Do you want to know what diabetes is and how you can cure this disease as well? We will also look at the symptoms of diabetes so stay with us.
What Is Diabetes
Diabetes is a culmination of various diseases, mainly involving the problem of insulin generation in the body. Insulin helps in regulating sugar (glucose) in the blood. Some common symptoms of diabetes include too much thirst, hunger, fatigue, and frequent urination.
A diabetic patient doesn’t get cured in few days. It is not like those seasonal diseases; it is a condition that takes months and years to get cured. Medical experts call it DiabetesMellitus.
Below given images gives an idea of some symptoms of diabetes mellitus. The image is taken from the gallery of Mikael Häggström, a doctor of medicine.
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst (polydipsia)
- Increased hunger (polyphagia)
- Unusual weight gain or weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Slow wound healing
- Skin itching
- Various skin rashes (diabetic dermadromes)
- Increased urine
- Yeast infections
- Numbness or tingling in feet
- Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
This type is also considered immune-mediated or idiopathic. Most of the type 1 diabetes mellitus cases are immune-mediated; beta-cell loss occurs due to T cell’s autoimmune attack. Most people are healthy in the initial stage; things get worse gradually. Eating healthy and doing proper exercise and the required dose of insulin help the patient lead an everyday life.
Most patients develop this before entering their 40s. Also, it may happen in early adulthood or teenage. It is a rare form of diabetes.
In some cases, it is also known as “brittle diabetes” (or unstable diabetes) because of the constant changes in glucose levels. However, this term is not considered correct scientifically even though blood sugar levels fluctuate significantly in insulin-dependent diabetes.
Regular blood sugar level tests are a must for them.
- Health complications for Type 1 Diabetics
- Inability to respond to low blood sugar
- Gastroparesis (abnormal absorption of carbohydrates)
- Endocrinopathies (Problems related to the endocrine gland such as thyroid dysfunction, Addison’s disease, etc.)
Type 1 Diabetes Causes
Family history (Viral infections or unhealthy diet can easily trigger diabetes in these people)
Unhealthy modern lifestyle. Gliadin (a protein in gluten) may also trigger type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Still, in some cases, reduced insulin secretion may also exist as a problem. 90% of the people with diabetes in the world suffer through this type. Usually, this happens due to an unhealthy lifestyle and diabetic family history.
Some main lifestyle factors causing type 2 diabetes are – obesity, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet (too much sugar and bad fat consumption), stress, and staying away from nature. 7% of cases take place due to a sedentary lifestyle. A healthy diet and proper exercises are a must and regular tests for blood glucose levels and regular medication if required.
Type 2 diabetes can be cured by controlling weight, eating healthy, working out, and keeping an eye on the blood sugar levels. However, it is not that easy. Type 2 diabetes comes with various cravings and sensations, which increases the patient’s struggle to get cured. Hence, they have to resort to insulin dosage.
Overweight or obese makes a person more prone to type 2 diabetes. The risk is even higher for those who have visceral fat (also known as belly fat, central obesity, or abdominal obesity. High weight disrupts the metabolic and cardiovascular systems.
Who is more prone to Type 2 Diabetes
- One who eats bad calories
- One who drinks sugary soft drinks regularly
- Elderly people
- People with diabetes family history; especially those who are from Middle East, Africa, or South Asia
- Men with low testosterone
- Most of the type 2 diabetes patients suffer from pre-diabetes initially.
What is Prediabetes
Insulin resistance begins in the body. In this stage, the heart and circulatory system face troubles, which has an impact in the later stage. Diabetes is treatable, except the type 1 diabetes. Type 2 is also not easy to get rid of; however, some people have made it happen by following a healthy lifestyle.
When a woman suffers from high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes. Usually, this goes away after pregnancy, but these women are quite prone to get type 2 diabetes at some point in their life. Approximately 10% of pregnancies face this type of diabetes, and among these cases, 10% continue to suffer from type 2 diabetes even after giving birth.
If this type of diabetes is not taken care of, childbirth might get complicated. A baby may also be born heavier than the recommended size and weight; this condition of the baby is macrosomia. Other problems in the baby include heart problems, nervous system issues, and deformity in skeletal muscle.
Too much insulin in the unborn’s blood may cause hyaline membrane disease (a respiratory disorder).
To avoid gestational diabetes during pregnancy, avoid a diet rich in too much animal fat and bad cholesterol.
Alzheimer’s Disease – The Type 3 Diabetes Mellitus
- Patients with Alzheimer’s face the problem of insulin resistance by the brain as a side effect. Hence, it is also known as type 3 diabetes.
- Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young
- There are various other subtypes of MODY. Genetic mutation adversely affects beta cell functions.
- It can be easily cured by treatment.
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults
In this stage, they are usually misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetics because of their age.
Other Specific Types
This is the culmination of some exceptional individual cases. Diabetes can come with various symptoms and various types. Sometimes, diabetes occurs just because the body’s tissue-receptors stop responding to the insulin, normally generated by the pancreas.
Hence, it is different from type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is very uncommon.
- In some cases, insulin action abnormality is tested genetically.
- Diseases that affect the pancreas adversely make the person prone to diabetes.
Difference between Type 1 DM & Type 2 DM
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
- Mostly suffered by children.
- Thin or regular bodied people get affected.
- Ketoacidosis is common in them.
- Autoantibodies are usually present.
- Low or no insulin production.
- 50% of identical twins affected.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
- Mostly suffered by adults.
- Obese people get affected.
- Ketoacidosis is a rare thing.
- Autoantibodies are absent.
- Normal, less, or high insulin.
- 90% of identical twins affected.
People with diabetes are more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and many other health problems. 75% of people with diabetes die due to coronary artery diseases. So, below mentioned tests should also be done regularly along with the blood glucose level test:
- Blood pressure test
- Cholesterol level test
If a person with diabetes is also a smoker, cardiovascular health risk increases significantly.
There are 3 tests to know if the person has diabetes or prediabetes:
The HbA1C Test
In blood, glucose sticks to the hemoglobin to form a glycosylated hemoglobin molecule called HbA1c. The quantity of glucose in the blood is directly proportional to the hemoglobin A1c in the blood.
- 6.5% is diabetes
- 5.7% to 5.99% is prediabetes
- Less than 5.7% is normal
- FPG (Fasting Plasma Glucose) Test
- Fasting Glucose Test (FGT) is also done after several fasting hours to test diabetes or prediabetes.
- 126 mg/dl is diabetes
- 100 mg/dl to 125.99 mg/dl is prediabetes
- Less than 100 mg/dl is normal FPG reading is not normal, it means that the patient has IFG (Impaired Fasting Glucose)
- OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)
- OGTT helps in finding out the body’s ability to digest glucose. This test is most common to find out gestational diabetes. Also, prediabetes and diabetes are tested through it.
- 200 mg/dl is diabetes
- 140 to 199.9 mg/dl is prediabetes
- Less than 140 mg/dl is regular OGTT reading is not regular, it means that the patient has IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance).
Other Health Issues Associated With Diabetes
Diabetes of any type causes long-term health complications. Usually, complications start showing serious effects in 10 to 20 years. One of the significant issues is the gradual damage of blood vessels.
Eyes: Glaucoma, Cataract, Retinopathy, etc.
Feet: Neuropathy, Ulcer, Gangrene is also seen in some cases
Skin: Diabetics are more prone to infections
Heart: Various issues are seen such as ischemia
Stroke: Uncontrolled blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose increase the risk of stroke
Wound healing: Any wound takes quite long to heal in diabetics
Infections: Diabetics are more prone to infections
Erectile dysfunction: Impotence in males
Mental health: Anxiety, Depression, etc.
Hearing loss: Diabetics are more prone to this problem
Gum disease: Diabetics are more prone to this
Hypertension: Common among people with diabetes; results in kidney and eyes problems; also makes prone to heart attacks
Neuropathy: Diabetics face the issue of nerve damage, which leads to several other issues such as painful muscle atrophy and weakness
Nephropathy: Diabalance blood pressure resulting in kidney problems
Gastroparesis: Stomach muscles don’t function properly
Ketoacidosis: Combination of Ketosis and Acidosis; it is the accumulation of ketones and acidity in the blood
HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome): It is an emergency condition when glucose level goes too high and no ketones are available in blood or urine
PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease): It causes pain and tingling in the leg; also a problem in walking
These health issues trouble more when diabetes treatment is avoided or not taken properly.
As people with diabetes have to keep controlling their sugar, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is quite common among them. Usually, the problem is not really serious, so it is not considered an emergency. However, when this happens, the patient looks drunk. In mildly difficult conditions, a patient may feel these symptoms:
- Increased hunger
- Such a situation can be controlled at home easily by taking something rich in sugar.
- Serious conditions may come with these symptoms:
- Adversely changed behavior
- Brain damage (rarely)
- In such conditions, a patient must be given intravenous glucose (glucose water gave directly in veins) or injections with glucagon.
People with type 1 diabetes mellitus may also suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis at times. It is a metabolic disorder, which causes nausea, stomach ache, etc. The patient’s breath smells like acetone. Reduced consciousness can also be witnessed in serious cases.
Patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus suffer through HHS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State) mostly. It happens when the patient gets dehydrated due to excessive sugar in the blood. To get rid of sugar, body water goes out in the form of urine. When it gets serious, many other complications occur.
What is Glucagon
When blood sugar level drops down too low, the pancreas releases glucagon to make the sugar flow normally in the bloodstream.
- Important To-Dos for Diabetics
- Following healthy diet
- Regular physical exercise
- Maintaining weight
- Avoiding tobacco
- Controlling blood pressure
- Taking care of feet
- Sometimes, weight loss surgery for obese patients does wonders in diabetes.
- Exercise is something that plays an immense role when we talk about diabetes.
Home Remedies for Diabetes
Ayurveda experts suggest below given diabetes remedies. However, we suggest you consult an expert before following any treatment, as some cases of diabetes can be too critical to follow without assistance.
Amla and Bitter Gourd Juice: Due to the abundance of Vitamin C for diabetic patients, Amla is very healthy for them. If you consume this juice regularly, it will maintain and increase insulin levels in your body.
Powder of Amla, Jamun Seeds, and Bitter Gourd: Diabetics are advised to consume one teaspoon of amla, Jamun seeds and bitter gourd powder daily. It will surely give beneficial results.
Juice of Mango Leaves: Mango is the king of all fruits and everybody loves to eat this delicious fruit. If diabetes is in an early stage, then drink the juice of tender mango leaves or it’s Kadha in the morning. The disease will not increase further and also not take a serious form.
Method of preparation of Kadha: Take 10 to 15 tender mango leaves, then boil them in a glass of water.
Powder of mango leaves: Dry the mango leaves and make a powder of them. Take one teaspoon of these powdered mango leaves along with water twice a day. It will definitely benefit you.
Mango and Jamun juice: Drink Jamun juice and mango juice mixed in equal quantities to cure diabetes.
Powder of Mango seeds: Consume this powder three or four times in the amount of three grams along with water. It will reduce the amount of sugar in the urine and control the diabetic patient’s excessive thirst.
Bananas: Take plenty of ripe bananas with black spots. After that take off their peel and mash them then add half the rice bran and keep it in a hot place for two to three days. On the fourth day keep it in a container in a sloppy position for some time. The juice of the banana will get separated. You can get rid of diabetes by consuming it regularly.
Guava: Cut the guava and put the finely chopped pieces into the water and let it remain for some time. Filter the water and drink. This will remove the desire of the patient to drink and take in more water.
Carrot and Spinach juice: Diabetic patients can get relief if they drink around 310 grams of carrot juice and 185 grams of spinach juice.
Turnip: Eating turnip regularly will benefit the diabetic patient and reduces the risk of adverse health conditions.
Lemon: If the diabetic patient is experiencing excessive thirst then squeeze a lemon in water and give them. You will see better results.
Diabetes is a Greek term, which means ‘siphon.’ Siphon is a tube that pushes liquid upwards and downwards. The flow of fluid stays continuous in a siphon.
Aretaeus of Cappadocia, a Greek physician in 2nd AD, called this condition ‘diabainein.’ The name got its meaning due to the polyuria symptom in patients, as they were passing too much urine like a siphon. As the term became common in English speaking lands, it got changed to ‘diabetes.’
In ancient India, physicians identified diabetes as Madhumeha (honey urine), as it would attract ants. Indian physicians Sushruta and Charaka classified diabetes in two forms — type 1 diabetes and typed 2 diabetes in 400 to 500 CE. They mentioned type 1 being associated with youth and type 2 with overweight or obesity.
Diabetes was rare in the Roman empire, maybe because of ancient lifestyle or possible observance of symptoms. Galen, a Greek physician, said that he saw only 2 cases in his career. He called it the “diarrhea urinosa” (the diarrhea of urine).
What is Mellitus
Some people believe that Thomas Willis, an English doctor, added Mellitus to diabetes in 1675, whereas Briton John Rolle added it in the late 1700s. It was done to separate diabetes mellitus from diabetes insipidus (a condition when the pituitary hormone doesn’t release properly, which causes very high production of dilute urine, eventually causing dehydration).
However, people still know it commonly as diabetes. Mel is a Latin term, which means honey. It was added because people with diabetes have a lot of glucose in their urine, sweet like honey. The literal meaning of ‘diabetes mellitus’ turns out to be “siphoning off sweet water.” In ancient times, people diagnosed diabetes by seeing if ants are getting attracted to a person’s urine.
Hence, another term came into existence – ‘Sweet Urine Disease.’
Diabetes In World
90% of this number is suffering from type 2 diabetes, which is 8.3% of the total world’s adult population. The disease is affecting both genders at an equal rate. According to a 2014 study, the number will keep on rising.
Why Diabetes is a Metabolic Disorder
Metabolism is the process of generating energy in the body through the digested food. Insulin facilitates this glucose to be ingested by the cells for energy.
When the glucose is consumed by the cells, blood sugar level drops.
A diabetic person suffers from hyperglycemia. It is a condition when the blood glucose level is higher in the blood than required. The reason could be that the body cannot generate enough insulin or cells are not responding to the insulin properly.
The excessive glucose usually goes out through urine. Due to this, cells do not get the required glucose for generating energy.
Understanding the Role of Insulin in Diabetes
Insulin is the hormone mainly responsible for the utilization of blood glucose by the body cells. That is why a deficiency of insulin or problem at the end of insulin receptors is the leading cause of diabetes.
How Body Receives Glucose
There are 3 ways for getting glucose:
- Food absorption in intestines.
- Body making glucose through gluconeogenesis. In this process, proteins are broken down for glucose formation.
- Insulin can control glycogen breakdown or gluconeogenesis. About two-thirds of the body cells use insulin for glucose absorption. Sometimes, blood glucose level goes low. In such conditions, glucagon plays its role, which is precisely opposite to what insulin does. It basically starts making glucose in the body.
When glucose level stays high in blood always for a long time, kidneys stop reabsorption and glucose starts moving out through urine. This causes dehydration, as a lot of water flows out for excreting the glucose. Hence, thirst also increases.
Surgeries that help Diabetics
Pancreas Transplant: Those who have type 1 diabetes can get benefited from this.
Kidney Transplant: When kidneys fail to respond, this surgery saves the patient’s life.
Weight Loss Surgery: Type 2 diabetics with obesity gets immense benefit with this surgery. Some patients have got their diabetes cured with this surgery.
This surgery is recommended for those who are neither able to manage their weight nor blood sugar.
We have tried to put every detail about diabetes to spread awareness. If we have missed something, please suggest us in the comments below.