Diabetes is a disease denoted by high glucose or sugar level in the blood. It occurs when the body fails to respond appropriately to the hormone insulin or when the production of insulin cells is reduced.
Diabetes is of 3 types: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus ( G.D.M ). Type 1 and Type 2 are the most common forms.
Type 1 Diabetes:
This denotes an autoimmune condition where the body itself destroys its own insulin-producing cells. This causes the glucose level in the blood to shoot up to dangerous levels. Controlling diet or lifestyle can be of no help to control this type of diabetes. About 10% people in the world are infected with Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Here the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin present doesn’t work properly causing glucose level to rise up in the blood. This can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors. Controlling diet or lifestyle can help to control this type of diabetes. This happens to be the most common type with 90% affected with it.
Symptoms : Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst ,urge to urinate more often, fatigue, tingling in the feet or hands or sores that refuse to heal etc .
It is a chronic disease that can only be kept under control and not cured. It affects several vital organs in the body such as eyes, heart and kidney. Hence, lifestyle improvements, medications and exercises are very vital to prevent complications.
Effect of Diabetes on Vital Organs:
Effect on heart- This is the most important organ affected by diabetes. Complication of diabetes leads to Atherosclerosis or thickening of the blood vessels and even leads to cardiac arrest under severe conditions. Diabetics are more prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and hence, are always advised daily check up.
Effect on Nerves- Excess diabetes causes Nerve Damage or Neuropathy, causing injury to the walls of the blood vessels in our limbs, especially the feet. This causes itching, numbness or a burning sensation that begins at the tips of our limbs and spreads upwards. If you don’t keep your sugar level in control, you may gradually lose all your senses of feeling.
Effect on Kidney – High diabetes damages the millions of tiny blood vessels that filters out the waste from your kidneys. This medical complication is called Nephropathy. In case of kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease you may need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Effect on Eyes – High diabetes causes Diabetic Retinopathy i.e. damage of the blood vessels of the retina eventually leading to blindness. Diabetics are also prone to various other eye problems such as Cataracts and Glaucoma.
Effect on feet – Foot ulcers are caused by uncontrolled Diabetes. It makes the skin under the feet susceptible to infection, which in severe cases may prompt a leg amputation surgery to stop the infection from spreading.
Effect on Gums and Teeth – Uncontrolled diabetes may cause bad breath, bleeding gums or gum infections leading to pus formation in gums.
Apart from these, there are several other damages that diabetes may cause you. In most of the cases , there would not be any symptom till you discover that your organs have been severely damaged. Hence the term “silent-killer”.
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Are stress and diabetes related?
Yes absolutely! Stress, both physical and mental, can shoot up your blood glucose level dangerously and is considered to be one of the leading factors causing Diabetes. Stress hormones like Epinephrine and Cortisol are secreted more when you are really stressed out emotionally or physically, leading to increase in blood sugar.
Can Diabetes affect children too?
Sadly, nowadays children and teenagers too are affected by diabetes (Type 1 mostly) because of the change in their food habits and lifestyle. Children hardly have access to playgrounds nowadays leading them to be obese or overweight putting them at risk .A child or teenager diagnosed with diabetes have a variety and range of emotions such as shock, anger, sadness, fear and guilt, getting frustrated too easily, feeling “different” from others. So if you happen to have such a kid, you need to handle him/her with extra love and care!
Treatment of diabetes:
Like we have already discussed, this is such a disease that can’t be cured, but there is still hope! We can effectively control it and lead a complete healthy and normal life. This can be done by reducing the sugar level in the blood and regularly monitoring the condition of blood and taking necessary action. To know how you can control this disease read on!
Type 1 diabetes treatment:
Insulin is the main medicine of Type 1 diabetes which helps in replacing the hormone that your body can’t produce to fight diabetes. There are various types of insulin available depending on how fast they start to work and for how long their effect lasts. Accordingly we have, Rapid-acting insulin which starts working within 15 mins and its effect lasts for about 4 hours. Then we have Short-acting insulin which starts working within 30 mins and lasts for about 7 hours. Next we have Intermediate-acting insulin working within an hour or two and effect lasting for around 12 to 18 hours. Lastly we have Long-acting insulin which starts from a few hours after been injected into the patient’s body and its effect lasts for a day.Other than this, exercise and proper diet is also very essential, otherwise none of these medicines would create any difference.
Type 2 diabetes treatment:
Weight management is very important and proper diet with very low carbohydrate and absolutely no sugar. Diabetes medications prescribed by doctors need to be taken regularly without fail. When all these measures fail, at that stage insulin might be prescribed, but these 2 steps, if properly followed, is usually always enough
Gestational Diabetes treatment:
Proper diet and regular exercise is the key to controlling this diabetes. If that is not enough, then medicines may be prescribed. When even medicines fail to act, then insulin will be prescribed
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is no need to worry! My father has Type 2 diabetes since the last 22 years and he has not taken even a pinch of sugar since then. Guess what, he is doing perfectly fine. You can live a perfectly healthy life provided you exercise regularly and maintain a sugar-less diet. Totally avoid raw sugar in tea, coffee or cereals and try taking Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother everyday, first thing in the morning, mixed with a glass of warm water. This should be enough to lead a healthy and happy life.