What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that is diagnosed when your blood sugar also called blood glucose is too high. Glucose is the main source of energy for our body. Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that occurs when the body is not able to convert glucose into energy. The two main types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2.
Who is at Risk of Getting Diabetes?
A number of risk factors are involved in developing diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is less common than Type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for developing Type 1 diabetes include:
- Type 1 diabetes is usually seen in children and adults.
- The risk of developing type 1 diabetes is high if there is any family history of diabetes.
- Infections, ill health which damages the pancreas can develop Type 1 diabetes.
Risks Factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include:
- Obesity / Overweight
- Family History
- Unhealthy Diet
- High Blood Pressure
- Improper Lifestyle
- Pregnant Women who are overweight or has high level of glucose. Its also known as Gestational Diabetes.
What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
You should consider going in for diabetes test if you feel more of these symptoms:
- Gaining Weight: A diabetic patient might face rapid increase in weight. If you face this along with any of the below symptoms, please consider checking yourself for diabetes.
- Frequent Urination: A diabetic patient might feel an urge to go for urination frequently.
- Hunger and Thirst
- Excess Weight Loss: Contradictory to weight gain, some diabetic patient might face weight loss. If you face sudden weight loss, it can be a symptom of diabetes.
- Blurred Vision
- Wounds / Cuts that heals slowly
- Skin Infections
What are the Causes of Diabetes?
Diabetes is caused when the body is unable to convert glucose into energy. Pancreas, an organ in our body, is responsible for converting glucose to energy using the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced by pancreas. Diabetes is a condition when the pancreas is not producing insulin or the insulin produced by pancreas is insufficient for the body.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes:
- Viral diseases or infections can cause diabetes.
- Food Toxins
- Lack of Physical Activity
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes:
- Age: If you are over 40 years of age, you might be at risk of getting diabetes.
- Hereditary: If anyone in your close blood relation (like parents, sister, brother etc.) is suffering from diabetes, you might be at risk.
- Being Overweight: If you are overweight, you might be at risk of getting diabetes.
What are the Prevention Measures to Avoid Diabetes?
If a person take proper measures, the risk of getting diabetes can be reduced. Some of these measure are:
- Regular Exercise
- Eating Balanced and Healthy Diet
- Maintaining Body Weight
- Ensure that you get Proper Sleep
- Avoid or Control Stress
- Avoid Junk Food
- Avoid too much of sweet food
- Avoid Aerated Drinks
- Monitor your Blood Glucose in regular intervals
What are the Treatment Options available for a Diabetic Patient?
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important that you consult a good diabetes specialist. With proper measures, you can keep diabetes in control. Some of the measures used to treat diabetes are:
- Lifestyle Changes
- Dietary Changes
- As per your diabetic condition, doctor will advise you medicines. If your diabetes is severe, you might be advised insulin injections too.
How to Diagnose if I have Diabetes?
The various tests available are:
1- Fasting Blood Glucose Test
2- Random Blood Glucose Test
3- The Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) test which shows the average blood glucose level of the previous three months is a test that can monitor if there is any change in the glucose level in your body.
4- Diabetic Retinopathy Test: If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is advisable to check your eyes with a retina specialist atleast once in a year or as per the doctor’s suggestion.
5- Diabetes Home Test Kit: If you have diabetes, it is advisable to keep a home test kit with you. This helps you keep diabetes under control.
It is advisable to go in for diabetes atleast once in a year. Diagnosing diabetes in an earlier stage is good so that treatments can be started immediately.
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