Diabetes

DiabetesThe digestive process of the human body performs various functions in order to digest the food and supply energy to other parts of the body. In this process, sugar called glucose moves into the bloodstream which acts as the most important source of energy. The pancreas helps in providing insulin, a hormone that regulates the level of sugar glucose in the blood. Diabetes mellitus are disorders which fail in regulating the amount of glucose in the blood where the hormone insulin is not properly produced or utilized. There is a constant raise in the level of blood sugar in case of diabetes which leads to serious problems.

Types

The main categories of diabetes include:

Diabetes-Type I: This condition occurs when little or no insulin is produced in the body leading to low levels of glucose in the blood. The condition might cause severe damage to the eyes, kidneys or nerves and result in heart disease. It is popularly known as juvenile diabetes affecting children between the ages of 9 and 15.

Diabetes-Type II: In this condition the pancreas produce insulin but the body partially or completely fails in using it completely leading to high glucose in the blood. It is usually observed among older people. Lack of balanced diet and becoming obese without any exercise would lead to type 2 diabetes. This is said to be the most common one.

Gestational diabetes: A condition with high blood glucose usually observed in pregnant women. This develops a high risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes later.


Symptoms

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Feeling excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of weight
  • Excessive eating
  • Takes longer time to heal a wound
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Disturbed mental condition
  • Itching of the skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness of hands or feet


Causes

It is often a matter of fact that the real cause for diabetes is not known. Influence of genes, viruses and problems in the immune system might be some of the reasons for the disease. Sedentary lifestyle without proper exercise might also cause diabetes. People with an increase in blood cholesterol levels and obesity are often at the risk of getting the disease. Consumption of fatty foods combined with little exercise may result in diabetes.

Diagnosis

A thorough history of hereditary characteristics is analyzed in the initial stages. A physical examination and other factors like diet, lifestyle and personal habits of the patient are also considered. The next step for diagnosing diabetes would be a series of blood tests given to the patient in the lab. A urine test may not be sufficient for the diagnosis. Hence testing of blood would be suggested to find the symptoms of the disease. Finger stick testing of blood is ideally suggested where in the blood sample is taken on a strip sticking it on the patient’s finger. The blood sugar level is measured on the strip with the help of a machine. This process can even be used at home. Fasting plasma glucose test helps in examining the level of glucose wherein the patient is asked not to eat or drink anything for eight hours before the blood is tested. The blood glucose level greater or equivalent to126mg/dL without any food intake signifies diabetes. A second test of the blood, oral glucose tolerance test is also done in 2 hours after consuming a sweet drink added with sugar. The level of blood sugar greater or equivalent to 200 mg/dL also signifies diabetes. Patients with diabetes are suggested to take hemoglobin A1C test every 3 to 6 months to check their ability to control the sugar levels. The patient’s eyes are checked once a year. An examination of the urine and regular checkup of the feet, lower legs and the level of cholesterol and blood pressure among diabetic patients help in diagnosing and treating severe complications of the disease.

Treatment

The treatment for diabetes is based upon the diagnosis of the disease, intensity of symptoms and other medical problems. Insulin injections would be suggested for diabetic patients to reduce the level of blood sugar in case oral medications fail to work. A diabetic diet is also prescribed which includes low fat, cholesterol and with nutrients, rich fiber and simple sugars. Weight reduction exercises form important part of the treatment at every stage. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol would help in controlling blood sugar levels. Drinking plenty of water daily would also be helpful. Constant check over the levels of blood sugar and medication dosages might keep the levels under control.
Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes

Complications

The most important complication arising from diabetes is problems with kidneys, nerves, feet and eyes. It might lead to problems with the heart, bones and joints. Other complications include problems with digestion, skin allergies, sexual dysfunction and dental problems. Very high or very low blood sugar levels lead to emergency treatment in patients.


Prevention

Prior history of diabetes in the family needs focus on preventive measures to control the increased state of the disease. Healthy low-fat diet with high fiber and regular exercise might serve as the best preventive measure. Quitting smoking and keeping alcohol consumption under control would reduce the increase of blood sugar.


Home remedies

A juice of small bitter gourd every morning would be the best remedy for treating diabetes. Eating tender curry leaves twice a day would reduce the sugar levels. Garlic, dalchini, and bitter melon would be the best herbal remedies for diabetes. Fenugreek juice every morning acts as the most effective remedy to control diabetes. Black raisins soaked overnight and drinking the water solution might give good results.

The best remedy to avoid diabetes is to maintain a balanced weight of the body and cultivate an active lifestyle. It is advisable to have a thorough diabetic check up frequently in order to prevent serious complications.



Posted by on Aug.10, 2011, under Diseases

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