is known that our immune system attacks insulin cells and destroys them in the pancreas. And because of this, your pancreas makes less or no insulin.
TYPE2 DIABETES CAUSES:
Genetic and lifestyle factors are the main cause of type2 diabetes. If you are overweight then you are more prone to get type2 diabetes. Your family history with diabetes is also a risk factor for you to get this disease in the future.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES CAUSES:
It happens due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that are resistant to insulin. And this condition causes high glucose sugar in pregnancy. Women who are overweight are more prone to gestational diabetes.
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Here are some symptoms of diabetes-
• Feel thirst
• Feeling weak and tired
• Blurred vision
• Frequent urination
• Feeling hungry
• Sudden weight loss
• Numb and tingling hands and feet
• Dry mouth
• Slow healing of sores and cuts
• Frequent infections
In Women: frequent yeast infection or urinary tract infection (UTI).
In Men: Erectile dysfunction and decreased muscle strength.
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Diabetes is diagnosed by doing some tests that measure your blood sugar levels. There are 3 types of tests your doctor will suggest to you according to your condition.
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Fasting plasma glucose test:
This test is taken in 8 to 9 hours fasting. For this test, you should stop eating or drinking anything for 8 to 9 hours before the test. It will detect your fasting glucose levels in the blood.
Random plasma glucose test:
This test can be done after a meal. It does not require any fasting. This test also detects your sugar levels in the blood after having meals.
This test detects your average sugar levels in the blood in the past months. The test measures the amount of sugar in hemoglobin. Fasting is not required in this test.
Oral glucose tolerance test:
In this test, your sugar levels are checked after 8 hours of fasting and after drinking a sugar containing drink. This test diagnoses diabetes and prediabetes.
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Diabetes could not be treated at home in maximum cases. If you have diabetes you should consult your doctor about your condition and your doctor will determine the best treatment for you according to the type of diabetes.
TYPE 1 DIABETES:
In type 1 diabetes you have to take insulin on a daily basis with meals. Because your pancreas would not make sufficient insulin in your body.
TYPE 2 DIABETES:
In type 2 diabetes you should take some medicines and insulin if needed to control your sugar level. Furthermore, lifestyle changes, losing weight and healthy food is also helpful in maintaining the glucose levels.
In gestational diabetes, you can control your sugar levels first by healthy eating habits and getting physically active. And if you cannot control it then your doctor will suggest medications that are safe for you and your baby during pregnancy.
Hope this article will help you to get information about diabetes. This condition gets treated well if you take care of your diet, take medicines on time, Get regular checkups to maintain glucose levels in the blood, exercise daily and adopt a healthy lifestyle to make you fit like normal people.
Q1:What is the difference between type1 and type2 diabetes?
Answer: Type 1 is a condition in which your pancreas is not able to make insulin.
Q2: What should your fasting blood glucose level be?
Answer: Fasting glucose level below 100 is considered normal.
Q3: What is the main cause of type 2 diabetes?
Answer: Lifestyle and genes are the main causes of type 2 diabetes.
Q4: How to check blood glucose levels at home?
Answer: You can check your blood glucose at home by using a glucometer.
Q5: Can diabetes be treated without medications?
Answer: Prediabetes can be treated by changing diet and lifestyles but type1 and type 2 cannot be treated without medications and insulin.