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Diabetes

Diabetes is a stable, long-lasting, chronic health condition. It is a metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar. With diabetes, our body doesn`t make insulin, or maybe insulin doesn`t work effectively or efficiently. Diabetes affects the process of our body in which food turns into energy.

Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and released into the bloodstream. When our sugar goes up, it signals our pancreas to release insulin. Untreated high blood sugar or diabetes can damage many organs like nerves, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, etc.

Different types of diabetes

There are a few types of diabetes,

  1. Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune diabetes. In this type, the immune system is not strong enough, and the body attacks itself and destroys the cells(beta cells that produce insulin) in the pancreas, where insulin-making. But the cause of the attack is unclear. About 10% of people are caused by diabetes type 1.
  2. Type 2 diabetes occurs when our body becomes resistant to insulin, and thus, insulin is not produced to compensate for high blood sugar, then sugar builds up in our blood.
  3. Prediabetes occurs when our blood sugar is higher than usual. But that is not enough to diagnose diabetes. Sometimes, sugar level goes up, and sometimes, this becomes routine.
  4. Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormone produces by the placenta causes this type of diabetes.

General Symptoms

Increasing sugar levels cause diabetes symptoms.

  1. Increased Hunger
  2. Increased Thirst
  3. Frequent Urination
  4. Blurry Vision
  5. Fatigue
  6. Weight Loss
  7. Sores that don`t heal

These are general symptoms.

Causes

  1. Type 1 diabetes (Exact cause unknown. Immune system mistakenly attacks insulin cells and destroys them. Genes also play a role.)
  2. Type 2 diabetes (Genetics and Lifestyle) is involved in this type. Being overweight or obese is the leading risk factor. Obesity or belly fat becomes resistant to insulin cells. This condition mainly runs in families.)
  3. Gestational diabetes (Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. The placenta produces hormones that make pregnant women sensitive to the effect of insulin. When getting pregnant, overweight women gain too much weight and cause gestational diabetes.)

Risk Factors

  1. Type 1 diabetes (Parents or siblings.)
  2. Type 2 diabetes (Overweight, Age above 40, Physical inactivity, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, High triglycerides.)
  3. Gestational diabetes (overweight, PCOS, Age above 25, Had gestational diabetes during a history.)

Complications   

 Type 1,2 diabetes

  1. Heart Disease, heart attack, stroke.
  2. Neuropathy.
  3. Nephropathy.
  4. Retinopathy.
  5. Hearing loss.
  6. Foot damage or sores that don`t heal.
  7. Skin infections such as bacterial and fungal.
  8. Depression.
  9. Dementia.

Gestational diabetes

  1. Higher than the average weight of birth.
  2. Premature birth.
  3. Low blood sugar.
  4. Jaundice.
  5. Stillbirth.
  6. Cesarean delivery is commonly referred to as C-section.

How to treat/control diabetes?

Our main topic or point is how we can control diabetes? Because diabetes is never cured, we can reduce their severe symptoms by control.

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, our body cannot produce insulin, so the primary treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin.

Four different insulin types are prescribed according to age and sugar level.

  1. Rapid Acting Insulin. It starts to work within 15 minutes, and its effect lasts for 3-4 hours.
  2. Short-Acting Insulin. Start work within 30 minutes and last 6-8 hours.
  3. Intermediate Acting Insulin. Start work within 1-2 hours and ends 12-18 hours.
  4. Long-Acting Insulin. Start work within a few hours and last 24 hours or longer.

Type 2 diabetes

Diet and exercise can help us to reduce diabetes. Lifestyle changes affect well. If lifestyle changes are not enough, then start medications.

Type of drug

Action

Example

Biguanides Reduce the amount of glucose that our liver makes. Metformin (Glucophage)
Sulfonylurea The principal mechanism of action of glimepiride appears to stimulate the release of insulin from the functioning of pancreatic beta-cells. Getryl
An antidiabetic Stimulate insulin secretion and inhibit glucagon secretion. Vildagliptin50/500

 

These drugs are commonly used all over Pakistan. Some people also take insulin with medicine to lower their blood sugar.

Gestational diabetes

A pregnant woman needs to monitor her blood sugar several times a day during pregnancy. Dietary changes or exercise may not be enough to lower blood sugar during pregnancy.

According to research, about 10-20% of women needs insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is safe for baby growth.

 Diabetes and Diet

Changing diet and lifestyle is a reasonable effort to control the disease. Healthy eating patterns is the main thing for diabetes management.

  1. Drink more water daily.
  2. Regular exercise.
  3. Limit your carbs intake.
  4. Well-balanced diet.
  5. Take 2 Eggs daily.
  6. High protein.
  7. Avoid sugary/starchy foods.
  8. Add a mixed vegetable salad (cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, olive oil)
  9. Avoid processed foods.
  10. Base your diet on whole-grain foods.
  11. Dairy products should be nonfat or low fat.
  12. Take nuts.
  13. Use liquid oils at room temperatures like canola oil and olive oil.
  14. Reduce weight.
  15. Physical activity is essential for everyone. Drinking water during exercise is good to stay hydrated.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/diet-eating-physical-activity

https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/getryl?type=full

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21507182/

 

 

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