1. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes are a significant global health concern, responsible for a majority of deaths worldwide.
2. Diabetes, characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, comes in different forms, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
3. Recognizing the symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, slow wound healing, and increased hunger, is essential for early diagnosis and treatment.
4. Managing diabetes involves both non-modifiable risk factors like family history and age, as well as modifiable risk factors like weight, physical activity, blood pressure, diet, and alcohol consumption.
More and more people have been suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in recent years. Globally, they cause 41 million deaths yearly, equivalent to 71% of all deaths.
Diabetes is one of these NCDs whose prevalence is on the rise. According to WHO, about 8.7% of the population between age 20 and 70 is diabetic. With such high prevalence rates, you must be aware of diabetes symptoms to seek help at the right time. So, let's discuss diabetes in detail.
Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus or Sugar is a chronic condition with elevated blood glucose levels. Someone with diabetes either doesn't make enough insulin (type 1) or their body stops responding to it (type 2).
A lack of insulin or insulin resistance affects the cells' ability to absorb glucose, increasing blood glucose levels. Without proper control, diabetes can damage your heart, eyes, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.
The normal fasting glucose levels are between 70 mg/dL and 99 mg/dL. Levels between 100 to 125 mg/dL indicate pre-diabetes. If your fasting blood glucose levels exceed 126 mg/dL on two occasions, doctors diagnose you with diabetes.
Also read: The Fasting Blood Sugar Test
There are three main types of diabetes:
The pancreas produces insulin through cells called β-cells. In this type 1 diabetes, your body's immune system attacks your own pancreatic β-cells. This causes them to be unable to produce insulin.
It usually affects young adults and children. The symptoms manifest suddenly and can become life-threatening. The rate of β-cell destruction varies from person to person. It may be relatively rapid in some individuals and slower in others.
People with type 2 diabetes form a resistance to the effects of insulin. Often called adult-onset diabetes, this type of diabetes occurs mainly in adults. If you're overweight, not very active, older, and your family has a history of diabetes, you're more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
It may cause long-term complications in blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. It can significantly cause morbidity and death due to cardiovascular diseases.
Gestational diabetes (GD) is the term used for diabetes that develops during pregnancy. After the delivery of the baby, this type of diabetes usually disappears. Kids born to mothers with GD have a higher chance of obesity and type 2 diabetes when they grow up.
Many do not understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Hence, here's a simple table distinguishing between type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
Pay attention to all the following signs. If you have any of these symptoms, it could mean you have diabetes. So it will be good to consult with your doctor about them.
Various factors make you more susceptible to developing diabetes. Let's briefly explore these risk factors.
People often ask us various questions about diabetes mellitus. Hence, let us discuss some of the most common and relevant questions here.
People often get confused between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Though they have some similar symptoms, they are two very different conditions. Let's understand their difference.
Yes, curd is good for diabetes. It is rich in probiotics, proteins, and calcium. Hence, it promotes satiety, regulates blood sugar levels, and supports bone health.
Curd has a glycemic index of about 28, which is low. Hence, it will not affect your blood glucose levels significantly.
However, opting for plain, unsweetened curd and avoiding flavored varieties with added sugars is essential.
Also read: The best chart for blood sugar control
Yes, diabetics can donate blood.
To donate blood, you should have your blood sugar under control. Also, you should meet other eligibility criteria set by blood donation centers or organizations.
You should make sure your blood sugar levels are within the normal range while donating blood. Also, always tell the donation staff if you have diabetes or take any medicine.
Diabetes is not a condition that you can take lightly. Even though it is troublesome, you can manage it well with an early diagnosis. Therefore, if you are showing diabetes symptoms, you must book an appointment to visit your doctor.
Even if you don't have diabetes yet, follow this advice to prevent getting it.
The best way to prevent or manage diabetes is to take the right actions. But what are the right actions?
Aware has the answers!
The Aware Health Rewards app provides daily action steps as part of your 90-day care plan. These action steps will guide you in reaching your diabetes management goals one day at a time.
About the author:
Lucky Mehtani, B. Pharm, merges his healthcare expertise with a passion for writing to enhance India's heart health. Through insightful blogs, he provides well-researched information on managing Diabetes, Hypertension, and High Cholesterol, aiming to prevent heart attacks and strokes.