Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, the origins of which are metabolic disorders, where the body cells stop utilizing glucose leading to high glucose and sugar levels. High sugar levels in the blood are called hyperglycaemia. Body cells use glucose for energy by using insulin hormones. In diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin.
Diabetes can be
- Type 1 diabetes, caused by a deficiency of insulin due to autoimmune disorders, infection of the pancreas or family history.
- Type 2 diabetes, caused by resistance to insulin due to obesity, family history, stress and anxiety, high cholesterol levels and lack of exercise.
- Polyphagia – a patient eats frequently but still feels hungry
- Polyuria – a patient urinates frequently
- Polydipsia – a patient has excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Tingling sensation on feet and hands
- Delayed wound healing
- Persistent headache
- High cholesterol levels
- The doctor will conduct blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
- In a prediabetic state, doctor will counsel about lifestyle changes and diet restrictions.
- In the diabetic state, medicines or insulin are started.
- The patient needs to follow the diet plan and undertake the recommended exercises.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder of abnormally high sugar or glucose levels in the blood. High sugar levels in the blood are called hyperglycemia and are caused by the deficiency of insulin hormone or the inability of the body to use insulin hormone. Medications, proper diet, and exercise are a must for maintaining normal sugar levels in diabetes.
What causes diabetes?
- It is caused by insulin deficiency in type 1 diabetes and the inability of the body to use insulin in type 2 diabetes. In gestational diabetes in pregnancy, it is caused by an imbalance in insulin hormone.
- Insulin hormone deficiency and insulin resistance are caused by:
- Damage to the pancreas due to infection or autoimmune disorders
- Sedentary lifestyle and lack of regular exercise
- High cholesterol levels
- Improper diet
- Family history
Is insulin necessary?
Depending on the type of diabetes, insulin is prescribed. Most type 1 diabetic patients can be treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by oral medicines, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. Do not start or stop diabetes medications or insulin without consulting the doctor. Only the doctor can determine the type of medications and the dose according to the medical health of the patient.
Is diabetes reversible?
No, diabetes is not reversible. It is a lifelong medical condition of metabolism, but normal blood sugar levels can be maintained by medicines and changing the lifestyle. Simple but regular efforts are needed for it. In some cases of type 2 diabetes, early diagnosis and treatment might help in reversing diabetes.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that helps body cells to use the glucose present in the blood. This glucose is used by cells for energy and other cellular activities. Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreas and helps in regulating the glucose levels in the blood. In diabetes either insulin is not produced by the pancreas or the body stop using insulin resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Is diabetes age-related?
Initially, diabetes was considered an age-related disorder. Type 1 diabetes was mostly seen in children or people below 30 years of age and type 2 diabetes was mostly seen in people above 45 years of age.
But due to a sedentary lifestyle, anyone, regardless of age and gender can be a diabetic. Type 2 diabetes is now affecting the younger population equally.
Can mental stress affect my sugar levels in diabetes?
Yes, mental stress affects the sugar levels in diabetes. Mental stress can lead to high sugar levels irrespective of medicines and exercise. That’s why at MEDSTAR, we help, support, treat and encourage diabetic patients to improve the quality of their physical and mental health.
What tests confirm diabetes?
After consultation, blood tests are required to confirm diabetes. Blood glucose level tests both fasting & postprandial tests, are required to confirm diabetes and HbA1c is required to check the average glucose level for the last 3 months. These tests not only help in confirming diabetes but also help in monitoring the sugar levels regularly.