An Overview Of Diabetes

Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus is a lifelong, chronic condition which impacts the ability of body cells to utilize the energy from sugars found in your blood. There exist 3 main kinds of diabetes: Gestational, Type 1 and Type 2.

All types have some common features. In the normal scenario, the food you eat is broken down into a sugar called as glucose which is a fuel for energy in your cells.But cells need a hormone called as insulin secreted by the pancreas to be able to utilize this fuel. In case of diabetes mellitus, the body fails to produce insulin/ produces not enough insulin/ or is insulin resistant (body cells fail to use insulin).

Since cells fail to use insulin and to accept glucose, levels of sugar in blood rise. Rising amounts of blood sugar can damage small blood cells in the nervous system, eyes, heart and kidneys. This is the reason why diabetes can lead to stroke, coronary heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease. A cure for diabetes is still non-existent.

Type 1 Diabetes

It is referred to as diabetes that is insulin-dependent. This was also called as juvenile- onset diabetes since it can begin from childhood.

This diabetes happens to be an auto-immune condition. The cause is the body attacks its own organ-the pancreas with anti-bodies. Thus, in this case, the body fails to make any insulin. This diabetes might be genetically caused or by wrong beta cells from the pancreas.

This diabetes is associated with several medical risks. Damage to eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), nerves (called as diabetic neuropathy) etc are caused. More dangerous is the risk for stroke and heart disease.

Treatment consists of taking insulin injections regularly for the rest of your life. Insulin is injected to below the skin to the tissues using Insulin Pens/syringes/ Jet injectors / or insulin pumps.

A special test called as A1C blood test monitors glucose levels in blood in the three months previously. Management of Type 1 diabetes involves making substantial lifestyle changes like:

  • Regular testing of blood glucose levels
  • Carefully planned diet
  • Daily exercise
  • Intake of insulin or/and other medication.

Following these, patients can lead active/long lives.

Type 2 Diabetes

It is the more common type making for 95% of cases. It is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes and non-insulin- dependent diabetes. It is milder compared to Type 1. But it can also impact tiny blood vessels, found in eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves. Thus, it can lead to stroke and heart disease.

In this case, the pancreas produces insufficient insulin or body cells do not accept insulin. Insulin resistance occurs in muscle, liver and fat cells. Obesity is a leading cause of this diabetes. There exists no cure but the disease can be managed by exercise, diet and medication.A1C test is conducted a few occasions a year.

Gestational Diabetes

This diabetes is sparked off by pregnancy and occurs during lateor mid pregnancy. Since high levels of blood sugar from mother reach the baby via the placenta, it poses a risk to the development and growth of the baby. The baby runs the risk of breathing problems, large size and developing obesity and type 2 diabetes afterwards in life.

Treatment involves daily exercise, careful diet, controlling weight gain during pregnancy and consuming insulin, if required. Thus,though you cannot expect a cure from diabetes, its symptoms can be managed greatly.


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