Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body can’t take up glucose into its cells and use it up for energy. This leads to accumulation of extra glucose into the bloodstream. Diabetes mismanagement can result in serious consequences, damaging a wide range of body organs including the kidneys, heart, nerves, and eyes.
Following are the different types of diabetes:
Factors increasing your risk of developing diabetes depend on the type of diabetes you end up developing.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
Regardless of the type of diabetes, the main cause of diabetes is the circulation of too much glucose in the bloodstream. However, the reason for your high blood glucose levels differ depending on the type of diabetes
The main symptoms of diabetes include weak, tired feeling, increased thirst, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts or sores, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, dry mouth, and frequent unexplained infections.
Other symptoms of diabetes include:
If the blood glucose level continues to stay high over long time periods, the organs and tissues of the body can undergo serious damage. Over time, some complications can be life-threatening.
The complications of diabetes include:
Following are the possible complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:
Diabetes is usually diagnosed by checking the level of glucose in a blood sample. Three tests are usually used to measure the blood glucose levels - Hb1ac test, fasting glucose test, and random glucose test.
If you present with risk factors or symptoms for diabetes, you should undergo testing. The earlier a diagnosis of diabetes is established, the earlier management can be started and complications can be prevented or lessened. If you are found to have prediabetes on a blood test, your healthcare provider will work with you to formulate a lifestyle changes plan which include exercise, healthy diet, and weight loss. This will help prevent development of Type 2 diabetes or progression to severe complications if you already have the disease.
Additional specific testing advice based on risk factors:
In recent years, India has seen a rapid increase in number of diabetes cases. In fact, India houses the second largest number of diabetic people in the world. A healthy diet and lifestyle could help people control type 2 diabetes and other aspects related to their health.
To help people keep blood glucose under control and within a normal range, it is recommended to engage in weight management, eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and reduce stress. Medications may be recommended if dietary and lifestyle changes do not help reach and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, if someone is diagnosed with diabetes and their blood sugar is only mildly elevated, taking medications might not be necessary.
Following healthy lifestyle changes may help decrease blood sugar levels:
People who are overweight or obese should aim for weight loss as it is a measure toward reducing blood glucose from the diabetic to the non-diabetic range. Two ways to manage weight are eating a healthy, balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise. Consuming fewer calories than the body uses for activities and physiological processes is crucial to controlling weight loss.
Experts recommend quitting smoking to help control blood sugar for several reasons. Smokers have a 30–40% higher risk of getting diabetes than nonsmokers. Smoking also makes it harder to exercise. Smoking increases blood glucose levels temporarily, which poses an additional challenge in maintaining non-diabetic blood sugar levels. This enhances the risks of a person developing complications of diabetes, such as kidney and nerve damage.
Research conducted in 2019 suggested that although stress does not lead to type 2 diabetes, it can worsen it. Stress triggers hormone release, and those hormones interfere with the blood glucose regulation of the body. It also impels a person to engage in activities that make it harder to control blood sugar, such as overeating and smoking. A way to decrease stress involves taking a break from electronics and spending more time in nature.
It is important to check your blood glucose levels periodically as the results help doctors determine a lifestyle and treatment plan. You can also plan what to eat and how much physical activity to perform.
The easiest way to check blood glucose levels is by using a blood glucose metre. During this test, the side of the finger is pricked, a drop of blood is taken on a test strip, the strip with the blood sample is inserted into the metre, and the metre shows up the glucose level instantly. How often you need to check your blood glucose level will be conveyed by your healthcare provider.
Having a blood glucose level lower than normal is called hypoglycaemia. This means that your body requires more sugar to perform its function normally at that time. If you have hypoglycemia, you might present with symptoms like shaking or weakness, sweating or moist skin, dizziness, fast heartbeat, confusion, sudden hunger, pale skin, nervousness and irritability, numbness in the tongue or mouth, unsteadiness, blurred vision, nightmares, bad dreams, and restless sleep, headaches, and seizures. If the hypoglycaemia is not managed properly, you may even pass out.
If your blood contains an excess amount of glucose, you are said to be hyperglycaemic. This condition also gives rise to many complications, the most prominent of which is metabolic syndrome.
Although some risk factors for diabetes such as race and family history can’t be changed, other risk factors like obesity and sedentary lifestyle can be managed to an extent. Adopting the healthy lifestyle suggestions given below can help modify these risk factors and help reduce your risk of developing diabetes:
If you think you might have symptoms suggesting prediabetes, talk to your healthcare provider.
No, diabetes type 1 can’t be prevented. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that your body attacks its own cells. The exact cause behind this is not known. Other factors like genetic changes may also be involved.
Chronic complications of diabetes are responsible for most illnesses and mortality cases associated with diabetes. Chronic complications generally occur after several years of hyperglycaemia. As Diabetes type 2 patients may have increased blood sugar levels for several years before diagnosis, these patients may have signs suggesting complications at the time of diagnosis.
Although the complications of diabetes can be wide, there are many fundamental principles of prevention that most complications share. These include:
There is not much you can do to prevent getting diabetes, but if you experience symptoms of diabetes, you must talk to a healthcare provider. The earlier your diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner you can take steps to manage it. The better you can manage your blood sugar level, the more likely you are to live a healthy and fulfilled life.
The staff at the Diabetic Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore provides skilled diagnosis and tailored individual treatment plans to patients with pulmonary hypertension. Consult the best diabetologists in Indore at our hospital. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore houses the best doctors for diabetes treatment in Indore, with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating different types of diabetes and their complications.