Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a long-term metabolic condition where the concentration of glucose or sugar in your blood is very high. Your body gets glucose from the food that you eat. The starchy and sugary carbohydrates in your food are converted into sugar (glucose) and the glucose is passed into your bloodstream. It is circulated throughout your body where it enters the different cells in your body and is used as energy.
Your body requires a hormone called insulin to help glucose enter the different cells. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas, a gland situated behind your stomach. When you eat food, the pancreas secretes the right amount of insulin which acts like a key that unlocks the door of your cells for glucose to enter and produce energy.
In people with diabetes, the pancreas either stops producing insulin or the insulin produced is not effective. This results in increased level of sugar in the blood stream.
People with diabetes can experience any of the following symptoms
- Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
- Increased appetite or excessive hunger (polyphagia)
- Passing large amount of urine frequently (polyuria)
- Tiredness/Loss of energy
- Loss of weight
- Blurred vision
- Mood changes
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children but can be diagnosed in any person irrespective of their age. It is an autoimmune disease that can permanently damage the insulin producing cells in your pancreas and hinder your ability to produce insulin.People with type 1 diabetes will therefore require regular external insulin supply to manage their diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, either there is not enough insulin produced by your body to cope with the glucose levels, or your body is not able to use insulin efficiently.
High blood sugar levels detected during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, opt for a healthy active lifestyle
Diabetes Related Complications
If diabetes is not managed properly, it can lead to serious complications.
Hypoglycaemia – Low Blood Glucose
Hypoglycaemia occurs when your body does not have enough glucose to produce energy. You may experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia if your blood glucose leveldrops below 70 mg/dl. Symptoms can include trembling, irritability, sweating, confusion, anxiety, and palpitations; and if not treated promptly can lead to unconsciousness. If you feel that your glucose levels are running low, you should act immediately by eating or drinking something that will raise blood glucose quickly.
Hyperglycaemia – High Blood Glucose
Hyperglycaemia is a condition where the concentration of glucose in your blood is very high. It is usually observed in people with uncontrolled diabetes and can lead to serious diabetes related complications.
Long Term Complication