Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns or converts food into energy for use in the body. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) that enters your bloodstream. Your body uses insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas, to help glucose enter your cells for use as energy. So today I will be writing about the types, causes, symptoms, diagnoses and more on diabetes, let us dive in straight to it!
When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or does not use insulin the way it should. This causes glucose to build up in your blood. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.
Types of diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means your body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood or adolescence, but it can occur at any age.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Type 2 diabetes is often preventable with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. However, it can also develop in people who are at a healthy weight and have no family history of diabetes.
Causes of diabetes
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disease. In type 2 diabetes, a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet, contribute to the development of the disease.
Symptoms of diabetes
The symptoms of diabetes can vary depending on the type of diabetes and how long you have had it. Some common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
Diagnosis of diabetes
Diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. The most common blood tests used to diagnose diabetes are:
- Fasting blood sugar test: This is done after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher on two separate occasions is diagnostic of diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This test is done after you have fasted for at least 8 hours. You will then drink a liquid that contains glucose. Your blood sugar will be checked at regular intervals over the next 2 hours. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher at 2 hours is diagnostic of diabetes.
Treatment for diabetes
The goal of treatment for diabetes is to manage your blood sugar levels to prevent complications. Treatment for diabetes may include:
- Medications, such as insulin, oral diabetes medications, or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists
- Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly
- Self-monitoring of blood sugar levels
- Regular eye exams, foot exams, and dental exams
Complications of diabetes
If diabetes is not managed well, it can lead to serious health complications, such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Premature death
There is no sure way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but you can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not smoking. You can also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco use.
If you have any concerns about diabetes, please talk to your doctor, do not involve in self medication or drug abuse.