Medical Info

Are you diabetic ?

Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

There are three major types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

All types of diabetes mellitus have something in common. Normally, your body breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates you eat into a special sugar called glucose. Glucose fuels the cells in your body. But the cells need insulin, a hormone, in your bloodstream in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy. With diabetes mellitus, either your body doesn't make enough insulin, it can't use the insulin it does produce, or a combination of both.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented(genetic defect); however, type 2 diabetes may be prevented in some cases by maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES

>increased urine output

>excessive thirst

>weight loss

>hunger

>fatigue

>skin problems

>slow healing wounds

>yeast infections

>blurred vision

>tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.

Diabetes is diagnosed by blood sugar (glucose) .

Test include :-

Fasting blood glucose (sugar) test-person must fast overnight (at least 8 hours), a single sample of blood is drawn and sent for analysis.

Random blood glucose test-can be taken randomly without prior fasting.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)-the person fasts overnight (at least eight but not more than 16 hours). First, the fasting plasma glucose is tested after this test, the person receives an oral dose (75 grams) of glucose andsamples are collected.

HBA1c - this gives us an idea of how much sugar is present in the bloodstream for the preceding three months.

 

RISK FACTORS FOR DIABETES

Being obese or overweight

High blood pressure

Elevated levels of triglycerides and low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL)

Sedentary lifestyle

Family history

Increasing age

Insulin resistance

Gestational diabetes during a pregnancy

Type 1 Diabetes( insulin-dependent diabetes, or juvenile onset diabetes)

Type 1 diabetes tends to occur in young, lean individuals, usually before 30 years of age; however, older patients do present with this form of diabetes on occasion.Various factors may contribute including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. In type 1 body produce very low amount of insulin or no insulin at all.

Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet involves taking insulin, which needs to be injected through the skin into the fatty tissue below. The methods of injecting insulin include Syringes , Insulin pens ,  Jet injectors ,  Insulin pumps .

Oral medications are not effective in type 1 diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes (adult onset or non insulin- dependent)

While it is said that type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in individuals over 30 years old and the incidence increases with age, an alarming number of patients with type 2 diabetes are barely in their teen years. Most of these cases are a direct result of poor eating habits, higher body weight, and lack of exercise.With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces some insulin. But either the amount produced is not enough for the body's needs, or the body's cells are resistant to it.

Type 2 diabetes is first treated with weight reduction, diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugars, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, insulin and other injectable medications are considered.

By far, the most common form of diabetes is type 2 , accounting for 95% of diabetes cases in adults. Studies states that   20 % in Qatar, Saudi Arabia 24% ,  23% in Kuwait, 22% in Bahrain, and 19 % in the United Arab Emirates is affected by the disease . Global estimates have shown that the Middle East, as a whole, is ranked second in the world, among WHO regions, for the prevalence of diabetes, with an average prevalence of 9.3% .India is the “Diabetes Capital of the World” with over 60 million diabetics in the country, that is projected to at least double by 2030.

Type 2 diabetes is often a milder form of diabetes than type 1. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes can still cause major health complications and also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

People who are obese more than 20% over their ideal body weight for their heightare at particularly high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its related medical problems. Obese people have insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the pancreas has to work overly hard to produce more insulin.  Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes tends to progress, and diabetes medications are often needed.

Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes that's triggered by pregnancy is called gestational diabetes (pregnancy, to some degree, leads to insulin resistance). It is often diagnosed in middle or late pregnancy. Because high blood sugar levels in a mother are circulated through the placenta to the baby, gestational diabetes must be controlled to protect the baby's growth and development.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the reported rate of gestational diabetes is between 2% to 10% of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes usually resolves itself after pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes does, however, put mothers at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Up to 10% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes. It can occur anywhere from a few weeks after delivery to months or years later

>Treatment during pregnancy includes working closely with your health care team

>Careful meal planning to ensure adequate pregnancy nutrients without excess fat and calories

>Daily exercise

>Controlling pregnancy weight gain

>Taking diabetes insulin to control blood sugar levels if needed

Complications of Diabetes

Diabetes accelerates hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) of the larger blood vessels, leading to-

>Coronary heart disease (angina or heart attack)

>Strokes

>Pain in the lower extremities because of lack of blood supply (claudication).

>Eye Complications-  major eye complication of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy ;occurs in patients who have had diabetes for at least five years.

>Cataracts and glaucoma are also more common among diabetics.

>Kidney damage from diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy

>Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy and is also caused by disease of small blood vessels.Symptomsinclude numbness, burning, and aching of the feet .

>Diabetic nerve damage can affect the nerves that are important for penile erection, causing erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence).

>Diabetic neuropathy can also affect nerves to the stomach and intestines, causing nausea, weight loss, diarrhea.

CAUTION

When the nerve disease causes a complete loss of sensation in the feet, patients may not be aware of injuries to the feet, and fail to properly protect them. Shoes or other protection should be worn as much as possible. Seemingly minor skin injuries should be attended to promptly to avoid serious infections. Because of poor blood circulation, diabetic foot injuries may not heal. Sometimes, minor foot injuries can lead to serious infection, ulcers, and even gangrene, necessitating surgical amputation of toes, feet, and other infected parts.

If you think you have diabetes contact a health-care professional.Many cases go untreated as patient is unaware,a condition called pre diabetes. If you have a family history of diabetes, having sedentary lifestyle(desk job),overweight, age >30 years or any symptoms mentioned above do not hesitate to screen yourself.Find the nearest lab and give your blood samples.You can even consult a doctor to rule out diabetes.

Prevention is better than cure. Begin healthy food habits, active lifestyle ,mild to moderate exercise helps to add more diabetic free years and for those are diabetic it helps to keep diabetes related complications at good control.