The doctor usually diagnoses Diabetes by conducting a series of tests such as the A1C test, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Diabetic retinopathy is not a standalone disease; it is a side effect of diabetes. This is a condition that affects the eyes. It may start with no tangible harm to the eyes at all. With time, however, it progresses to complete blindness.
This disease damages the light sensing tissue inside the retina. Both diabetes type 1 and 2 can cause this disease as a complication. Your risk increases with the duration you have had diabetes for.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:
The following signs if exhibited by your body, will help you identify diabetic retinopathy:
• Blind spots in your vision, areas in which you cannot see anything
• Problems with spotting and telling different colours apart
• Alternating bouts of adequate and inadequate vision
• Small wriggling or floating lines in your field of vision
• A weakening eyesight
If you suspect the initial warning signs in your vision, begin periodic visits to your ophthalmologist round the year. The frequent examinations will help you keep track of any deteriorating symptoms and take the necessary action.
Start these visits also if your vision is weakening, objects look blurry at the seams or random spots and small dark figures crop up in your line of vision.
The types of diabetic retinopathy
This disease may be of two different types. They are:
1.) Early diabetic retinopathy: This is the more common and less advanced variety of the two. In this stage, the formation of new, healthy blood vessels in the retina is prevented, and the older healthy ones get distorted in shape. The damage progresses until you get it treated.
2.) Advanced diabetic retinopathy: This is the more severe of the two varieties. In it, along with no new healthy vessels being produced, old impaired ones stop working and new distorted growths start occurring. This can lead to even glaucoma with time.
Diabetic retinopathy: Better prevented than cured
While this disease cannot be entirely prevented, the risks of it ever happening to you can be greatly reduced by:
• Be on alert for failing vision: Keep an eye out for any changes or peculiarities in your vision, which was not there before. It may be a sign of impending diabetic retinopathy.
• Try to remedy your diabetes: Eat healthy, include a lot of greens in your diet. Also, try to get enough exercise every day of the week.
• Give up smoking: It is a habit that exacerbates diabetes complications, or indirectly even leads to diabetes, so you should steer clear of it.
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that can cause permanent blindness, so utmost care must be taken to reduce the risks or ever catching it. It is a diabetic complication that affects your retina, but by adopting a healthier lifestyle, you can keep both diabetes and its related health risks at bay.
Gestational diabetes, as the name suggests, occurs during gestation or pregnancy when the blood sugar levels exceed the normal level. Gestational diabetes, like other form of diabetes, affects how your body cells use glucose or sugar during pregnancy, and usually disappears after you’ve given birth.
Causes and symptoms to look out for!
During gestation, the placenta produces hormones that lead to the accumulation of blood glucose. Under normal condition, the pancreas forms enough insulin to counter the buildup of blood glucose. The level of blood sugar rises when the pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin to manage your blood sugar.
Usually, women with gestational diabetes do not show symptoms. So, the presence of the condition can go unnoticed if they are not diagnosed during routine checkups and screening tests. Nevertheless, if the condition goes out of control, you may feel tired, feel thirsty or hungry, or feel the urge to urinate more often.
What are the risk factors?
About 2-10% of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes every year. The following factors are likely to put you at risk of developing gestational diabetes-
What is the treatment for gestational diabetes?
Urine tests are performed to check for ketones. In a non-diabetic person, glucagon, insulin and other hormones avert ketone levels in your blood from soaring up too high. Once you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s important that you consult your doctor for treatment. Uncontrolled blood sugar level can affect you and your baby’s health after birth. This condition can be treated in the following ways-
Post treatment the blood sugar levels usually come down to normal within 4-6 weeks of giving birth.
When you have diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or loses the ability to utilize it. When this happens, your blood sugar level goes up. Diabetes can affect all organs of the body. Your feet are no exception.
How does diabetes affect the foot?
There are two ways in which the foot may be affected by diabetes -
What are the symptoms of diabetic foot?
The range of symptoms depend on the intensity of the disorder and vary from one patient to another-
If an infection has set in, some symptoms that will manifest are-
The complications that may arise out of diabetic foot are-
Revascularization for diabetic foot
Chronic diabetic foot can be treated with multiple revascularization methods like synthetic conduits, endarterectomy, balloon angioplasty, arteriovenous reversal, muscle flap transfer or atherectomy. These procedures eliminate the need for limb amputation. The aim of a revascularization procedure is to fix up the blood vessels that were blocked by bypassing the affected blood vessel so that blood can normally flow to your feet.
Along with revascularization, your doctor will recommend exercises like walking to increase supply of blood to the feet as well as medicines that will deal with the pain and swelling.
Diabetic foot can be a serious health threat that could lead to the limb being amputated. But with revascularization, you can get back on your feet in no time and resume your daily activities
Diabetes is known as a silent killer and this name is well earned. Research findings have shown that around 20 lakh Indians suffer from diabetes of which 5 lakh are not aware that they are diabetic. Managing diabetes can be a difficult task but definitely not an impossible one. However, if you do not take steps at the right time, diabetes can cause many health complications and emergencies. Read on to know more about this deadly disease.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an ailment, which compromises the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone, known as insulin. This leads to an increase in the blood sugar levels of the body and causes an abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates.
What kind of complications can diabetes lead to?
Yes, diabetes can lead to emergencies as diabetics always run the risk of suffering from insulin shock and falling into a diabetic coma. Excessive insulin in the body can lead to a low blood sugar level causing insulin shock. This is also known by the term ‘hypoglycemia’. Similarly, if your body has too little insulin then it is known as hyperglycemia where you run the risk of falling into a diabetic coma.
The symptoms of a diabetic coma are:
- The shaky or wobbly way of walking
- Dry, warm or flushed skin
- Drowsiness leading to a gradual loss of consciousness
- Quick and weak pulse
- Deep breaths
- The odor of sweet apple of nail polish
How can you deal with diabetes?
Even though diabetes is a very serious disease to deal with, there are a few things you can do that can help you deal with it and keep it at a normal level. Some of these steps are:
- Count your carbs - Even though carbohydrates is an essential nutrient for ensuring a healthy body, too much of it can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. It is imperative that you follow a well-balanced diet with the right amount of carbs in it. The best thing you can do is to pair high-fiber carbs with protein, as it can slow down your digestion and you will feel full without your blood sugar being hiked up. Some of the best sources of carbs and fiber are sweet potatoes, dried beans, whole wheat bread, and pumpkins.
- Check your blood sugar regularly - Go for regular blood sugar tests, so that you know where your diabetes stands. If your blood tests come back to normal then you are on the right path but if they do not, then consult a doctor so that he or she can help you come up with a plan to deal with this in a better way.
- Exercise - Exercise is something that does not just takes care of your body from the outside; it can also keep you in good shape internally by lowering your blood sugar levels. Make sure that you work out at least 4 days a week for a minimum of half an hour. Physical activity can also help your body secrete the hormone; endorphins, which can help, boost your mood and emotions.
Even though diabetes is a very unfortunate disease, that does not mean you will have to put your entire life on hold for it. If you take the right steps at the right time and listen to your doctor’s advice, you will be able to beat this disease in no time.
Diabetes and dementia have more in common than the letter ‘D’. Diabetes is a disorder where the body cannot produce enough insulin. It may also make the patient’s body resistant to insulin. As a result, the body’s glucose levels fluctuate. This, in turn, increases the risk of many other conditions including vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This risk can be as high as 60%. Dementia caused by diabetes is seen more often in women than in men.
According to research studies, high levels of glucose or sugar in the body can affect the brain cells. This excessive sugar limits the amount of oxygen that can reach the brain cells and leads to the death of these cells. It also prevents brain cells from communicating with each other thus leading to vascular dementia. Vascular dementia can also be caused by a stroke or a number of small strokes. This too is an effect of diabetes as it can cause cardiovascular troubles and narrow the arteries.
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. Patients suffering from this type of dementia typically complain of memory loss and difficulty thinking. Language may also be an issue. Some of the common symptoms associated with it are:
The risk of developing vascular dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65. Hence, it is important to keep your diabetes under control and manage your blood sugar levels. If you are on insulin, you must take the prescribed dose regularly. Do not change the dosage on your own or skip a dose. Here are a few other tips that can help you control diabetes and reduce the risk of vascular dementia.
Eat a well-balanced diet
A person suffering from diabetes should have plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and fatty foods. Instead of frying our food, try grilling, steaming or baking it. Raw salads are great for a diabetes patient.
Exercise can improve your overall health and make your body respond better to the insulin. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle; start by adding a walk to your daily routine. You could also try cycling or swimming. Aim for at least half an hour’s exercise each day. If you cannot find the time, incorporate exercises into your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift or park your car a little further away from your home and walk back.