Diabetes: The modern world’s common deadly disease
The word diabetes has become very common these days, so common that we usually find at least one or more relatives who have diabetes in our family or extended family. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an acute disease. No, Diabetes is a serious chronic illness.
In medical science, diabetes is referred to as diabetes mellitus (dm) which is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person affected has high sugar levels or high blood glucose.
Food provides us energy. This energy may be in the form of glucose. Insulin is a hormone required for absorption of glucose. People whose body can’t produce insulin or whose body cannot produce enough insulin are prey to diabetes.
There are certain unknown causes of diabetes while the known ones include obesity and a family history of diabetes. Early signs and symptoms of diabetes include increased amounts of urine passage, excessive thirst, pain in limbs and others which are discussed in the later in this post.
While diabetic patients need medication to remain healthy, major effective results are seen in patients following a healthy diet and a regular exercise pattern along with their medicines.
TYPES OF DIABETES
Many people are unaware of the types of diabetes. Yes, you read that right. Diabetes also has types which include Type 1 dm and Type 2 dm and Gestational dm. Of these three types of diabetes, Type 2 hits the majority.
TYPE 1 Diabetes Mellitus
This is a type of diabetes where the pancreas is not able to produce insulin hormone. The patients have to depend on insulin injections throughout their life for a healthy functioning of the body. This is also referred to as “juvenile diabetes”. However, only a few number of people from the population in the world suffers from this type of diabetes. The cause of this particular type is unknown to medical science.
TYPE 2 Diabetes Mellitus
This is the most common type of diabetes. In type 2 dm the body cells become insulin resistant i.e they fail to react to the insulin being produced in the body. Patients suffering from this type are kept on medications and are generally advised to follow a healthy lifestyle. They are generally asked to cut down on their sugar and fat intake as obesity is the major cause of this type of diabetes. This is also referred to as ” adult-onset diabetes “.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Gestational diabetes is common in pregnant women. This happens generally due to increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy. However, this can be cured with an effective diet. Only a few need to under go medication for its treatment. The prominent effect is that it raises the complications at the time of the childbirth.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES
We mention below a few signs and symptoms that may help you catch the onset of diabetes. If you think you experience these, it maybe time to go to a doctor and get yourself checked for diabetes.
Passage of excess of urine
This is also termed as “polyuria” and is the most common and easily notable symptom. This is excess of urine development in the body. An individual feels more urge to urinate than normal. This is because the body needs to get rid of the glucose being formed in the body that is not being absorbed by insulin.
This is often called as “polydipsia”. Frequent visits to the washroom also leads to a thirsty mouth. It is tied up to the rising blood sugar levels in the blood. An individual is not satisfied with drinking water and a continuous dryness of the throat is observed.
People tend to experience hands, hands, legs and forefingers. Also many feel numbness in limbs.
Smoking and drinking
People who drink and smoke in excessive amounts are at a higher risk of catching diabetes. There chances of being prey to diabetes increases by 40%.
These include increased hunger levels or polyphagia , delayed healing of wounds and cuts, blurred vision, continuous tiredness and fatigue, itching in genetic parts, accumulation of ants on urine etc.
There is also a condition termed as PREDIABETES which is a precursor of diabetes wherein the blood sugar levels are abnormally high. This is a clinical sign of patient developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This is observed due to rising obesity, cholesterol and hypertension.
COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH DIABETES
Though diabetes itself doesn’t pose any threat to you directy, it affects the functioning of the human body. All forms of diabetes increase the risk of long term complications. The adverse effects can be seen in people who have been diabetic for some 7-10 years.
Major complications include
Nerve damage is readily observed which is accompanied by numbness, tingling and sensation in the body part for short intervals though. Diabetes marks the increased risks of cardiovascular diseases.
- Blood vessels are damaged which generally affect sect the kidneys, eyes and nerves.
- Blurred vision may be experienced due to the weakening of the retinal nerves which when increased may lead to blindness as well.
- Damage to kidney leads to urine protein loss and tissue scaring which may require dialysis or kidney transplant.
- There is also an increased risk of strokes, paralysis and frequent occurrence of infections.
- Foot infections are common thus proper care of feet is important. Proper drying of spaces between fingers is crucial.
- Also, 10% of diabetic patients suffer from depression due to suffering from the diseases, limitations on food and diets and consumption of medicines.
To diagnose diabetes one need to get a Blood Test and a Urine Test done.
- Fasting blood test – The person needs to be on an empty stomach for nearly 12 hours before getting this test done. Ideally the results should be between 65 – 100 mg/dl . If the results are more than 120 mg/dl the person is called diabetic.
- After fasting blood test -After consumption of breakfast, nearly two hours later to it the person is asked to get the test done . However if the results fall under 100-140 mg/dl than the person is healthy but if the results are nearing 180mg/dl the individual is considered diabetic.
- Glucose Tolerance Test- This is similar to the above two test. The fasting test is done first and instead of breakfast the individual is provided with 75-100 gm of glucose mixed with water and the test after fasting is done.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
There is no ultimate cure to diabetes. However, it can be kept under control by making certain moderations in your diet pattern and with physical activity.
- A diabetic patient must consume food which does not lead to obesity. A diet low in carbohydrates and fats should be consumed. Vegetables like green leafy vegetables constituting radish, cauliflower, fenugreek leaves(methi), spinach, coriander and mint, mustard should be consumed as they contain only 3-5% carbohydrates and 0.1 -2% fats. Potato, peas, sweet potato, colocasia (
- Vegetables like green leafy vegetables constituting radish, cauliflower, fenugreek leaves(methi), spinach, coriander and mint, mustard should be consumed as they contain only 3-5% carbohydrates and 0.1 -2% fats. Potato, peas, sweet potato, colocasia (
- Potato, peas, sweet potato, colocasia (arvi) should be avoided as they contain nearly 15-30% carbohydrates. Also, sweet fruits like mango, grapes and banana should be reduced. Consumption of citrus fruits can be done followed
- Consumption of citrus fruits can be done followed by guava and strawberries. Meat products especially liver parts should be avoided. Sugar and its supplements are also a big no. Consumption of refined flour, rice, butter, ghee should be reduced to a minimum.
- Regular walks, running and exercise will help individuals in controlling their weight which in turn helps to keep diabetes under control. Also, yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, swimming helps to stay active and fight diabetes.
- Also, yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, swimming helps to stay active and fight diabetes.
- Cycling is considered to be the best exercise for the patients. Nearly 20-25 minutes of exercise is a must.
- Diabetes Prashanotri by Dr Ashok Jhingan, Published in 2006.
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Proofread and Edited by Samara Vivian.