Definition of Diabetes:

Diabetes, also termed as Diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease. It is caused by an increased level of glucose or blood sugar in the body. It can be defined as:

The condition of impairment of the body’s ability for processing blood glucose.

The primary source of energy is blood glucose. It can be retrieved from the food we eat. Insulin from the pancreas helps the glucose (from the food we eat) get into our cells instead of storing in blood, to be used for the production of energy inside the cell. Several pathogenic processes are involved in causing Diabetes. These processes include beta-cell demolition, which results in resistance to the action of insulin.

Overview of Diabetes:

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder that is associated with an abnormal increase in sugar or blood glucose level. It was identified initially as a disease with ‘’sweet urine’’. It is considered as a group of ailments. The increased or high level of Glucose results in lowering the effect of the body’s ability for the production of insulin, ultimately leading the increased level of glucose to pass out via urine; hence known to be Sweet urine. If Diabetes is not appropriately managed, it results in the accumulation of sugar in the blood, which give rise to complications such as stroke and cardiovascular diseases. The causes of diabetes are not only due to the sedentary lifestyle or Obesity, but it is also present since childhood.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas, that helps the glucose to be stored inside the cells, thus using it as a source of energy. It promotes the normalisation of the increased levels of glucose by endorsing the uptake of glucose into the cells so that it can be used to produce energy. The patient suffering from diabetes mellitus loses its ability to produce enough insulin or would lose its capability to use insulin well.
The elevated condition of glucose is also known as Hyperglycemia. Increased glucose level may lead to many health problems. It gives rise to microvascular diseases such as retinopathy nephropathy and neuropathy. It may also tend to reduce life expectancy.

What are the types of diabetes?

The World Health Organization gave the first accepted classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Initially, it was defined by the terms as Insulin-Dependent and Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. These terms were not used as the patients were classified based on treatment rather than pathogenesis, then the names, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus were introduced.
Diabetes mellitus can be categorised into the following three categories:

Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is also called Juvenile Diabetes. As per statistics, Type 1 only interprets for 5% to 10% among all the causes of Diabetes. It is an autoimmune condition. It occurs when the pancreas is attacked by the antibodies, causing Beta-cell demolition in the pancreas and the body fails to produce sufficient insulin which may lead to Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Patients become insulin-dependent for their survival to prevent themselves from ketoacidosis, coma, and also death.

Type 1 can be halted with the help of the measures that are listed below:

  • Administration of Insulin
  • Monitoring of blood glucose levels
  • Taking proper meal plans
  • Screening

The complications in Type 1 diabetes mellitus may lead to micro and macrovascular diseases, which may further results in morbidity and mortality associated with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

Type 2 Diabetes:

The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. As per statistics, millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with this type. It occurs when the blood sugar level builds up in your body and body become resistant to insulin. People with Type 2 diabetes are at the ultimate risk of cardiovascular diseases that may include stroke, myocardial infection, if not adequately treated, undiagnosed, or controlled. There is a potential risk of the following illness if Type 2 diabetes left undiagnosed:

  • Loss of sight
  • Leg and foot amputations
  • Kidney failure that may lead to dialysis

The body may lose the ability to produce sufficient insulin, or the cells ignore the produced insulin in Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes insulin resistant. Insulin is essential for producing energy from glucose instead of storing inside the blood.
Glucose is considered as the fuel of the cell, and we get it with the food we consume, when glucose builds up in the blood instead of storing in cells, it may lead to various complications.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational Diabetes has been observed when women are pregnant. It occurs as a high blood sugar level during pregnancy period. Those women are at potential risk of gestational diabetes who are overweight or have a strong family history. It occurs when insulin blocking hormones are produced in the placenta of pregnant women. If gestational diabetes left untreated, it might result in complications to the baby. It may affect the baby as well as the mother, and both are at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes throughout their lives.

Other types of diabetes:

These are less common types of diabetes that may be inherited. It includes cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and monogenic diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

General symptoms:

The symptoms for Diabetes Mellitus include:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Changes in vision
  • Feeling of numbness in hands and feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Wounds or sores that take time to heal
  • Infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme condition of Diabetes may lead to lethargy and death.

Type 1 diabetes:

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes are as follows:

  • Increased hunger
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blur vision
  • Lethargic condition
  • Fatigue

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Tiredness
  • Wounds and sores take time to heal
  • Recurring infection
  • Blur vision
  • Tiredness

Gestational Diabetes:

No specific symptoms for Gestational Diabetes have been notified until yet. Women may experience high blood pressure during pregnancy. Sometimes in rare cases, pregnant women may experience frequent urination and extreme thirst.

What you should Know about Diabetes?

How can we diagnose Diabetes?

It is necessary to perform a diagnosis when the person has shown the typical symptoms of Hyperglycemia.
Following tests are done for the diagnosis of Diabetes:

Blood Test:

Various blood tests are performed to diagnose Diabetes which are as follows:

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test:

This test measures the blood glucose level when the person fasts for at least 8 hours and 2 hours after having any glucose-containing drink.

Urine Analysis:

Urine analysis can be performed to check the high blood glucose levels that excrete out via urine, but the Urine Test alone cannot diagnose Diabetes.

Screening:

Fasting Plasma Glucose test (FPG) is used in the screening procedure. Overweight children and overweight adults are at higher risk for Diabetes. Therefore, screening should be performed among them.

What is the treatment of diabetes?

Diabetes can be treated In two ways:

  • Pharmacological Treatment
  • Nonpharmacological Treatment

Pharmacological Treatment:

The following pharmacological therapies are used for treating Diabetes:

  • Insulin Therapy
  • Metabolic surgery For Type 2 diabetes

Nonpharmacological Treatment:

Nonpharmacological treatments are as follows:

Who Treats Diabetes?

The specialist in endocrinology can treat Diabetes. The Endocrinologist treats the patient with hormonal disturbances. Thus, they manage patients with Diabetes. Patient with the complications may also consult neurologist, nephrologist, gastroenterologist, cardiologist or others respectively.

Lifestyle to prevent Diabetes:

Modest lifestyle should be practised to avoid Diabetes. One should consider the following points to prevent themselves from the complications of Diabetes:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight as per the body mass index (BMI).
  • Avoid being inactive, engage yourself in any physical activity, at least 30-minute moderate-intensity exercise should be practised. Keeping yourself active is useful for controlling your weight.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, omitting the sugar and fat intake in your diet.
  • Quit smoking, as it may tend to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Risk factors associated with diabetes:

The risk factors associated with Diabetes can be controllable that include Obesity and an inactive lifestyle, whereas the uncontrollable risk factors may consist of keen family history.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes are apparent:
Family history is a primary risk factor for Type 1 Diabetes. Diseases of the pancreas can also be the reason for Type 1 Diabetes as it inhibits the production of insulin. Environmental factors may also be the risk factor for Type 1 Diabetes.
Risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Indolent lifestyle
  • Genetic history
  • Insulin resistance
  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Irregular cholesterol levels
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Complications associated with diabetes:

A person may experience Hyperglycemia with increased blood sugar levels. The condition may lead to severe complications that can be loss of sight, cardiovascular diseases or organ failure. Different complications can affect different parts of the body, and it can affect different people in different ways.
A few of the studies show that when a person is suffering from Hyperglycemia, they may encounter problems such as frequent urination and the increased feeling of being thirsty.
When Diabetes Mellitus left undiagnosed or not treated properly, it may lead to some critical issues. Few of the complications associated with Diabetes Mellitus are as  follows:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Oral disease
  • Sight loss
  • Neuropathy or nerve disease
  • Nephropathy or kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Renal disorders

Dependency factors leading to Diabetes:

Following are the dependency factors influencing to Diabetes:
Age:
Diabetes is highly dependent on age, a person with age above 45, is on a high risk of getting Diabetes.
Weight:
An overweight person is highly prone to diabetes.
Genetics:
Type 2 diabetes is based on genetic as well as environmental factors. Numerous gene mutations give rise to higher diabetes risk; the risk of getting Diabetes is increased with genetic factors.
Family History:
Diabetes is highly dependent on family history, i.e. having parent, sister, brother with Type 1 Diabetes increase the chances that you may also suffer from diabetes.
 Lifestyle:
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a vital aspect to prevent the disease. Unhealthy lifestyle is like a golden chance for diabetes to attack.
Inactivity:
People with a sedentary lifestyle are at higher risk of Diabetes. Physical activity results in controlling your weight and allow the blood glucose to be used as a source of energy for cells.
Ethnicity:
Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans are prone to Type 2 diabetes.
Statistics of diabetes:
According to statistics delivered by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of patients who have Diabetes has increased from 108 million to the rise of 422 million in 2014. The prevalence of the disease for the last 18 years has risen from 4.7% to 8.5%. In 2016, it was observed that 1.6 million deaths are caused by Diabetes.
The people in developed countries have Diabetes who are above the age of retirement. In developing countries, the probability of having Diabetes is between the ages of 35 to 64.
The prevalence of Diabetes in European countries is increasing by  10-12%. The primary cause of the increasing trend is associated with Obesity, overweight, and less physical activity.

According to WHO Diabetes Statistics

Diabetes Statistics

FAQs:

Question 1

What is prediabetes?
Answer: Prediabetes is explained as the condition when the level of blood glucose is higher than the standard limit, but it is not too high to characterize as Diabetes.

Question 2

What are the medications for Diabetes?
Answer: Insulin can be used as a medicine to treat diabetes, but there are few more medicines like metformin, an SGLT2 inhibitor, or GLP-1 receptors antagonists.

Question 3

What is Gestational Diabetes?
Answer: Gestational Diabetes occurs during the period of pregnancy. During this period, Placenta produces insulin breaking hormones, which may lead to gestational diabetes.

Question 4

What is the significant difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
Answer: In Type 1 Diabetes, the patient is incapable of producing insulin, whereas, in Type 2 Diabetes, the body doesn’t respond to insulin or does not provide sufficient insulin.

Question 5

Is Type 2 diabetes curable?
Answer: There is no cure present for Type 2 diabetes, but with specific medications, following the proper diet plan and weight loss may help in controlling the blood sugar levels.

Question 6

How can we diagnose Diabetes Mellitus?
Answer: Diabetes Mellitus can be diagnosed with the help of below-listed tests:

  • Analysis of Urine
  • Blood Test
  • Screening
Question 7

What causes Diabetes?
Answer: It is a disease when the body is incapable of using blood glucose appropriately. The leading cause of this malfunction is unknown, but people with strong family history, Obesity, and higher cholesterol levels are at peak risk.

Question 8

Is stress, a factor of Diabetes?
Answer: Stress can be a factor of Diabetes as it is involved in triggering the symptoms of Diabetes and lead to cause unexpected changes in the blood glucose levels.

Question 9

How is the brain affected by Diabetes?
Answer: Diabetes results in damaging the blood vessels and also damage the blood vessels present in the brain, which results in vascular dementia.

Question 10

Is anger a cause of Diabetes?
Answer: Anger is not a cause of Diabetes, but it may tend to increase the risk of Diabetes. People with anger, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional problems are linked with the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Question 11

: Does Diabetes decrease life expectancy?
Answer: Yes, Diabetes decreases life expectancy.

Question 12

Why insulin is needed?
Answer: Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and it is required to prevent blood glucose levels from getting too high that is Hyperglycemia, or too low that is hypoglycemia, thus needed to maintain blood glucose levels.

Question 13

What is the fuel of the cells?
Answer: Glucose is the fuel of the cells.

Question 14

: Who has a higher risk of Diabetes?
Answer: Women above the age of 25 are at higher risk of getting Diabetes.

Question 15

How does anyone know if he/she has Diabetes?
Answer: It is not possible to know if one has Diabetes or not until or unless he undergoes the blood test to determine the blood glucose levels.

Question 16

Which type of Diabetes is hereditary?
Answer: Type 2 diabetes is a hereditary disease.

Question 17

What are the early symptoms of Diabetes?
Answer: Few early symptoms of Diabetes are as follows:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Blurry vision
  • Increases thirst and hunger
  • Tingling sensations