What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of illnesses characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM)
This is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.at the point of diagnosis there is no insulin system. In this form of diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes used to be known as Juvenile Diabetes or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus .
Although T1DM is rare, those who are affected need insulin injections daily to lead a normal life from the point of diagnosis on wards. As the cause is fully unknown, there is no prevention possible at the moment.
Once diagnosed, good blood glucose control through insulin therapy, healthy diet, exercise and stress control is essential to lead a life free of complications.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM)
This is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to produce adequately to overcome insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas produces extra insulin to control your glucose levels but with time, this action is impaired.
You can get T2DM at any age. In the past, it was an adult onset illness which developed when you were over the age of 40 years. However, age of the onset has decreased with more young people even children and adolescents being diagnosed with T2DM.
This condition is created by us due to wrong lifestyles and can be corrected in the same way through modification of diet, increased exercise and reduction of stress. The causative factors are multiple and act together to produce the condition through an interaction of Genetics, Fetal Origin [in the womb] Lifestyles and Stress. Though there is no cure, we can prevent type 2 through leading a healthy lifestyle as we now know all predisposing factors.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM)
It’s a state of high blood sugar arising in pregnancy around 24th – 28th week due to hormonal changes. This often happens in overweight, inactive and stressed expectant mothers. It commonly occurs in the 2 and 3rd pregnancy where diabetes normalizes after delivery. GDM has to be thought of, looked for, detected and treated in order to prevent fetal loss and large babies.
It should be noted that both mother and baby so affected are more prone to develop diabetes in later life.
Pre diabetes is a combination of IFG and IGT where your blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes which is an intermediate stage between normality and diabetes. Pre diabetes predisposes your risk of developing heart attacks.
Good news is that with lifestyle changes, there is 50% chance of reversing pre-diabetes to a normal state. [Diabrisk-sl – research]
Impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
It is a pre diabetic state where the fasting plasma glucose is between ≥100 and <126 mg/dl which is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. You can reverse this state by changing your lifestyle by eating healthy food and regular exercise.
See more: Lifestyle modification
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
It is also a pre-diabetic state that is associated with insulin resistance where the glucose levels are higher than normal and is between ≥140 and <200 mg/dl in a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test [OGTT] . Reversal to normal can be made without medication through changes in lifestyle.
See more: lifestyle modification
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test [OGTT]
It is when you take a glucose solution orally [ 75 g for an adult and 1.75 grams per kilo for a child] and your blood is tested at intervals of ½ hour for a period of 2 hours for confirmation of diagnosis.
Dysglycemia is pre diabetes [IGT and IFG] and type 2 diabetes which has statistical significance indicating a diabetes load in a community.
Symptoms of diabetes
Early detection and treatment of diabetes greatly reduces the risks of complications that can develop over time. Here are a few typical symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, however mild they may seem, please contact your doctor or the National Diabetes Centre [contact information] our staff will answer most of your question.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive hunger even though you have eaten regular meals
- Loss of weight
- Extreme fatigue, tiredness or drowsiness`
- Blurred vision
- Ants around urinal or commode
- Delayed healing of wounds
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Reduced sexual function or impotency