Are you sure your blood sugar level is under control? If not, it's a matter of concern. A high blood sugar level indicates a silent killer invading your body. If your blood tests reveal constantly high blood sugar levels, you have developed Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes. It is a lifelong disease.
It is a condition where your body either does not produce enough of a hormone called insulin or can't effectively use the insulin it produces. It is insulin that helps the body convert glucose or sugar into energy.
Undiagnosed and untreated diabetes can damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs. The pancreas, an organ behind the stomach, releases insulin to help store and use sugar and fat from the food that a person eats. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce insulin, produces very little insulin, or when the body develops the condition insulin resistance, where it does not respond to insulin.
If you are diabetic, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Frequent urination
- Sores that heal slowly
Type 1 Diabetes, Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and Gestational diabetes are the common types of diabetes.
Causes and Reasons; and Treatment depend on the type of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes: This is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying the body's ability to produce insulin. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you will have to take insulin to live.
Cause: Exact reasons remain unknown. However, genetic and environmental factors are considered to play a significant role.
Treatment: Type 1 diabetes can be managed through insulin intake, a healthy diet, exercise, and frequent blood sugar monitoring.
Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it's not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Causes: Your body's cells don't respond to insulin, and your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually, your pancreas finds it challenging to keep pumping, and your blood sugar shoots up. This sets the stage for prediabetes.
Treatment: Prediabetes can be managed with a balanced diet, exercise, and careful monitoring of blood sugars. This can also prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2: It is the most common form of diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin. But the insulin their pancreas produces is either not enough, or the body is resistant to the insulin. When insulin production is insufficient or the insulin is not used the way it should be, glucose can't get into the body's cells. Eventually, there arises the need for insulin medication.
Causes: Exact reason remains uncertain. However, genetic and environmental factors are considered to play a significant role.
Treatment: Although there is no cure for this condition, you can manage Type 2 diabetes by losing weight, having a healthy diet, regular exercise, and insulin therapy.
Gestational diabetes: It develops in some pregnant women. In most cases, it goes away with the birth of the child. However, there is a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in later life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy could be actual Type 2 diabetes.
Causes: Although the exact cause is still unknown, excess weight before pregnancy plays a role in this condition. The blood sugar may also rise due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Treatment: Close monitoring of blood sugar levels, lifestyle changes, and medications can reduce complications during pregnancy and delivery.
Although Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Steps including lifestyle changes, can help you prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes to an extent. Foods rich in fiber and low in fat and calories can help you prevent this condition. Moderate physical activity and losing excess weight will also help you prevent diabetes. Have your blood sugar level checked at least once a year.
Consult your doctor for a detailed medical examination and treatment.