Diabetes is a condition of the body in which the body
does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly. Insulin is a
hormone which coverts sugar and other food items into energy needed for
the day to day activities of the human body. The actual cause of diabetes
is still not known. Hereditary reasons and the lifestyles of the people
play an important role.
India has more than 30 million people with diabetics.
The number of diabetics climb steeply day by day. It is estimated that by
2025, India will be number one in the world with the maximum number of
people with diabetes. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO)'s
press release in 1998. According to that, these people will be in the age
group 40 and 64.
When the pancreas gland does
not produce enough insulin for the sugar to energy conversion, the blood
glucose level continues to rise with out control, it results in the
diabetic condition. This condition is termed as Diabetes Mellitus. There
are three major types of diabetes.
- Type I diabetes
- Type II diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
Type I diabetes:
Type I diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. This
type of diabetes appears in children and youth below 40 years of age. This
group of people should be injected with insulin. But this type is less
Type II diabetes :
Heriditary and the lifestyle are the major causes of type 2 diabetes.
90% of diabetics belong to this group. In this case, the body still can
produce insulin, but it is not enough for the body functions or the
insulin does not work properly. This condition is called insulin
resistance. This is related to overweight. Type II diabetes is seen
mostly in people over 40 years of age.
managing type 2 diabetes, one should make some changes to his or her
lifestyle. The pateient must follow a healthy diet, should have regular
exercise and lose some weight also. Type 2 diabetes builds up excess
glucose in the blood, thereby causing serious health problems like heart
disease, failure of kidneys and eye discomforts.
Gestational Diabetes :
There is another type of diabetes called gestational diabetes which
occurs in some women during pregnancy. This may lead to complications
during pregnancy, labour and delivery. Women who get gestational
diabetes may develop type 2 diabetes.
When a person's glucose level in the blood is above normal limits, but
it is not enough for yielding results in a diabetes test, the condition
is called Pre-Diabetes. Damage to heart and circulatory system can occur
during this stage also without getting diagonised with diabetes. If the
patient takes precautionary measures for the control of blood sugar
level, then he can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes, if not controlled, will cause serious health problems which
include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage,
nerve damage, impotence and gangrene with risk of amputation of toes,
feet, and even legs.
Signs and symptoms of
The major symptoms of diabetes is a classical triad : Polyuria(frequent
urination), polydipsia(increased thirst) and polyphagia(increased
appetite). These symptoms will be shown faster in children who have the
higher chances of type 1 diabetes. But the symptoms will appear slowly
for type 2 diabetes patients. If the diabetes is not controlled, the
patient would lose weight also.
Diabetes mellitus is diagonised by the Blood sugar test. This test is
done in fasting and 2 hours after breakfast.
Fasting Blood Glucose: The person will be asked
to fast overnight at least 8 hours for this test to be done . Level of
blood glucose is then checked.
(PP) blood glucose : This test is done 2 hours after a meal.
Random blood sugar : This test is done at any
other time. Blood sugar is tested without considering the meal timings.
Normal & abnormal test results :
Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 110 mg/dl. Normal PP
plasma glucose levels are less than 140 mg/dl. A fasting plasma glucose
level of more than 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus. A PP or random
plasma glucose level of more than 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes
Prevention of Diabetes:
Diabetes can be prevented by changing a person's diet and by having
proper exercise. Eating a healthy diet, losing some weight and regular
physical activity will help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Control Diabetes :
An Indian should take care of the following facts for diabetes control
- Avoid sweets completely.
- Fried and fatty foods should be minimized.
- Insulin will work properly if overweight is
- Foods containing more fibre should be taken. This
will help to reduce the absorption of glucose into the blood stream,
there by reducing the sugar level in the blood.
- Consumption of egg yolk, mutton and beaf should be
reduced. Take fish and chicken without skin instead.
- Amount of oil used in a day should not exceed 4
- Avoid Vanaspathi and Margarine.
- Avoid excessive eating.
- Do not skip exercise.
- Reduce stress and maintain good health.