Abnormal insulin secretion or effectiveness in the body is the prime cause of diabetes mellitus. A continuous and prolonged condition, diabetes affects the body’s ability to use the energy in food and is often related to long term damage, dysfunction, and even various organ failure.
Our body functions by breaking down the sugars and carbohydrates into glucose, which acts as the fuel for the cells. But to effectively use this fuel, the cells in our body require insulin. But in a patient with diabetes mellitus, either the body is not capable of producing sufficient insulin, or the insulin produced is restricted from being utilized by the cells. So, the cells are unable to use the glucose in the bloodstream, which causes it to buildup. This buildup severely affects the tiny blood vessels in the kidney, eyes, heart, and nervous system. Moreover, not treated diabetes can lead to stroke, heart diseases, kidney disease, or blindness.
Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes: When the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are unable to do so, it leads to type 1 diabetes. In patients with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes very less or no insulin so the body cells cannot use the glucose in the bloodstream. Genetic predisposition and damaged beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are the prime reasons which cause type 1 diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections to control levels of glucose in the blood.
- Type 2 diabetes: When the insulin produced in the body is not sufficient or not does not work properly it leads to type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is not curable but it can be controlled with medication, proper diet, and regular exercise. Bodyweight plays an important part so it is important to manage weight. Type-2 diabetes is mostly linked with excess body weight and physical inactivity.
- Gestational Diabetes: During pregnancy, often there is a high blood sugar level, which leads to gestational diabetes. This is due to the fact that the body undergoes severe hormonal changes during pregnancy and this affects insulin production, which results in high blood sugar levels. Pregnant women who have a family history of diabetes, have more than the desired body weight and are above the age of 25 years are at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Other Types of Diabetes: A small fraction of people develop diabetes due to diseases of the pancreas, certain infections, or even due to the intake of certain medications.
Importance of Early diagnosis
Diabetes can damage the vital organs, but an early diagnosis can help in taking all the necessary steps like medication or lifestyle changes to prevent damage to the organs of the body.
Tips for handling diabetes
There is no specific cure for diabetes, but, with some lifestyle changes, diabetes can be managed and the blood sugar levels can be kept within permissible limits. For this, it is important to
- Spread awareness about diagnosis, regular reviewing, and reinforcement
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercising
- Eat a proper and healthy diet as prescribed by a doctor
- Manage hypertension
- Monitor and control complications associated with diabetes like eye damage, kidney problems, heart ailments, and neuropathy.