Diabetes is a common disease that usually occurs when the glucose or sugar level in the blood shoots up. Glucose is the source of energy that our body derives from the food we consume. The food that we consume is broken up to make glucose and that is in turn used as energy. The glucose in turn is used by the body cells with the help of a hormone secreted by pancreas called Insulin.
With the passage of time we end up consuming more glucose and that triggers health problems. The Insulin creation starts to decrease or is not adequate to absorb all the glucose produced. This triggers a series of health-related issues. It is unfortunate that diabetes as such does not have any cure. However, there are steps that one can take in order to manage one sugar level and stay healthy.
Our body is made of millions of cells and we strive for energy. In order to make the energy, whatever we eat or drink is broken down in order to derive simple sugar from the same called glucose. The body needs to consume glucose in order to get energy to conduct our daily activities. The blood vessels act as a pathway for the extracted sugar to be transported to various parts of the body. The sugar starts to travel from the stomach where it is consumed or liver where it is manufactured and it is taken to the muscles where it is used and stored as fat.
However, the catch is that the sugar cannot travel all by itself. In such cases the pancreas comes to the rescue by generating insulin into the blood. This acts like an enactor and aids in taking the sugar all over to all the cells of the body so that they can use it as energy. Once the sugar starts getting absorbed by the cells the level of blood sugar in the body starts to lower. Now, on the other hand if the body does not have enough insulin to absorb the sugar then the body does not get adequate energy to use. Also, the level of sugar in the body starts to rise triggering a condition called high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. This is commonly known as diabetes.
Common types of Diabetes
There are mainly 3 types of diabetes that are found in patients. These are known as Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
When the level of insulin produced by the body starts to decrease, we call it type 1 diabetes. This is mainly due to the fact that the cells in the pancreas that actually produces insulin are destroyed and weakened. This kind of diabetes is generally found in kids and young adults though it can affect any one. Generally, in such cases doctors advise the patients to take insulin on a daily basis so that the required level of insulin by the body is maintained.
Research points out that life expectancy of Type 1 Diabetes is 66 years as compared to those who do not suffer from this ailment and live up to 77 years of age.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
This is another common kind of diabetes. In this either your body is not making insulin as per the quantity required or it is not being able to utilize the insulin made in a proper format. This kind of diabetes can be seen in people across all age groups. However, it is seen that middle and aged people generally suffer from this kind of diabetes. This is also one of the most common kinds of diabetes. This kind of diabetes is usually seen amongst people who are 45 years of age and more. Most of the people who have diabetes type 2 ailments are overweight and have other family members who are suffering from this ailment. It is often triggered due to sedentary lifestyle, in activeness, high blood pressure and so on.
Research shows that type 2 diabetes life expectancy comes down by 10 odd years. Naturally, the exact nature depends on the intensity of the status and what is the exact condition of the patient.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
This is another kind of diabetes that is common amongst pregnant woman. Generally, it is termed as gestational as once the child is born the diabetes disappears. However, one needs to be careful in case of gestational diabetes as it might get converted to type 2 diabetes in future. Also, many a times the patient has type 2 diabetes which is mistaken as gestational as it was not diagnosed earlier and now currently she is expecting. Needless to say, this is only seen in women.
There are also some not so common type of diabetes like the monogenic diabetes, diabetes triggered by hereditary and diabetes linked to cystic fibrosis.
Here are some types of not so common diabetes
Secondary Diabetes: This is a not so common kind of diabetes that is triggered due to some other medical condition. This is mainly due to the fact the tissues and cells in the pancreas which is responsible for manufacturing insulin gets damaged and destroyed due to other ailments in the body. A classic example of this case is chronic pancreatitis that is caused due to alcoholism where due to excessive drinking the pancreas cells are destroyed.
Hormonal Imbalance: It is also seen that often diabetes is triggered by hormonal imbalance in body. Many a times the hormone level in the body increases by manifold. This condition is often referred to as the Cushing’s syndrome. Under this syndrome adrenal glands produce extra cortisol that elevates the blood sugar level.
Triggered by other medications: This is known as unmasked or latent diabetes. There are many medications that trigger increase in blood sugar level in the body. This is often caused by steroids and medicines used to control Aids.
This is a kind of ailment where the body is inhibited to use the energy derived from the food we eat. This is mainly triggered due to one of the following:
- The amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is lower than the required level or the body stops manufacturing insulin all together. Pancreas is actually an organ behind the stomach that produces a hormone known as insulin. The beta cells in the organ aid the body to use the energy we derive from the food we eat
- The insulin produced by the pancreas is not functioning in the proper manner. This can largely be due to a condition known as insulin intolerance or resistance.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
The first indication of Type 1 diabetes is experiencing extreme dehydration and tiredness. These are a few common symptoms of this kind of diabetes that one should simply not ignored.
- Frequent urge to pass urine
- Unable to hold urine leading to bed wetting
- Always feeling hungry
- Sudden loss of weight
- Constantly feeling thirsty.
- Experiencing mood changes
- Blurred vision
- Always feeling irritated.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.
One of the major tell-tale symptom of this kind of diabetes is sudden weight loss and constant headache. Keep an eye on the following symptoms and if you suffer from them then do check with a doctor for diagnosis.
- Feeling hungry even after having food
- Dry sensation in mouth
- No control on urinary bladder
- Constant head ache
- Always feeling thirsty
- Feeling tired and fatigued.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
Here are a few symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus that are different from the one’s mentioned above
- Numbness in feet
- Tingling sensation in fingers
- Unable to see things clearly.
- Drying of skin
What kind of health issues are triggered by Diabetes?
Diabetes as an ailment can never be completely cured. It often leads to ailments like
- Ailments in heart
- Problem in eye sight
- Kidney related issues
- Nerve related issues
- Weakening of teeth
- Foot related issues.
- Organs of the body starts to get impacted
- And so on.
What are the common signs of diabetes?
Here are a few common symptoms of signs of diabetes that are generally associated with increase in blood sugar level in body.
- Feeling excessively dehydrated and thirsty. The body craves for water consumption.
- Excessive weight loss due to deficiency in sugar level.
- Though the body starts to lose weight, there is an increase in hunger pangs
- Excessive nausea and vomiting
- Constantly exposed to infections like vaginal infection, urine infection and skin infection.
- Frequent fluctuation in blood sugar level.
- Blurred vision
- Dip in energy level
- It can also induce coma.
Risk factors associated with Type 1 Diabetes:
Here are a few common risk factors associated with Type 1 Diabetes
Hereditary: It often becomes hereditary as people around you in the family are exposed to the risk of suffering from this ailment.
Genetics: A few genes are known to trigger the risk of being exposed to this kind of diabetes.
Geography: Studies show that people who are further from the equator are more prone to suffer from it.
Age : It is seen that people aged between 4 to 7 years of age and again between 10 to 14 years suffer the most from it.
Risk factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes
Though it is the most common kind of diabetes, the sad part is that everyone is aware of the exact reason that causes this ailment. Here are a few common factors that might increase the propensity of this ailment.
Being Overweight: It has been seen that obesity has a direct link with type 2 diabetes. Due to fat in the body the tissues start to accumulate fat as a result it stops absorbing insulin.
Fatty lower part of the body: It is seen that if the fat distribution in your body is concentrated to your lower part of the body, then you are prone to this kind of ailment.
Sedentary Lifestyle: If you are lazy and in active then you are prone to succumb to this kind of ailment.
Age Group: Type 2 is predominantly seen in middle and upper age group patients.
Diabetes is a horrible ailment. As it does not have a cure one infected with this always needs to be cautious. Even if it is a borderline case still one need to be extra careful and needs to monitor their sugar level completely.