What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar in the body. Blood sugar or blood glucose comes from the food we eat and is the main source of energy. It is processed by the insulin produced in the pancreas. This condition happens when the body is not able to take this sugar into its cells and use it for energy. This leads to the build-up of extra sugar level in the body. Poor diabetic control has some serious consequences such as damage to body organs and tissues.

What are the different types of diabetes?

The different types of diabetes that a person can suffer from are:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease where the body starts attacking itself. This leads to the destruction of the insulin producing cells of pancreas. It is mostly diagnosed in young adults and children but can be diagnosed at any age. People suffering from this type need to take insulin every day making this condition ‘insulin dependent diabetes’.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: One of the most common diabetes, this happens when the body is unable to produce ample amount of insulin for processing of the sugar. It is mostly diagnosed in old or middle aged people though younger people may also suffer from it.
  • Prediabetes: This is the stage when the sugar levels in the blood are more than the normal level but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. It is mostly the preceding stage of type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes: This condition is often developed by women during their pregnancy. Though it usually goes away after pregnancy, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life is high for these women.
  • Monogenic Diabetes Syndrome: This is a less common form of diabetes that is often inherited from the parents. Examples of this condition include maturity onset diabetes and neonatal diabetes.
  • Diabetes related to cystic fibrosis
  • Chemical or drug induced diabetes that often happens after an organ transplant, glucocorticoid steroid usage or HIV/AIDS treatment.
  • MODY: Maturity onset diabetes of young

What are the common symptoms of diabetes?

Some of the common symptoms that may indicate high blood sugar are:

  • Increase in hunger/ polyphagia
  • Increased thirst/ polydipsia
  • Frequent urination/ polyuria
  • Loss of weight/Type1 or Weight Gain/Type2
  • Vision problems
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sores that do not heal quickly
  • Erectile dysfunction and decreased sex drive in men
  • Urinary tract or yeast infections in women

What are the risk factors of diabetes?

Different diabetes type have different risk factors.

Type 1 diabetes

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Environmental factors such as exposure to serious viral infections
  • Presence of damaging diabetes autoantibodies
  • Geography

Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes

  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Ethnicity or race
  • Age
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal triglyceride and cholesterol levels

Gestational Diabetes

  • Age more than 25 at pregnancy
  • Personal or family history of diabetes
  • Weight
  • Ethnicity or race

When to See a doctor?

If you notice any possible symptoms of diabetes in yourself or any other family member, it is best to contact the doctor asap. Earlier this condition is diagnosed, the sooner we can start the treatment. Request an appointment at Accord Hospital today for complete consultation and diabetic checkup of your body.

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