Experiencing frequent urination and unexplained weight loss? Or extreme fatigue and sores that take forever to heal? Have a family history of Diabetes? Need an insight into diabetes? If yes, then this article might be useful to you.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that hampers the production or effective use of insulin in our body. How is that harmful? Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for metabolizing sugar in the blood. If Insulin doesn’t metabolize the blood sugar then, it will not be imbibed inside our cells and the energy requirements of the body will not be fulfilled. Moreover, all this sugar will remain unmetabolized in our blood, causing high blood sugar levels.
Our comprehensive article on Diabetes will explain all the doubts you could have about diabetes. Read on to know more!
Causes of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a broad term used for different types of diabetes. All types have different causes and effects. But many environmental factors might put you at risk of developing diabetes. Some of these risk factors are
- Insulin lack or insulin resistance
If due to any reason your body is not producing as much insulin as it should, then it results in insulin deficiency and high blood sugar leading to type 1 diabetes. Similarly, if your pancreas is producing insulin but the body is resisting it due to some reason, the sugar will still not get metabolized and the pancreas will slow down the production of insulin because of its excess in blood. This type of situation is called pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2.
Apart from environmental factors, genes play a big role in diabetes. Experts have still not found out the association of genes with diabetes but the data proves that those who have a family history of diabetes are at higher risk of developing it. Some genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis are also said to be a factor that can cause diabetes since they considerably damage the pancreas which in turn hinders the production of insulin.
Although, this does not happen very commonly, some women develop a type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, during their pregnancy. This happens because of hormones released by the placenta. These hormones are said to hinder the production of insulin somehow and consequently increased glucose levels in the blood.
As you age, the activeness of body functions, both internal and external, decreases. This results in a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy weight gain, and muscle mass. These factors, previously observed in old people have now become a prominent cause of type 1 diabetes among the young generations too.
Obesity is thought to be one of the reasons behind insulin resistance in the body, although more research on a direct relationship between obesity and diabetes is being conducted.
- Poor diet and lack of exercise
Unhealthy eating habits like those, that include eating foods that have zero to no nutritional value, have saturated fats and bad cholesterol when clubbed with no exercise causes insulin resistance in the body. Maintaining this kind of lifestyle causes not only diabetes but many other diseases.
- Hormonal conditions
Hormonal conditions like Crushing’s syndrome, Acromegaly, and Hyperthyroidism are also said to cause diabetes by inducing insulin resistance in the body.
Types of Diabetes
There are mainly four types of diabetes
- Type 1 Diabetes
This is an autoimmune disease where our immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas, the production site of insulin. This inhibits the production of insulin and causes high blood sugar. The research is still going on over the cause of this autoimmune disorder.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes include feeling extremely hungry and thirsty, losing weight without trying, frequent urge to urinate, and feeling fatigued all the time. The younger generation is more prone to type 1 diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetes
This disease is caused when the production of insulin is done normally by the pancreas but due to some reason, the body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance results in low glucose absorption by the cells and high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of type diabetes include blurry vision and sores that last longer than the usual healing time.
Other symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, increased hunger, and thirst are common to all types of diabetes. You are more prone to have type 2 diabetes if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle.
Caused due to high blood sugar levels because of insulin resistance. This condition is like the entrance gate of type 2 diabetes and likewise, it is caused due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Gestational diabetes
Multiple hormones are released by the placenta during pregnancy which might obstruct the absorption of insulin by the cells resulting in diabetes.
Diabetes treatment and prevention
- Try your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a diet full of proteins, fibers, good fats, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals.
- If you cannot commit to an elaborate exercise routine, at least make it a habit to walk half an hour daily. Exercise helps in the faster metabolization of blood sugar.
- If you are obese, try to lose weight so that you are not at risk of developing diabetes.
- Include as many green vegetables in your diet as you can.
- Try to reduce the amount of food you eat at once, instead eat smaller portions more times a day.
- Get checked regularly if you have had a family history of diabetes.
- Different kinds of medicines, both injections and pills are available for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Your doctor will be able to give you the most suitable treatment after looking at your medical history.
- Usually, lifestyle changes are enough to cure type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes so medications are not provided initially. But, if it is not treatable by lifestyle changes then, biguanides and sulfonylureas are used to treat type 2 diabetes.
- Drugs that are safe both for the mother and for the baby are provided by the doctors to treat gestational diabetes in women.
Despite the complications, diabetes is a very common problem today. Even if you are not able to prevent it because sometimes, it’s not even in your control, with proper treatment and some lifestyle changes you will eventually be able to lead almost a normal life!