What is Diabetes?

According to WHO the definition of Diabetes is “Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycemia, or raised blood sugar level, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and if untreated over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted in the pancreas, which helps in sugar metabolism and thus controls the blood sugar levels in the body, but when the cells in the body are unable to use it as effectively leading to hyperglycemia this condition is known as Insulin resistance. Beta cells in the pancreas then increase their production of insulin, further contributing to hyperinsulinemia. This often remains unnoticed and can contribute to a diagnosis of  Type 2 Diabetes.

There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

diabetesType 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition and is treated with injections of insulin. Injections are to be required to be given every day and some people require many injections a day to maintain blood glucose in control.

Type 1 diabetes is a result of when an “autoimmune reaction” destroys beta cells in the pancreas. Autoimmune reaction means the body creates antibodies against its own cells. As a result, the pancreas stops producing insulin or cannot produce enough insulin on its own. Treatment involves daily insulin injections, in conjunction with healthy eating and regular exercise.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes it is the most common type of diabetes. Often, people with type 2 diabetes can still make their own insulin in the pancreas, but the insulin that is produced is not used as effectively by the body.

Many people manage type 2 diabetes simply by following a healthy diet and regular exercise. With the growth of the type 2 diabetes, some people may have to take oral medication or insulin injections.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. Extra demands on the pancreas cause some women to develop diabetes during pregnancy. Often, it goes away after delivery.

Treatment will involve pursue a healthy diet, physical activity, and in some cases insulin therapy.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Sugar in the urine
  • Extreme thirst
  • An acetone-like smell around the body
  • Fatigue, weakness, drowsiness
  • Excessive weight loss over a short period of time, for no apparent reason

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to an increased risk of:

Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services, can lead to complications such as blindness, Leg amputation, kidney failure and following are some other risks:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Gum disease
  • Foot and leg infections

What causes diabetes?

We all depend on insulin, a hormone created in the pancreas, responsible to move glucose from the blood into the body’s cells. People with diabetes have partial or complete lack of insulin production in the body or lack in movement of glucose.

When we eat, in digestion process the food breaks down from carbohydrates into glucose that is absorbed into the blood in the small intestine. Everyone have glucose from food in their blood stream.

When the insulin is not working as effectively as normal, it is called “insulin resistance”.

This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood and can cause hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).