Diabetes Mellitus – Symptoms and causes

Overview Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affects the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is of high importance to your health as it is your brain’s main source of fuel. Also, it is the main source of energy for the cells that makes up your muscles and tissues. The […]

Overview

Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affects the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is of high importance to your health as it is your brain’s main source of fuel. Also, it is the main source of energy for the cells that makes up your muscles and tissues.

The underlying cause of diabetes may vary depending on the type. Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Excess sugar in your blood can cause critical health matters.

Chronic diabetes conditions consist of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Reversible diabetes conditions potentially include prediabetes (when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes) and gestational diabetes (when a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy and may resolve after delivery).

Diabetes Symptoms & Signs of Diabetes

 

Symptoms of diabetes may vary depending on the amount of sugar that has been elevated in your blood. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not encounter symptoms initially. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes, tend to appear quickly and be more serious.

Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Presence of ketones in the urine (ketone is a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that occurs when the available insulin is insufficient)
  • Frequent infections such as gums/skin infections and vaginal infections

Type 1 diabetes may develop at any age, though it generally appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type, may improve at any age though it is more common in people older than 40.

Early signs/symptoms of diabetes

  • Hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent thirst and urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Blurred vision

Signs of diabetes in women

Women show some identical symptoms in addition to the common symptoms such as;

  • Vaginal/oral yeast infections and vaginal thrush
  • Urinary infections
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Diabetes in children

Type 2 diabetes in children affects the way your child’s body processes sugar. Lack of treatment can lead to serious long-term consequences.

Type 2 diabetes occurs more commonly in adults. But type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise, caused by the obesity epidemic.

Encourage your child to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity, and maintain a healthy weight to avoid the risk of diabetes. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to control type 2 diabetes in children, oral medication or insulin treatment may be needed.

Symptoms of diabetes in children

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Frequent urination & thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Darkened skin

Ulcer on foot

This is a break in the skin or a deep sore, which can become infected. These ulcers cause the skin to wear away, most commonly because of damaged nerves in the hands and feet which is caused due to diabetes. Although ulcers are sometimes dangerous and can lead to amputation, the key is prevention.

When to see a doctor

  • If you suspect that you or your child may have diabetes. Contact your doctor if you observe any possible diabetes symptoms. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
  • If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes. You will require close medical follow-up once you receive your diagnosis until your blood sugar levels stabilize.

Diabetes diagnosis

There are different types of tests that you can run in order to diagnose diabetes.

Glucose tolerance test

The glucose tolerance test, which is also called the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), measures your body’s response to sugar. The glucose tolerance test can be used to check on type 2 diabetes. A modified version of this test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes.

Glucose test pregnancy

It is of crucial importance to keep track of a pregnant woman’s blood sugar level. Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that starts or is found during pregnancy.

TWO-STEP TESTING

This is the first type of blood sugar test done during pregnancy;

  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
  • Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level.

If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will be required to complete a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
  • You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it for testings.

ONE-STEP TESTING

This is a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
  • You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it for testings.

Lancets

A lancet is a sharp object that helps in pricking the finger to obtain a drop of blood in order to test the blood glucose level. Lancing device is used to hold the lancet. Generally, lancets are for single-use, and lancing devices are for multiple uses. They are used to find out the accurate blood glucose level with the help of test strips and glucose monitors.

Glucometer/Glucose meter/Blood sugar monitor

This is a medical device that is used to determine the approximate amount of glucose in the blood. A small drop of blood obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet will be placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood sugar level. This is measured in units of mg/dl or mmol/l.

Contour next one

This is a smart meter and app system which accurate and easy to use in order to benefit a broad range of patients living with diabetes.

If you mark your result as After Meal, the meter will compare the result against the After Meal Target Range. If you do not mark the result, the meter compares your test result with the Overall Target Range.

Contour next test strips

A simple solution for testing your sugar levels with no coding, but with a small sample of blood with high accuracy and speed.

One-touch ultra test strips

The one-touch ultra-easy test strips are used with the one-touch ultra-easy blood glucose monitoring system for the quantitative measurement of glucose in blood samples drawn from the fingertips.

One-touch Verio test strips

These are used to test very low and very high blood glucose levels which give fast results in just 5 seconds, from a small drop of blood.

HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) test and levels/ranges

Hemoglobin is a protein that can be found in the red blood cells. It’s responsible for giving the red color to the blood and it also carries oxygen throughout your whole body. The hemoglobin A1c test is used to find out your average level of blood sugar over the past 2-3 months. It’s also known as glycated hemoglobin test and glycohemoglobin. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to get this test done regularly to check if their levels are standing within range. The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes. It helps to determine if you need to change or adjust your diabetes medicines.
 When glucose builds up in your blood, it gets absorbed into the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test is used to measure the amount of glucose that has been absorbed. Red blood cells usually live up to 3 months. Hence, this test would only show the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months. There are three levels of A1c;

  • Diabetes
  • Prediabetes
  • Normal

HbA1c converter

HbA1c values have changed and are now reported as a measurement in mmol/mol instead of the percentage previously given. This converter is used to convert the new units and compare these with old units and vice versa.

Causes of Diabetes

In order to learn about diabetes, it is of utmost importance to understand how glucose is being processed in your body.

How insulin works

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, located lower behind the stomach.

  • The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream.
  • The insulin circulates allowing sugar to enter your cells.
  • Insulin decreases the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.
  • The secretion of insulin from your pancreas goes down followed by the drop in the level of blood sugar.

Types of insulin

  • Rapid-acting insulin.
  • Short-acting insulin.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin.
  • Mixed insulin.
  • Long-acting insulin.

Insulin resistance

This is the stage when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver do not actively respond to insulin and fail to use glucose from your blood for energy. The pancreas then produces more insulin to cope up with it. Gradually, your blood sugar levels will rise while showing the following symptoms;

  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Problems in concentrating
  • Belly fat
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels

Insulin resistance symptoms

  • Frequent urination.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Dark, dry patches on the skin.
  • Weight gain.
  • High triglyceride levels and low HDL
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease 3

Insulin resistance diet

There are no special foods for the insulin-resistance diet. You will have to eat less unhealthy fat, sugar, meats, and processed starches, and more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and lean poultry.

Insulin side effects

  • Swelling of your arms and legs
  • Weight gain
  • Low blood sugar
  • Injection site reactions
  • Skin changes at the injection site
  • Low blood potassium
  • Heart failure

Glucose levels / Blood sugar levels or ranges

This is the concentration of glucose/sugar present in the blood of humans and other animals. Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle and liver cells in the form of glycogen.

The role of glucose

Glucose — a sugar — is a source of energy for the cells that makes up muscles and other tissues.

  • Glucose can be obtained from two main sources: food and your liver.
  • Sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the aid of insulin.
  • Your liver stores and produces glucose.

To keep your glucose level within a normal range during times when the levels are less (for example; when you haven’t eaten in a while), the liver breaks down the stored glycogen into glucose.

Normal blood sugar/glucose levels/ A1c & the sugar levels after eating

The blood sugar levels are considered normal when they are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours and when they’re less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.

During the daytime, the sugar levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people who do not have diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals stand around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal while for others it can be 90.

Prediabetes A1c/glucose level

An A1c level between 5.7% and 6.4% is considered prediabetes.

High glucose/blood sugar level

Blood sugar is commonly considered too high if it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal. But, most of the symptoms of high blood glucose don’t appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl

Fasting blood sugar/glucose level

Fasting before blood sugar testing may be required with some types of tests. Fasting blood sugar test requires 10–16 hour-long period of not eating before the test

  • A blood sugar level below 5.6 mmol/l (100 mg/dl) after 10–16 hours of fasting is normal.
  • 5.6–6 mmol/l (100–109 mg/dl) may signal prediabetes and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) should be done for people with an increased risk (old people, people with high blood pressure, etc.).
  • 6.1–6.9 mmol/l (110–125 mg/dl) signals that an OGTT should be done even if other indicators of diabetes are not present.
  • 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) and above indicates diabetes and the fasting test should be repeated.

Causes of type 1 diabetes (T1d/ IDDM/ Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus)

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes as not been discovered yet. However, the studies show that the immune system — which fights harmful bacteria and viruses — attacks and destroys the cells producing insulin in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead of being transported into your cells,.

Type 1 is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, although it is still unclear what those factors exactly are. However, weight is not believed to be a factor in type 1 diabetes.

Causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Your cells become proof against the action of insulin during prediabetes (which may lead to type 2 diabetes ) and type 2 diabetes, disabling your pancreas to produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead of moving into your cells where it’s needed for energy.

Although it is also believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, the exact causes of it remain uncertain. Being overweight is one major reason for the development of type 2 diabetes. But, not everyone with type 2 is overweight. 

Prediabetes symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling hungry often
  • Lethargy
  • Vision-related problems

Prediabetes diet

  • Fresh fruit.
  • Spices and herbs
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and shellfish.
  • Plant-based proteins, such as beans, peas, lentils, tofu, and nuts.
  • Whole grains and whole-grain products.
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado.

Type 2 diabetes diet

Consume complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils.

Avoid foods including simple carbohydrates, which are processed such as; sugar, pasta, white bread, flour, and cookies, pastries.

Type 3 diabetes

This condition of diabetes is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This occurs when neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is essential for basic tasks, including memory and learning. Some researchers believe insulin deficiency results in the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease

Type 3 diabetes symptoms include;

  • Loss of memory
  • Problems in completing daily tasks
  • Disability to come into conclusions
  • Mood swings and changes in personality

Causes of gestational diabetes (Pregnancy diabetes)

The placenta generates hormones, which make your cells more resistant to insulin, to sustain your pregnancy during the gestation period.

Usually, your pancreas responds by producing enough excess insulin to overcome this resistance. However, your pancreas might fail to keep up with it at times. On this occasion, very little glucose gets into your cells while most of it remains in your blood causing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes symptoms & signs of gestational diabetes

  • Glucose in the urine.
  • Unusual thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Tiredness.
  • Nausea.
  • Frequent vaginal, bladder, and skin infections.
  • Vision problems

Gestational diabetes diet

  • Whole fruits and vegetables.
  • Average amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats.
  • Considerable amounts of whole grains like bread, cereal, pasta, rice, and starchy vegetables like corn and peas.
  • Less food containing a lot of sugar like soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries.

Risk factors

Risk factors for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes.

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes (T1d)

Even though the exact causes of type 1 diabetes are yet unknown, factors that may warn an increased risk includes:

  • Family history. You are a higher risk if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.
  • Environmental factors. Circumstances such as exposure to viral illnesses are likely to result in type 1 diabetes.
  • The presence of damaging immune system cells (autoantibodies).Sometimes, family members of patients with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have these autoantibodies, you have a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes. However, not everyone with autoantibodies develops diabetes.
  • Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.

Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

It has not been proven by the researchers, as to why certain people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes while the rest of them does not. However, certain factors may increase the odds. Such as:

  • The more resistant your cells become to insulin when you have more fatty tissues.
  • Your inactiveness puts you at a higher risk. Physical activity helps you to control your weight, uses up glucose as energy, and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Family history. You are at higher risk if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • Black people, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian-Americans are highly vulnerable to this disease although, the reason for certain races to become at risk remains unexplained.
  • Your risk rises as you get older. Less exercise, loss of muscle mass, and weight gain as you age may be the reasons for this. However, type 2 diabetes is also increasing among children, adolescents, and younger adults.
  • Gestational diabetes. Your chances of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (at a later stage) are higher if you have developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant. Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms) would also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. Women having polycystic ovary syndrome (a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity) holds a higher risk of diabetes.
  • High blood pressure. Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) would put you at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher if you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Triglyceride is another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor would be able to advise you of your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes

Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes although, certain women would be at a higher risk than others. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

  • Women older than age 25 are at higher risk.
  • Family or personal history. Your risk would be high if you have prediabetes (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) or if a close family member such as; a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. You’re also at a higher risk if you had; gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, if you have delivered a very large baby or if you had an unexplained stillbirth.
  • It puts you at a higher risk if you are being overweight before pregnancy.
  • Women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian are more likely to develop gestational diabetes, due to unexplained reasons.

Complications

Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The risk of complications becomes high when you have diabetes for a longer time and when you have less control over your sugar level. Diabetes complications may eventually become disabling or even life-threatening. Possible complications include:

  • Cardiovascular disease. The risks of various cardiovascular matters such as; coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis) may dramatically increase due to diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can damage the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that feed your nerves, especially in your legs, causing numbness, tingling, burning, or pain that often begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upwards.
  • You could lose all senses of feelings in the affected limbs if left untreated. Damage to the nerves related to digestion may result in conditions such as; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. It may lead to erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). Kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filters waste from your blood. Diabetes can injure this delicate filtering system. Serious damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes may potentially usher you towards blindness, injuring the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy). Diabetes also increases the chance of other critical vision conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Foot damage. Increased chances of foot complications may arise due to nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet. Cuts and blisters that are left untreated can develop severe infections, which often heals poorly. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot, or leg amputation.
  • Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more prone to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Hearing impairment. Diabetes may cause hearing problems which are a very common matter among people.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The risks get higher when your control over your blood sugar level becomes poor. None of the theories that explain the way these disorders might be linked has been proved yet.
  • Depression is a common symptom in people with type 1 and types 2 diabetes. Depression can affect diabetes management.

Complications of gestational diabetes

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels may cause problems for you and your baby.

Complications in your baby may happen as a result of gestational diabetes including:

  • Excess growth. Excess glucose may cross the placenta, ushering your baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large. Very large babies are more likely to need a C-section birth.
  • Low blood sugar. Occasionally, babies of mothers with gestational diabetes may develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.
  • Type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes towards the latter part of their lives.
  • Untreated gestational diabetes can cause a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.

Complications in the mother also can happen as a result of gestational diabetes including:

  • This condition is characterized by high blood pressure, a surplus of protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to severe or even life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
  • Subsequent gestational diabetes. Once you’ve had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, You’re more likely to have gestational diabetes in your next pregnancy, if you have already had it in one pregnancy before. You’re also more likely to develop diabetes (typically type 2 diabetes) as you get older.

Complications of prediabetes

Prediabetes may develop into type 2 diabetes.

Lada diabetes

LADA stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood. This is a form of type 1 diabetes that develops later into adulthood. LADA tends to develop slower than type 1 diabetes in childhood and, it might sometimes appear similar to type 2 diabetes, making it hard to make an accurate diagnosis.

NIDDM

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is a result of an imbalance between insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion. Both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies have shown that the earliest detectable symptom in NIDDM is an impairment in the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Hyperglycemia

When you have high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood, it is known as hyperglycemia. It occurs when the body does not produce or use enough insulin. If a person with diabetes does not control their blood sugar level, they might develop a critical complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

If a person does not follow a proper treatment for ketoacidosis, they may encounter a diabetic coma, which a dangerous complication of diabetes. The dawn phenomenon is a common cause of hyperglycemia in people with diabetes.

Hyperglycemia symptoms

  • Frequent urination and thirst
  • Skin infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Vision problems
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Parched mouth

HHS Diabetes

The hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome is a serious complication of diabetes which occurs when blood sugar levels are very high for a long time. Symptoms of HHS may include extreme thirst, frequent urination, changes in your vision, and confusion. This is an emergency and you should seek medical assistance immediately if you have these symptoms.

HHS most often affects people who have type 2 diabetes.

Hypoglycemic conditions

This is a condition that arises due to your blood sugar level being lower than normal. Hypoglycemia is often related to diabetes treatment. However, other drugs and different conditions can cause low blood sugar in people who don’t have diabetes

It needs immediate treatments when blood sugar levels are low. For many people, a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or below should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia. Seek medical assistance to get the most suitable dosage for you. High-sugar foods or drinks also helps to boost your glucose levels.

Signs of low blood sugar & low sugar symptoms

  • Trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Excess sweating
  • Frequent hunger
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Problems related to concentration
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings

Diabetic shock

This condition occurs when blood sugar levels drop dangerously low. Diabetic shock is a serious stage of hypoglycemia.

People who are already undergoing medication for diabetes may also encounter this condition as a consequence of too much insulin. It can occur anytime there is an imbalance between the insulin in your system, the amount of food you eat, or your level of physical activity. It can even happen while you are doing all you think you can do to manage your diabetes

Ketones diabetes

Ketones are chemicals that build up when your body starts to burn fat/energy. The most common reason for ketones in diabetics is the insufficiency of insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream without entering cells. The cells then burn fat instead of glucose.

Neuropatia Diabetica (Diabetic Neuropathy)

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur as a result of diabetes. High blood sugar can damage nerves throughout the body. This condition mostly affects the nerves in the legs and feet.

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can range from pain and numbness in the legs and feet to issues in the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart, depending on the nerves affected. Diabetic neuropathy can be quite painful and disabling. However, for certain people, the symptoms may be mild.

This is a frequent and serious complication of diabetes. Although, in general, their improvement can be prevented or delayed by strict controls on blood sugar levels and a healthy lifestyle.

Following are the four main types of diabetic neuropathy;

  • Peripheral neuropathy – affects the feet and legs, followed by the hands and arms
  • Autonomic neuropathy – affects the heart, bladder, stomach, intestines, sex organs, and eyes
  • Radiculoplexopathy neuropathy (diabetic amyotrophy) – affects the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs
  • Mononeuropathy – affects a specific nerve in the face, mid-body (torso), or leg

Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects your eyes. It’s caused by damage to the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye).

This might not show any symptoms or only mild vision problems at the initial stage. Eventually, it can lead to blindness.

This condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is more likely for you to develop this eye complication if you have had diabetes for a long time with low control over your blood sugar levels.

  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Vision loss

Nephropathy

This is a condition that develops in the kidneys, caused by damages to the small blood vessels in the kidneys that clean the blood. People who have had diabetes for a long time may encounter nephropathy.

The following factors may increase your risk for nephropathy;

  • Uncontrolled high blood sugar.
  • Uncontrolled High blood pressure.
  • Smoking.
  • High blood cholesterol.
  • A family history of diabetes and kidney disease.

The symptoms of this condition can be as follows;

  • Swollen feet, ankles, hands or eyes
  • Frequent urinating
  • Problems in concentrating
  • Breathlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Persistent itching
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of control over blood pressure

Diabetes treatment, Prevention & Diabetes control

Although type 1 diabetes can’t be avoided, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help to cure prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them:

  • Eat healthy foods. Consume foods that are lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Strive for variety to avoid boredom.
  • Get more physical activity. Engage in 30 minutes of average physical activity a day. Take a quick daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps. If you can’t fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions to practice throughout the day.
  • Lose excess pounds. If you’re overweight, the risk of diabetes can be lessened by losing even 7 percent of your body weight — for example, 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms).

However, do not try to lose weight during pregnancy. Seek medical advice to learn about the weight that you must maintain during pregnancy.

Focus on permanent changes to your food and exercise habits to maintain your weight in a healthy range. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy, and improved self-esteem.

Medication is an option for certain instances as well. Oral diabetes drugs such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes while healthy lifestyle choices remain crucial. Make sure to have your blood sugar level checked at least once a year to confirm that you haven’t developed type 2 diabetes

Diabetic foot care

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious results. Diabetes may cause nerve damage making your feet numb. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. You could develop a blister or a sore which could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.

Following are some steps that you can take to avoid these foot issues;

  • Inspect your feet daily
  • Wash feet from lukewarm water
  • Moisturize your feet (not between toes)
  • Cut nails carefully

Carb counting

Carbohydrate counting refers to a meal planning tool for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping a track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day.

Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients present in food and drinks. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrate counting helps you to control your blood sugar because carbohydrates affect your blood glucose more than other nutrients.

Foods to avoid with diabetes

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Trans fats
  • White bread, pasts & rice
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Flavored yogurts
  • Dried fruit
  • French fries

List of best diet/foods for diabetics/foods that lower blood sugar

  • Fatty fish
  • Leafy greens
  • Cinnamon
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic

Breakfast for diabetics

  • Shakes
  • Muffin Parfait
  • Whole-Grain Cereal
  • Scrambled Eggs and Toast
  • Burritos
  • Bagel Thins With Nut Butter
  • Almonds and Fruit

Snacks for diabetes

  • Yogurt with berries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tuna salad
  • Popcorn

Farxiga

Dapagliflozin, sold by the brand Farxiga, is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and also for those with type 1 diabetes under certain restrictions. This drug works by increasing the removal of sugar by your kidneys.

Insulin pump

These are small computerized devices that imitate the way the human pancreas works, by providing small doses of short-acting insulin continuously. This device is also used to deliver various amounts of insulin when a meal is eaten (bolus). The basal insulin rates are determined by your doctor based on your needs.

The need for long-acting insulin is being substituted with this device. A pump also replaces the need for multiple daily injections with a continuous insulin infusion and also helps to manage your blood sugar levels.

SGLT2 Inhibitor

SGLT2 inhibitors or gliflozins are a group of medications that hinder the re-absorption of glucose in the kidney and therefore lowers blood sugar. They are used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Apart from blood sugar control, the inhibitors have been able to provide significant cardiovascular benefits in type 2 diabetes patients.

Glyxambi

Glyxambi is a combination of an inhibitor of the sodium-glucose co-transporter (SGLT2) and an inhibitor of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) enzyme used as a supplement to the diet and exercises to improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Halki diabetes remedy

Halki Diabetes Remedy is a 21-day plan that educates you on what’s going on in your body, so you can begin to manage your Type 2 Diabetes. It’s highly focused on diet and using food to cleanse your body of the toxins that are believed to be the main cause of type 2 diabetes.

World diabetes day

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14 November each year with the primary goal of global awareness on diabetes mellitus. This event is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Topics such as diabetes and lifestyle, obesity, prevention, treatments, and the increasing diabetes conditions in children and adolescents are being discussed at this event. The day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, first came up with the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922

American Diabetes Association (ADA)

This is a United States-based nonprofit organization, founded in 1940, that seeks to educate the public about diabetes with the ultimate mission of preventing and curing diabetes (including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes). It also aims at making the lives of the affected people better.

Diabetes care

Diabetes Care is a monthly medical journal published since 1978 by the American Diabetes Association. The journal covers research on the following five areas;

  • Clinical care/education/nutrition/psychosocial
  • Epidemiology/health services
  • Emerging treatments and technologies
  • Pathophysiology/complications
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic risk

Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada (known as the Canadian Diabetes Association or CDA since 1953) is a registered national charity whose mission includes serving the Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.

These programs include; educational programs, clinical practice guidelines, rights of patients with diabetes, and also investments in diabetes researches.

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