Diabetes & Healthy Living

Anyone can be affected by diabetes, regardless of their background. Yes, it does — and in ever-growing numbers. In the United States, an estimated 30.2 million adults over the age of 18 have diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Between 27.9 and 32.7% of the population is represented by this figure.

Patients with uncontrolled diabetes are at risk for serious consequences such as stroke and heart disease. Diabetes affects the body’s capacity to metabolize blood glucose, often known as blood sugar. It is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin or when your body is unable to utilize the insulin adequately that it generates.

Diabetes mellitus is a collection of disorders that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). In addition to being a crucial source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, glucose is essential to your overall health. It’s also the brain’s primary fuel source. Types of diabetes have different underlying causes. Any form of diabetes, however, can lead to high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are too high can lead to severe health concerns, including diabetes. 

Diabetes symptoms 

The severity of diabetes symptoms depends on the level of blood sugar elevation. Patients with prediabetes and diabetes type 2 can be asymptomatic. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to appear fast and to be more severe than those of type 2. Even while type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it is most common in childhood and adolescents. Diabetic complications in adults over 40 years old are the most common form of type 2 diabetes.

There are several warning signs and symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, such as: 

  • The unexplained weight reduction
  • Ketones in the urine (ketones are a result of muscle and fat breakdown that occurs if there is not enough insulin available)
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability ( You can get online anxiety medication for this)
  • Mood swings
  • Visually impaired
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Infections in the skin, mouth, and genital tract
  • Thirst increase
  • Urination frequently
  • Severe hunger 
  • Diabetic women can also suffer from yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and dry, itchy skin. 
  • Males who suffer from diabetes may experience a diminished sexual drive, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and decreased muscle strength in addition to the normal diabetic symptoms.
  • Recurring infections are also possible. As a result of high glucose levels, the body has a tougher time healing.

Cause of diabetes 

Cause of type 1 diabetes: 

A person with type 1 diabetes develops it when their immune system, the body’s defense against infection, assaults and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in their pancreas. Diabetes type 1 may be caused by genes or environmental causes, such as viruses. Research is being one to determine the origins of type 1 diabetes and possible treatments to prevent or delay the disease’s progression. 

Cause of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes: 

You can develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes, or if your cells grow resistant to insulin. Unfortunately, your pancreas cannot generate enough insulin to overcome this resistance. However, instead of getting into your cells, where it is required for energy, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. No one knows why this happens, but genetic and environmental variables are thought to play a role. Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity, but not everyone with the disease is obese. 

Cause of gestational diabetes: 

When you’re pregnant, the placenta produces hormones to help you stay nourished and healthy. These hormones increase the resistance of your cells to insulin. If your pancreas produces sufficient extra insulin to overcome this resistance, then you should be able to overcome it. Occasionally, however, your pancreas is unable to keep up. Gestational diabetes develops when too little glucose enters the cells and too much remains in the circulation.

Risk factors of having diabetes 

One out of every four diabetics is unaware of their condition. This equates to approximately 7 million people in the U.S. What increases your risk depends on the type of diabetes you end up developing, as well as your age and gender. So, here are some of the risk factors of having diabetes: 

Type 1 diabetes risk: 

  • Type 1 diabetes runs in the family.
  • A pancreatic injury (like infection, surgery, accident, or tumor).
  • Present autoantibodies (antibodies that erroneously attack your tissues or organs) in your body.
  • Stress on the body (like operation or illness).
  • An infection induced by a virus 

Type 2 diabetes risk: 

  • In the family, there is a history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. 
  • Being inactive in terms of exercise.
  • Being at least 45 years old.
  • Obstetric complications such as gestational diabetes, or the birth of overweight, or The presence of elevated blood pressure.
  • Triglyceride levels are high while having low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). 
  • Obstetric complications such as gestational diabetes, or the birth of an overweight or obese baby
  • Ovarian polycystic disease
  • Being a Hispanic, African-American, or Native American, or being of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • Obesity.
  • History of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
  • The act of smoking 

Gestational diabetes risk: 

  • Being overweight before pregnancy.
  • Being older than 25.
  • In the family, there is a history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. (parent or sibling)
  • Being a Hispanic, African-American, Native American, or Asian-American.

Diagnosis & Treatment 

Prediabetes and type 1 and type 2 diabetes test: 

  • A1C test for glycated hemoglobin. In this non-fasting blood test, your average blood sugar level over the preceding two to three months is determined. Blood sugar bound to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells, is measured by this device’s sensor.

In cases when the A1C test results are inconsistent, the test is unavailable, or you have specific factors that can make the A1C test erroneous — such as being pregnant or having a rare kind of hemoglobin — your doctor may use other tests to identify diabetes, including:

  • Tests of blood sugar at random. Randomly, a blood sample will be collected. There’s no need to worry about the timing of your final meal if your blood sugar is 200 milligrams per deciliter or above.
  • Glucose levels after fasting are measured. A blood sample will be collected after an overnight fast. Blood sugar levels of less than 100 mg/dL are considered normal. An overnight fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL is classified as prediabetes. 126 mg/dL or more on two different tests means you have type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.
  • Test of oral glucose tolerance. Fasting overnight is required for this test. A sugary liquid is then consumed, and your blood sugar levels are monitored every two hours.

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed through urine testing for the presence of a byproduct formed when muscle and fat tissue are used for energy because there isn’t enough insulin to use the available glucose (ketones). Your doctor will also likely perform a test to discover if you have autoantibodies, which damage immune system cells and are linked to type 1 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes tests: 

  • Initiation of a glucose challenge. After consuming a syrupy glucose solution, you’ll be asked to perform a glucose challenge test. Your blood sugar level will be tested an hour later. According to most clinics and labs, a blood sugar level of less than 140mg/dl is considered normal.
  • In this case, your risk of gestational diabetes will be increased since your blood sugar level is higher than usual. A follow-up test will be ordered by your doctor to establish if you have gestational diabetes.
  • Diabetic follow-up tests. Fasting overnight will be required for the follow-up test. Your blood sugar level will be monitored every hour for three hours after that.
  • Pregnant women who have more than two blood sugar readings above normal for each of the three hours of testing are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Treatment 

Diabetes treatments vary depending on the kind of diabetes, how well your blood glucose level is controlled, and any other health concerns you may have.

  • Insulin must be taken every day if you have type 1 diabetes. The pancreas stops producing insulin.
  • Insulin and lifestyle modifications, such as decreasing weight, eating healthily, and becoming more physically active, can be used to treat type 2 diabetes.
  • For those who are diagnosed with prediabetes, the goal is to prevent the disease from advancing to type 2. The fundamentals of treatment are a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  • In the case of gestational diabetes, a change in diet and regular exercise may be the first line of defense. Any medication or insulin prescribed by your healthcare provider may be used to help you reach your target objective.

Diabetic patients can benefit from the following methods of treatment with oral medicines and insulin:

  • Your pancreas will produce and release more insulin as a result of this.
  • Slows down the liver’s release of glucose (extra glucose is stored in your liver).
  • As a result, your tissues are more sensitive to (better react to) insulin because it prevents the digestion of carbs in your stomach or intestinal tract. 
  • Increased urine helps your body get rid of glucose.

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