What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a life-long disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood
Causes and Risk Factors of Diabetes:
Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar), resistance to insulin, or both.The lack of insulin results in an inability to metabolize glucose, and the capacity to store glycogen (a form of glucose) in the liver and the active transport of glucose across cell membranes are impaired.
There are two distinct types of diabetes.
- Non Insulin-dependent
Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I), also called juvenile-onset diabetes, is the more serious form of the disease; about 10% of diabetics have this form.
Causes of Insulin-dependent Diabetes:
It is caused by destruction of pancreatic cells that make insulin and usually develops before age 30. Type I diabetics have a genetic predisposition to the disease. There is some evidence that it is triggered by a virus that changes the pancreatic cells in a way that prompts the immune system to attack them.
Symptoms of Insulin-dependent Diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
Patients with type Insulin-dependent Diabetes usually develop symptoms over a short period of time, and the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency setting.
Treatment of Insulin-dependent Diabetes:
Treatment includes a diet limited in carbohydrates and saturated fat, exercise to burn glucose, and regular insulin injections, sometimes administered via a portable insulin pump. Transplantation of islet cells has also proved somewhat successful since 1999, after new transplant procedures were developed,
but the number of pancreases available for extraction of the islet cells is far smaller than the number of Type I diabetics. Patients receiving a transplant must take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the cells, and many ultimately need to resume insulin injections, but despite that transplants
provide real benefits for some whose diabetes has become difficult to control.
Non Insulin-Dependent Diabetes
No insulin-dependent diabetes (Type 2), also called adult-onset diabetes, results from the inability of the cells in the body to respond to insulin. About 90% of diabetics have this form, which is more prevalent in minorities and usually occurs after age 40.
Causes of Non Insulin-Dependent Diabetes:
Although the cause is not completely understood, there is a genetic factor and 90% of those affected are obese.
Symptoms of type insulin-dependent diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes usually develop symptoms over a short period of time, and the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency setting.
Treatment of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes:
As in Type I diabetes, treatment includes exercise and weight loss and a diet low in total carbohydrates and saturated fat. Some individuals require insulin injections; many rely on oral drugs, such as sulphonylureas, metformin, acarbose, or a dipeptidyl peptidase–IV (DPP-IV) inhibitor.
Signs and Tests For Insulin-Dependent Diabetes
A urine analysis may be used to look for glucose and ketones from the breakdown of fat. However, a urine test alone does not diagnose diabetes. The following blood glucose tests are used to diagnose diabetes :-
Fasting blood glucose level — diabetes is diagnosed if higher than 126 mg/dL on two occasions. Levels between 100 and 126 mg/dl are referred to as impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes. These levels are considered to be risk factors for type 2 diabetes and its complications.
Random (non-fasting) blood glucose level — diabetes is suspected if higher than 200 mg/dL and accompanied by the classic symptoms of increased thirst, urination, and fatigue. (This test must be confirmed with a fasting blood glucose test.)
Oral glucose tolerance test — diabetes is diagnosed if glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL after 2 hours (This test is used more for type 2 diabetes.) You should also ask your doctor how often to you need your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level checked. The HbA1c is a measure of average blood glucose during
the previous 2 to 3 months. It is a very helpful way to determine how well treatment is working.
Ketone testing is another test that is used in type 1 diabetes. Ketones are produced by the breakdown of fat and muscle, and they are harmful at high levels. The ketone test is done using a urine sample. High levels of blood ketones may result in a serious condition called Treatment.
Self-Testing For Diabetes
If you have diabetes, your doctor may tell you to regularly check your blood sugar levels at home. There are a number of devices available, and they use only a drop of blood. Self-monitoring tells you how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control your diabetes and can help your doctor