Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus (DM), is a metabolic disorder in which there is a high blood sugar level. In India, diabetes affects more than 62 million people, which is more than 7.1% of the adult population. Every year almost 1 million Indians die due to diabetes.
Diabetes is mainly caused when the pancreas fail to produce the required amount of insulin or if the cells of the body cannot absorb or respond to the insulin produced. There are three types of diabetes mellitus.
- Type 1 diabetes This type of diabetes is caused when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It is also referred as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM). This type generally occurs in childhood and is thus also known as “juvenile diabetes”.
- Type 2 diabetes In this type of diabetes, the cells fail to respond to insulin. The most common cause is overweight and sedentary life. This form is referred as “non-insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. Prediabetes
- Gestational diabetes: This form of diabetes occurs if a pregnant woman, without a previous history of diabetes, develops high blood sugar levels.
Signs and Symptoms
The warning signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Increased hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased in the frequency of urination
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness (Diabetic coma)
How to find out whether I have diabetes?
Few blood and urine tests that help to check for high glucose levels include:
- HbA1c blood test: HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin develops when hemoglobin combines with glucose in blood. Levels of HbA1c gives an estimate of the average blood sugar over 3 months. In this test a reading between 5.7% and 6.4 % suggests that the patient has a higher chance of diabetes. A reading of 6.5 % indicates that the patient is diabetic. If the reading is more than 6.5 %, it indicates that the patient has poor control over blood sugar level.
- A fasting plasma glucose test helps to detect diabetes or pre-diabetes. In this test, blood glucose is measured after the patient had been fasting for 8 hours and had only plain water during this phase.
- An oral glucose tolerance test helps to measure diabetes or pre-diabetes. It measures the blood sugar after the patient fasts for 8 hours and then 2 hours after the patient drinks a glucose containing beverage.
- A random plasma glucose test after the assessment of the symptoms helps to diagnose diabetes but not pre-diabetes. This test is not a post prandial test and can be done at any time.
A positive result of this test should be confirmed by doing a fasting plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test on another day.
How to prevent the complications related to diabetes?
Complications related to diabetes can be deadly but if diagnosed early, the complications can be prevented. There are various tests that help to prevent and complications related to diabetes. They are:
- Tests for eye problems (retinopathy):
A person with diabetes, who is more than 12 years of age, should undergo a retinal examination yearly. During the screening of your retina, a photograph of the retina will be taken to examine how healthy it is.
- Tests for peripheral nerve damage and circulation:
People with diabetes should have a thorough foot examination every year. Sensations such as heat and cold, touch and also the circulation in the feet will be examined to ensure there is no nerve damage or circulatory inefficiency caused due to diabetes.
- Tests for cholesterol:
People with diabetes should undergo blood test every year to examine the cholesterol levels. This will help to prevent any cardiovascular problems in future.
- Screening for blood pressure:
Diabetics are prone to develop high blood pressure. People with diabetes should measure the blood pressure levels in order to prevent any further complications.
- Screening for kidney diseases (nephropathy):
People with diabetes are more prone to develop kidney problems. Therefore, it is very essential for all the diabetes patients to undergo kidney function test. In this test, a sample of the patient’s urine will be collected and examined for protein in the urine.
The major goal in diabetes management is to control the blood glucose levels within the normal range.
- Type 1 diabetes can be treated with anti-diabetic medications, regular exercise and proper balanced diet.
- Type 2 diabetes can be treated with a proper diet, weight management, exercises and life style modifications like avoiding alcohol, smoking etc. Oral medications are also prescribed for treating type 2 diabetes. If oral medications are not effective then insulin injection is suggested for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Weight management and diet measures
- Diabetes Diet: Adherence to a strict diabetic diet plan is very essential to control diabetes. Amount of carbohydrates, fats, protein and fibre required for maintaining healthy glucose levels should be considered while preparing a diet plan. Also, the timing of the meals should coincide with insulin administration as suggested by the physician.
- Weight management and exercise: Weight management and exercise are the important aspects of diabetes management. Weight reduction and exercise increases body’s sensitivity to insulin which helps to control elevated blood sugar levels.
A healthy lifestyle is the pillar for diabetes management. People with diabetes should understand and implement the benefits of exercise and healthy diet to control the blood sugar levels. Along with the prescribed medications, a healthy lifestyle will help to prevent complications related to diabetes.
Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?
We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.
For appointments, please call 4444 2424.
- Diabetes Guide. https://www.webmd.boots.com/diabetes/guide/diagnosis-diabetes. Accessed on 13th October’17.
- Screening for diabetes. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-complications/screening-for-diabetic-complications.html. Accessed on 13th Octorber’17.
- Diabetes Treatment. https://www.medicinenet.com/diabetes_treatment/article.htm. Accessed on 16th October’17.