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).
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.
The food we eat, the liquids we drink and the air we breathe, everything plays an important role in affecting the health of our body. The consumption of food causes the production of glucose, which provides energy to our body. There is no doubt that excess of everything is bad and this is the reason that when blood glucose levels get a leap, then a disease named diabetes comes into existence.
Firstly, have a look at the types to know your problem well.
Type 1 Diabetes: This type of diabetes is quite hazardous for the pancreas as the immune system restricts the cells to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes can be spotted among people of every age. It needs insulin on the daily basis to maintain the living of a person.
Type 2 Diabetes: Most commonly, people get affected by type 2 diabetes only, but generally it occurs in middle age people or to the people at their higher age. In this type of diabetes, patient’s body does not make proper insulin.
Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes can be diagnosed among the pregnant women. Generally, this gets vanished with the birth of the baby. In most of the cases, people suffering from gestational diabetes come into the trap of type 2 diabetes in the later ages.
How common is the disease?
Various researches are evident to the point that 415 million people are suffering from this problem and it is not wrong to say that it is diagnosed in 1 out of 11 of the world’s adult population. Most of the people are suffering from type 2 basically.
Why is it important to put a stop on diabetes?
Insulin hormone plays a vital role in the transportation of glucose into the cells, but when the proper amount of glucose does not reach to the cells and get occupied in the blood, and then the excess glucose in the blood causes the health problems. These problems comprise of:
These problems can affect your life in a worse way so waiting for the excess is the not an option, whereas you should be careful towards it so that it can be cured in the early stages. There is nothing to have a second thought because higher levels of diabetes may lead to losing your life. So, do not ignore the disease and look forward to lessening the effects of the disease. Monitoring of the levels of glucose in your body on the daily basis can help you to stop the cause. This can save your body get affected by various other diseases. Do not wait for the disease to cause damage and plan beautiful life ahead by putting a stop to your diabetes. Only you have the courage to give a better and a happy ending to your diabetes story.
Diabetic eye refers to a condition which generally affects the eye of a diabetic person. It is caused due to high sugar level in body. Diabetic eye can further lead to major problems such as cataracts, blurry vision, glaucoma, and retinopathy in case no treatment is taken at the preliminary stages. The deposition of glucose on the lens is the major cause behind all such problems and if ignored it can further damage small nerves and blood vessels. There are many precautionary methods by which you can cure this disease such as eye drops, surgery and laser treatment, but the simplest way to treat it is by managing your sugar level.
Following are the ways by which you can maintain the sugar level and procure yourself from such disease:
How does a diabetic eye affect you?
A diabetic eye is a minor problem if detected in early age, but can cause the vision loss in case proper care is not taken at the preliminary stages. A yearly checkup can help you to detect the problem in early age and hence can be cured. We suggest you to get your eyes checked as regular as once in a year once you attain the age of 40; as generally by this age the insulin level of the body is unbalanced and the composite of glucose starts depositing on different body parts which may lead to deadly diseases.
The risk of developing depression is found by the means of various researches to be two to three times higher in individuals suffering from a chronic disease than in normal individuals. Type 1 and type 2 Diabetes are chronic diseases that can prove to be very challenging to manage due to various setbacks and complications that can come in the way. Regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels is essential in managing the blood sugar. Navigation of the health care facilities, side effects caused by medications, and other related health conditions or even diabetic complications can cause an increased risk of developing depression. If left undiagnosed and untreated, depression can give way to a poor lifestyle choice that can further deteriorate the physical health of a person.
Various risk factors that are associated with diabetes and depression are as follows-
Depression in diabetes can occur simultaneously due to a variety of factors. These include the psychological and psychosocial impact of the disease on an individual, a potential common genetic susceptibility and certain common pathophysiological abnormalities that involve neuro-immunological and neuro-endocrinal pathways, as well as microvascular brain lesions due to diabetes mellitus. However, issues concerning pathogenesis and causality of this high co-occurrence are not fully determined yet. Still, the presence of depression in patients with diabetes mellitus is of vast importance, as it is usually associated with poor disease control, adverse health outcomes and quality of life impairment.
When an individual is suffering from diabetes, the awareness of risks of developing depression is essential. It has been widely researched and found that these two conditions can occur simultaneously, where depression is usually undiagnosed. Diabetes, specifically type 2, and depression affect each other in a bi-directional manner, which means that each of the disease can prove as a risk factor for the other. In a state of depression, it is common for a person to consume high calorie foods and also to lead a sedentary lifestyle. This tendency can prove to be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
If an individual already has type 2 diabetes, the stress experienced during the management of disease can cause depression. Type 1 diabetes develops as result of the defect of pancreas in production of insulin.
People with type 1 diabetes can also develop depressive symptoms due to difficulties in the management of the disease. If the symptoms of depression develop in the patient already suffering from diabetes, management of diabetes also becomes difficult. This can lead to cause various diabetes related complications and also decrease the life expectancy.
Various signs that can be observed in a state of depression are as follows:
There is a certain risk observed between the consumption of antidepressant medicines and development of diabetes. It has been researched and concluded that consuming antidepressants should always be on physician recommendation, with a prior advice on the risks of developing diabetes. It has also been found that the people with type 2 diabetes, who are using insulin regularly, are at higher risk for developing depression as compared to the people on non-insulin medications or following only diet or lifestyle modification habits. An additional stress experienced in managing diabetes and accessing the health care services can cause such complication in insulin users.
Common treatment protocol for depression includes psychotherapy or the cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps people to correct destructive thought patterns and behaviors that tend to increase the depressive symptoms. Other interventions like a structured problem solving approach, motivational interviewing, and interpersonal approach towards the patient is also effective in management. Certain medications can also help in mood-lifting and the management of symptoms of depression.
In diabetics, the treatment options that are available in addition to the standard medical healthcare provision includes self-management training sessions that help the people to increase healthy habits and improve control on their blood sugar levels. Diabetes as well as depression can improve with complete focus on lifestyle changes, like proper diet management and exercising regularly.