Diabetes is one of the major diseases to which people are exposed worldwide. Diabetes is mainly a medical condition where a person’s pancreas does not produce the required quantity of Insulin hormone or the body cells do not respond to the produced Insulin. Due to this, increase in the blood sugar level is noticed along with other metabolic problems.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes has a number of symptoms such as-

  • Extreme thirst (Polydypsia)
  • Frequent urination (Polyuria)
  • Increased hunger (Polyphagia)
  • Blurry vision`
  • Increased tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness ( a rare symptom)
  • Recurrent infections, including thrush infections.

Types of Diabetes

There are three forms in which the disease of Diabetes is classified. These forms of Diabetes are referred to as Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 Diabetes depending on the difference in their symptoms and causes.

Type 1

Also known as the Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus or Juvenile Diabetes or Early-Onset Diabetes.

  • In this type of diabetes, the pancreas produces very little insulin or no insulin at all.
  • Insulin injections needed for the rest of life.
  • This type of diabetes is caused due to damage to Beta cells of pancreas which produce Insulin.
  • The cause of damage to Beta cells is still not clear.
  •  Unfortunately, own immune system of the body mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas.
  • Genetics also effects in this process, and certain environmental factors, such as viruses, may trigger the disease.

Type 2

  • Also known as Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus or Adult-Onset Diabetes.
  • In this case, pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not properly use it.
  • It is often considered a lifestyle disease because it is normally triggered by living a sedentary life or being overweight.
  • It is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors.
  • Insulin resistance is found in type II patients.

Risk factors that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes:

  • dark patches of skin (acanthosis nigricans)
  • blood vessel disease (e.g., blood vessels in the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, brain, or arms and legs get damaged)
  • giving birth to a large baby
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • a history of gestational diabetes
  • HIV infection
  • mental health disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia)
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • pre-diabetes
  • use of certain medications (e.g., corticosteroids like prednisone, antipsychotic medications, antiviral medications for HIV)

Type 3

Also called Gestational Diabetes.

  • A condition that women can get when they are in the second trimester of pregnancy. It will disappear after the baby is born.
    However, patient does have risk of developing diabetes in future in some cases.

Diagnosis of Diabetes

The diagnosis of Diabetes is made chiefly through four types of tests which are as follows:
FBS This test is done on an empty stomach. It detects the amount of glucose in a person’s blood when he has not eaten anything for at least 10 hours. A fasting blood sugar glucose level of 110 mg/dl or greater, 7mmol/L or greater is indicative of diabetes.

PPBS– This Blood glucose test determines the amount of sugar a person has in his body after a meal. Normal range is 120-180mg/dl. Glucose levels higher than this indicates diabetes.
HbA1c– This test measures average glucose over the past 4 to 6 weeks (possibly longer). It also measures the amount of glucose that is stuck onto a person’s red blood cells. If HbA1c value is above 7%, it indicates diabetes is poorly controlled.

Urine Routine Test– Through the medium of this, the presence of protein and sugar in urine can be checked.

Complications of Diabetes

Retinopathy (Eye Complication)
Several vascular diseases may develop, one of these is related to the analysis of the refractive properties of the eye which is the abnormal growth of blood vessels in retina, part of eye. Diseased small blood vessels in the back of the eye cause the leakage of protein and blood in the retina. It also causes the formation of small aneurysms(microaneurysms), and new but brittle blood vessels (neovascularization). Bleeding from these blood vessels can lead to scarring and detachment of retina, resulting in impaired vision.
Nephropathy (Kidney Damage)
Kidney damage or Nephropathy is another medical complication which can arise with Diabetes.In Nephropathy, the blood vessels in the kidney get weakened and lead to the leakage of protein in the urine.  Slowly kidneys lose the power to cleanse and filter blood and this causes the accumulation of toxic waste products in the blood. Under such conditions, the patient may have to go for dialysis or even kidney transplant in some cases.

Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
Due to Diabetes the flow of blood in a person’s body begins to get disturbed and as a consequence of which some serious never damage can take place. This can cause serious complications in multiple organs. As a result of nerve damage, a patient may suffer from the following:
Numbness and ache in feet.
Normal healing process is affected due to lack of blood flow in the affected body part. Foot injuries may take time to heal or not heal at all. It can lead to serious infection, ulcers, and even gangrene, necessitating surgical amputation of toes, feet, and other infected parts.
Nerves important for penile erection may get effected and result in impotency.
Nausea, weight loss, diarrhea, constipation because of ineffective contraction in stomach muscles can also be lead by the diabetic nerve damage .
Hardening of the arteries in heart also happens due to this nerve damage. Heart failures and other cardio vascular diseases can crop up with a nerve damage gone worse. Cataract and Glaucoma and acidity in the blood can take place  because of Diabetic nerve damage.

 

Cardiomyopathy
Due to the diabetic vascular disease, blockage in the arteries develops, also called as “hardening of the arteries”. Many conditions are have been observed like coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, and diabetic cardio- myopathy.
In coronary heart disease(CHD), a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries (supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart), condition termed as atherosclerosis. In Diabetic Cardiomyopathy the structure and function of heart is damaged. This disease can lead to heart failure and arrhythmias.
Cataract and Glaucoma
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Ketone bodies and acidity in the blood.