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Diabetes is generally known as “diabetes mellitus’’, is a serious and a chronic condition. India has been infamously called as the World’s diabetes capital on the basis of sporadic surveys conducted in various cities.
Diabetes is a state where the pancreas in the human body fails to produce insulin, the hormone which converts the glucose present in the food into energy. Defective secretion of insulin by the pancreas leads to increased glucose levels in the bloodstream, which causes diabetes. The increased levels of glucose in the blood ultimately damage the vital body organs such as heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves leading to severe destructive complications, if left untreated. Diabetes is considered as one of the foremost causes of death. Presently, approximately 250 million people worldwide are living with diabetes and by 2025 the count is estimated to rise to over 380 million.
Causes of Diabetes
Some of the causative factors of diabetes are as follows:-
- Sedentary Lifestyle.
- Viral infections.
- Improper Diet.
- Older Age groups.
- Drugs such as Alloxan, streptozocin, Dapsone, pentamidine isethionate, diuretics frusemide, chlorthiazide, nifidipine, etc.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes is basically classified into three major types. They are –
- Type 1 diabetes – In type 1 diabetes, there is absolutely no manufacture of insulin
- Type 2 diabetes - In type 2 diabetes, there is insufficient amount of insulin been produced
- Gestational Diabetes – This type of diabetes is produced only during pregnancy
Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are conditions which are present persistently while Gestational diabetes is short lived and resolves after the delivery.
Symptoms and signs of Diabetes
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Increased thirst.
- Increased hunger.
- Abnormal weight loss.
- Intense fatigue.
- Injuries fail to heal quickly.
- Recurrent gum diseases.
- Vision changes.
- Rapid and deep breathing.
- Numbness or tingling, especially in hands and feet and altered states of consciousness in long standing diabetes
Complications of Diabetes
In the long run, Diabetes gives rise to several complications. Some of them are as follows:-
- Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve disorders)
- Diabetic Nephropathy (Kidney disorders).
- Diabetic Retinopathy (Eye disorders).
- Heart attack.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Skin Diseases.
Diagnosis of Diabetes
Diabetes is diagnosed by the physician on the basis of symptoms and specific blood tests such as fasting blood sugar (FBS) test; Post-prandial blood-sugar (PP2BS); Glucose tolerance test (GTT) and Glycosylated haemoglobin test (HBA1c), mainly in chronic cases, may be advised.
Treatment of Diabetes
The aim of Diabetes treatment is to control the blood glucose level which can be achieved with the combination of exercise, diet modifications and medications. Patients whose blood glucose levels cannot be controlled with oral medications may need to take insulin injections.
Supplementary multivitamin is recommended.
Prevention of Diabetes
One should take the below mentioned steps to control blood glucose level and to prevent complications associated diabetes –
- Encourage healthy dietary habits, one can consult a dietician and should strictly follow the dietary regime.
- Regular physical exercise and yoga helps to control diabetes significantly
- Obese persons should lose weight and obtain ideal weight
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Reduce intake of sugary and starchy food
- Increase intake of Omega 3 fatty acids present in flaxseed, Walnuts, Soybean, Fatty fish (salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines, bluefish), etc.
- Conduct a regular health check up
- Stop smoking
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