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What is Diabetes?

● Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. In this disorder, body cells stop utilising glucose (sugar) leading to high glucose or sugar levels in the blood.

● The high sugar or glucose level in the blood is called hyperglycaemia.

● The human body breaks down dietary carbohydrates into a simple sugar called glucose for absorption by the body. The glucose molecules are released into the blood and are absorbed by body cells through blood.

● Body cells use glucose for energy and other activities by the use of insulin hormone.

● In diabetes, either body stops making insulin or body cells become resistant to insulin. In both cases, insulin is not used for glucose utilisation leading to high glucose levels in the blood.

● Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that regulates the levels of glucose in the blood.

● As per the latest ADA Guidelines for 2021 blood glucose levels are classified as:

○ Normal- Fasting sugar levels less than 100 mg/ l

○ Pre-Diabetes- Fasting sugar levels between 100 -125 mg/ l

○ Diabetes-  Fasting sugar >= 126 mg/l on two separate tests

● Based on insulin-dependent diabetes can be:

Type 1 diabetes

 Type 2 diabetes 

It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes or early-onset diabetes or juvenile diabetes

It is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes

Caused by a deficiency of insulin in the body

Caused by resistance to insulin by the body cells

Insulin is necessary

Insulin is not necessary but medicines, a healthy diet, lifestyle changes and regular exercise are necessary for maintaining normal sugar levels

 

Children and people below 30 years

Not age-specific anymore but mostly seen in people above 40 years of age

 

● There is one more type of diabetes that is seen during pregnancy called gestational diabetes. This kind of diabetes is seen due to hormone imbalance during pregnancy. In most cases, it goes back to normal after pregnancy.

● Gestational diabetes also requires treatment to keep sugar levels normal. As high sugar levels can lead to deformity in the fetus or miscarriage.

What are the causes of Diabetes?

● Carbohydrates in food are broken down by our body into basic units i.e. glucose, for further absorption by body cells and insulin hormone helps in taking glucose inside the body cells for energy and storage.

● The main cause of diabetes is insulin deficiency or insulin-resistant in the body leading to the state of high glucose levels in the blood.


Type 1 diabetes

● The deficiency of insulin in the body leads to type 1 diabetes. Causes of insulin deficiency:

○ Autoimmune disorder leading to damage of the pancreas

○ Infection of the pancreas leading to dysfunction of the pancreas

○ A congenital defect in the pancreas to produce less or no insulin hormone

○ Family history of type 1 diabetes

● In type 1 diabetes insulin is not produced in the body at all leading to high blood sugar levels.

 

Type 2 diabetes

● When the body cells stop using insulin and become resistant to insulin, it leads to type 2 diabetes. Causes of insulin resistance in the body:

○ Sedentary lifestyle

○ Obesity

○ Family history of type 2 diabetes

○ Extreme mental stress

○ High cholesterol levels

○ Poor eating habits

○ Lack of exercise

● In type 2 diabetes insulin is produced in the body but body cells become resistant to insulin. Body cells stop taking insulin for utilisation of sugar or glucose resulting in hyperglycemia.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes? When Should You See a Diabetes doctor?

● Symptoms of diabetes are popularly known as 3Ps. 3P stands for polyphagia, polyuria and polydipsia.

● Polyphagia: It is a condition when a patient starts eating frequently and still feels hungry. The cause of polyphagia is insufficient glucose absorption from the blood and the body keeps asking for food as hunger signals.

● Polyuria: It is a condition when a patient starts urinating frequently. This is caused by the glucose elimination process of the body. The body tries to eliminate high glucose from blood through urine.

● Polydipsia: It is the condition of excessive thirst and is caused by frequent urination in diabetes. The body tries to hydrate by sending thirst signals.

● Other symptoms are:

○ Fatigue

○ Weight loss

○ Tingling in feet and hands

○ Blurred vision

○ Skin infections

○ High cholesterol levels

○ Irregular menstruation

○ Urinary tract infections

○ Delayed wound healing

○ Abdominal pain

○ Nausea and vomiting

○ Headache

● Visit a diabetic clinic if you are experiencing any above-mentioned symptoms and get your blood tests done. The sooner the better to avoid life-threatening complications.

Are you eligible for Diabetic Treatment?

● As soon as your symptoms and blood tests confirm diabetes or prediabetes, you are eligible for diabetic treatment.

● The sooner diabetes is diagnosed, the easier it is to keep it in control and avoid diabetes complications.

● High sugar levels are dangerous for everyone either child or adult or pregnant woman. High sugar levels must be controlled by taking insulin, medicines, a healthy diet, regular exercise and a stress-free lifestyle.

● Don’t hesitate to visit our diabetic clinic and get your required tests done. According to blood test reports, your age and medical condition, our endocrinologist will counsel you and provide the best-suited treatment plan.

Why maintaining normal blood sugar levels is important for a diabetic patient?

● When high blood sugar levels are constant, they lead to serious and life-threatening complications of diabetes. Maintaining normal sugar levels is the basis of the whole diabetic treatment plan.

● An average normal sugar level is within 140- 160 mg/dl.

● High blood sugar levels or hyperglycaemia leads to:

○ Heart diseases are due to the thickening of blood as the heart has to work more to pump thick glucose laden blood.

○ Recurrent infections of the skin like boils, acne, etc.

○ Infections of the urinary tract are also common in hyperglycaemia.

○ Diabetic nephropathy: it is a kidney disorder caused by hyperglycaemia

○ Diabetic neuropathy: it is due to nerve damage caused by constant high sugar levels in the blood leading to tingling sensations or loss of sensations.

○ Diabetic foot: It is the most common complication of uncontrolled diabetes leading to the amputation or cutting off of the foot in diabetics. Loss of sensations in diabetes along with foot infection results in the diabetic foot. In advanced conditions of foot infection, the foot starts decaying and can spread the infection to other body parts. So, to stop the infection, the foot is amputated.

○ Diabetic ketoacidosis: In this complication due to the inability of the body to use glucose in the blood, the body starts breaking fat stored in the body leading to a large number of ketones in the body. Excess ketones in the body can cause mental confusion, abdominal pain and even death.

○ Diabetic retinopathy: In this complication, hyperglycaemia damages the retina of the eyes leading to blurred vision and loss of eyesight.

○ In pregnancy, hyperglycaemia can lead to foetus deformity, abnormally increased of the baby, chances of diabetes in baby and in worst cases miscarriage. 

Why choose MEDSTAR  for a Diabetic Clinic? The MEDSTAR Advantage

● We at MEDSTAR have a diabetic clinic where we provide:

○ Counselling of the patient

○ Diet and exercise plan

○ Internal Medicine Specialist with a special interest in Diabetes

○ Also, we have a facility for conducting blood tests like fasting, postprandial and random glucose and HbA1c blood tests.

● We also provide treatment options for all diabetes complications like diabetic foot, eye disorders, nerve disorders etc.

● Our doctors at the Diabetic clinic are easy to approach. With the help of their vast experience in endocrinology and medicines, we maintain stress-free and controlled sugar level results for our diabetic patients.

● A result-oriented diabetes treatment plan makes our diabetic clinic one of the best in Dubai.

● We not only treat diabetes but we also encourage and support our patients to live healthy lives by sharing their diabetes-related problems.

● After consulting the doctor, the doctor will ask you for blood tests to confirm the diagnosis

● If blood tests confirm diabetes or prediabetes, don’t lose heart. Our doctor will counsel you and tell you what to do with diabetes.

● The first is to counsel the patient, what is diabetes and its complications are explained to the patient. Also, why maintaining a normal sugar level is necessary is explained to the patient.

● After counselling the medicines or insulin is started according to the type of diabetes.

● A healthy diet plan and regular exercise options with instructions are provided to the patient.

● Mental stress plays a very important role in maintaining normal levels. It can elevate blood sugar levels. The patient is advised to meditate and talk about the diabetic problems with our doctor for solutions to minimise the stress.

● Diabetes is not reversible but maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle helps in delaying the complications up to 20 years and more. Mantra is maintaining regularity in taking medicines, regular exercising, healthy diet and meditating for mental stress.

● After starting diabetic treatment normal blood sugar levels and a better stress-free life is expected for the patient.

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 hyperglycaemia 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 pancreas due to infection or autoimmune disorders
    • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of regular exercise
    • High cholesterol levels
    • Improper diet
    • Stress
    • Family history
    • Obesity 

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 their 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.



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