Diabetes Mellitus: Its effects and probable Solution
Diabetes Mellitus: Its effects and probable Solution
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that occurs either when enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, glucose) is not produced in our body or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. It is an important public health problem, one of four non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) targeted for action by world leaders. Both, the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.
Symptoms: When undiagnosed/uncontrolled, the effects of diabetes on the body can be noticed by the classic symptoms like blurred vision, frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue and tingling/pain in the hands, feet or legs.
Types of Diabetes:
There are basically two types of diabetes namely Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational (effects female during pregnancy). Almost 10% of the World's Population is currently dealing with diabetes, out of which 10% of the people have Type 1 Diabetes and the rest 90% people have Type 2.
Type 1 Diabetes: In this situation, the body doesn’t make enough insulin. Some people may refer this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early onset diabetes. People usually develop type 1 diabetes before their 40th year, often in early adulthood or teenage years.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is the condition where the body makes insulin but the tissues doesn’t respond to them. Some people may be able to control their type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, doing plenty of exercises, and monitoring their blood glucose levels. However, type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease- it gradually gets worse and the patient will probably end up taking insulin in tablet form. Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those having a healthy body weight.
Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose in their cells resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose in their cells. Diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made during pregnancy and it can be controlled with the help of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Undiagnosed/uncontrolled gestational diabetes may lead to complications during childbirth. According to the National Institutes of Health, the reported rate of gestational diabetes is between 2% to 10% of pregnancies. Up to 10% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes. It can occur anywhere from a few weeks after delivery or to months or years later.
Effects of Diabetes on health:
Diabetes has devastating effects on those affected as it results into several other diseases like heart problems, stroke, low blood glucose, nerve damage, kidney disease, foot problems, eye disease, gum disease and other dental problems, sexual & urologic problems etc. It is rare that a person does not know someone who is affected by diabetes, and there are many who have diabetes and do not even know it. And because of this, there is more focus on prevention, treatment, and education.
Reasons behind Diabetes:
Reasons behind diabetes vary depending on genetic makeup, family history, ethnicity, health and environmental factors. There is no common diabetes cause that fits every type of diabetes because it depends on the individual and the type.
Type 1 Diabetes Cause: There is no such specific cause of Type 1 Diabetes but the following may be involved like viral or bacterial infections, chemical toxins within the food, unidentified component causing an auto-immune reaction, genetic disposition etc.
Type 2 Diabetes Cause: Type 2 Diabetes causes are usually multifactorial (more than one diabetes cause is involved). There are a variety of risk factors which include: Obesity, Sedentary Lifestyle, Increasing Age, Unhealthy or Unbalanced Diet.
Gestational Diabetes Causes: The causes of diabetes in pregnancy remains unknown. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of developing this condition, as for example, family history of gestational diabetes, overweight or obese, suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), have a large baby weighing over 9lb etc.
Diagnosis & Treatment:
The doctor may suspect diabetes if there are certain risk factors or if you have high levels of blood sugar in your urine. Your blood sugar levels may be high if your pancreas is producing little or no insulin, or if the body is not responding normally to the insulin. The blood test along with other information and test results can help diagnose diabetes and its types.
Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes involves taking insulin, which needs to be injected through the skin into fatty tissue below.
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes involves weight management, controlling of nutrition and regular exercise.
Treatment for Gestational Diabetes involves careful meal planning to ensure adequate pregnancy nutrients without excess fat and calories, daily exercise, controlling pregnancy weight gain and taking diabetes insulin to control blood sugar levels.
Ways to Prevent Diabetes:
Diabetes is a silent killer that affects men and women, young and old, rich and poor. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2016, one in 11 adults has diabetes worldwide, one person dies with diabetes every 6 sec, and US$1 in $9 of health-care expenditure is spent on diabetes and its complications. More than 80% of people with diabetes live in low-income and middle-income countries, and most of them have type 2 diabetes. Here are certain ways to prevent diabetes: -
Cutting sugar and refined carbohydrates from the diet.
A Regular workout is Compulsory.
Drinking sufficient water.
Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese.
Following a plant-based, very low carbohydrate and low-calorie diet.
Avoiding sedentary behaviors.
Eating a high fiber diet.
Minimising intake of processed foods.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and following a dietary pattern.
Timely check-ups and consultations with Doctors/Dieticians.
Living a stress-free life and having at least 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep.
Diabetes mellitus commonly called as diabetes is a disease of metabolic disorder where the blood sugar levels tend to remain high either because insufficient insulin is produced in the pancreas or because the cells do not respond to the insulin produced.
Although prevention is always better, in case of diabetes develops in an individual, there are mechanisms to cure it too. Recent advancements in research and science have made the cure of diabetes a possibility like the pancreas transplantation, artificial pancreas development, genetic manipulation etc. But there are many hurdles in trying out these ways. The most preferable and appropriate method would be to bring about a change in eating habits and diet plan, to keep a check on blood sugar level along with all the other lifestyle disorders.
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