Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (sugar). It is the result of hormonal imbalance, obesity, heredity and bad lifestyle. Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a chemical (hormone) substance produced by a gland called pancreas located near the stomach. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level by stimulating the body to make use of glucose. But in case of diabetes, the glucose obtained from the food remain in the blood stream, instead of being used by the cells for energy production. This affects heart, kidney, liver, eyes, legs, and all other body parts.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 DM:- This results from the pancreas failure to produce enough insulin. In this type of diabetes, our immune system turns on itself and destroy the insulin producing cell in our pancreas. usually it develops in childhood.
Type 2 DM:- In this type, our pancreas produces insulin in low quantity. Body cells become resistant to insulin, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. The primary cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.
Gestational Diabetes:- It occurs when pregnant women develop high blood sugar levels without having a person history of diabetes. It usually disappears after pregnancy but more than half of women who experience it eventually develops permanent type 2 DM.
Signs and Symptoms
The classical signs of untreated type 1 and type 2 DM are as follows:-
- Polyuria- There is increase in the frequency of urine output.
- Polydipsia- Increase in thirst due to loss of water during frequent urination.
- Polyphagia- Increased hunger.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Fatigue as food is not being broken down and used by cells for energy.
- Blurry vision
- Tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.
- Slow healing cuts and wounds.
- Skin infections and yeast infections.
Blood Sugar test:- This is done for two times a. Fasting- empty stomach and b. Post-Prandial(PP)- after two hours of meal rich in carbohydrates.
Normal Range for Fasting:- 70-100 mg/dl and for PP:- 70-140 mg/dl.
HbA1C ( Glycated hemoglobin) test:- This is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the 3 months average plasma glucose concentration. Blood sample can be given at any time. The normal range for HbA1C is 4 to 6 mmol/l.
It is better than fasting glucose test for determining the progression of diabetes and its treatment result.
Diabetes management concentrate on keeping blood sugar level as close to normal.
Type 1 DM:- It can be treated with exercise, insulin and balance diet.
Type 2 DM:- It is first treated with life changes such as diabetes diet, exercise and weight reduction. If exercise and weight reduction methods and diet management fail to lower the blood sugar level, oral medication are used. When oral medication are insufficient and are not able to lower the blood sugar levels, insulin is used for treatment.