What is Diabetes, How to Manage Their Conditions Better
Diabetes is known by the name of diabetes mellitus in the medical circles. People suffering from this disease tend to have high levels of blood glucose or blood sugar. This mostly happens because the natural production of the insulin by the body becomes inadequate. It can also happen if the cells in the body stop responding properly to the insulin.
Managing the blood sugar levels in the body is very important. The effects of diabetes on the body are really bad and if left unchecked for a long time, it can even prove to be fatal.
Some of the most common effects of diabetes observed in patients are as follows:
- It can lead to heart diseases and blood vessel diseases. As a result of this, the patient can have a heart attack or stroke. It can also cause damage to the blood or nerve vessels, leading to amputation.
- Many eye problems can occur, including glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and in some cases complete loss of vision.
- Diabetes affects the kidney as well. The patients can experience kidney failure due to this disease.
- Peripheral diabetic neuropathy, causing pain and burning sensation in the feet, is a nerve problem which diabetic patients may suffer from.
- Another common nerve problem caused due to diabetes is autonomic neuropathy. Nerves controlling the internal organs get damaged.
- Diabetes is also a big reason for many gum diseases.
To be able to deal with the problem of diabetes, the first thing that one needs to do is know that they have diabetes. There are tests present, which one should get done on a regular basis to make sure that they have not developed this problem.
The test for diabetes measures the blood sugar levels of a person both fasting and non fasting. If the levels exceed the prescribed limits, the person would be called a diabetic. The prescribed levels for blood sugar are as follows:
Fasting: Plasma Glucose level higher than or equal to 126 mg/dL would be considered diabetic.
Random Sugar: Should not be greater than 200 mg/dL
Instead of relying on a single test reading, most of the doctors generally prefer to get readings from at least two fasting sugar levels, and only if both these exceed the prescribed limits, would they declare the person a diabetic and start the treatment for the same.
Not everyone suffering from diabetes has the same problem and hence before you start with the treatment for this disease, you need to first figure out the kind of diabetic you are. There are mainly three types of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
In this case, the blood sugar levels rise since the body stops producing insulin. It is also called the onset diabetes, and generally occurs in people in their teenage or early adulthood years, but before turning 40. It is not a very common type of diabetes, and only about 10% of the diabetes cases fall in this category. People suffering from this type of diabetes would have to take insulin injections for the rest of their life. Regular monitoring of their blood sugar levels, almost on a daily basis is also required to be done by these patients. These people need to follow very strict dietary rules.
Type 2 Diabetes
In this case, the quantity of insulin produced by the body is not enough, or the blood cells in the body do not react to the insulin in the required manner. Some patients may face a combination of both these problems. Almost 90% of the people suffering from diabetes fall under this category. Controlling this sort of diabetes is more about making appropriate lifestyle changes, and only in some serious cases, regular medication or insulin injections may be required. Some of the steps that a person can take to control Type 2 diabetes are as follows:
- Weight management. Losing weight can go a long way in controlling this sort of diabetes.
- Increase in physical activity. Regular exercising or walking should become a part of the daily routine of the patient.
- Healthy Diet. Understanding the foods that will help in reducing and controlling the blood sugar levels, and including them in the diet to replace the foods that will increase the blood sugar levels helps in controlling type 2 diabetes.
- Regular Monitoring. The blood sugar levels need to checked on a regular basis, and if fluctuations are noted, contact the doctor immediately.
Type 2 diabetes is progressive in nature, and therefore if left unattended, it would gradually increase and lead to a stage where taking insulin injections daily would become necessary. People with bad eating habits, lazy lifestyles and overweight people are at a greater risk of falling victims to type 2 diabetes. Age also plays a big role in developing this condition. Men who suffer from low testosterone levels can also become easy preys to this disease.
This type of diabetes affects pregnant women. It can be detected only during pregnancy. Through exercise and diet control, gestational diabetes can be easily controlled. It is only in 10 to 20% females that medication may be required for controlling blood glucose. If not controlled, gestational diabetes can cause complications during childbirth, and affect the health and development of the baby as well.