Introduction to Diabetes

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How does the body get energy?

Food we eat is broken down into fuel called Glucose. Glucose enters the bloodstream and travels to the cells to be used as fuel. Glucose needs help pf hormone called Insulin to enter the cells. Insulin is produced by gland in body called pancreas.

 

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal

Diabetes can be classified into the following general categories:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)

 

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

If you have Type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Whereas in Type 1, insulin is not produced by pancreas.

Gestational Diabetes is during pregnancy.

The cells become starved for energy, which can leave you feeling tired and rundown. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin. Some people with Type 2 can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and being active. But, your doctor may need to also prescribe oral medications or insulin to help you meet your target blood glucose levels in desired levels to remain healthy.

 

SYMPTOMS

The following symptoms of Diabetes are typical. However, some people with Type 2 Diabetes do not have any symptoms.

Common symptoms of Diabetes:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

 

 DIAGNOSIS

Diabetes may be diagnosed based on blood glucose criteria, either the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or the 2-h plasma glucose (2-h PG) value during a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), or A1C criteria.

 

HbA1C

The A1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months.

Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%.

 

Why is it important to control blood glucose levels?

If blood glucose level is not controlled, blood vessels throughout the body may become diseased.

Prolonged high blood glucose affects all organs and nerves. As a result, the risks to the heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs are increased.

Scientific studies have shown Diabetic people who keep their blood sugar levels not under control are at high risk of having:

  • Heart attacks and heart diseases
  • Heart failures
  • Strokes
  • Cataracts and blindness
  • Kidney failure and kidney disease
  • Leg ulcers, infections and amputations

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