Diabetes: Its Causes, Symptoms, And Management
Diabetes mellitus is a multi-organ, chronic disease identified by excessive levels of sugar in the blood. It has two variants, namely, type 1 diabetes because of the absence of insulin-manufacturing cells in the pancreas, which in turn brings about insulin deficiency, and type 2 diabetes that comes from insulin resistance or cellular inability to take up insulin. The number of cases of diabetes is increasing quickly in all parts of the world, but most notably in developed countries. As of 2010, approximately 285 million males and females around the world have diabetes, with Type 2 DM taking up 90 percent of these cases. It is projected that by 2030, this number will grow by a 100 percent.
What causes diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes
This variant of diabetes is partly inherited, and it often is triggered after an infection. In type 1 DM, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, leaving the body devoid of or with only negligible amounts of insulin. This form of diabetes is not related to lifestyle, and it can occur during childhood.
Type 2 diabetes
This form of diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and it is strongly associated with obesity, but not all type 2 DM affected individuals are overweight. Genetics can also contribute to type 2 diabetes, and environmental variables triggers this predisposition. Particular disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome for example, and some medications, such as glucocorticoids, can elevate the risk for diabetes.
Both forms of diabetes can demonstrate the same signs and symptoms. Diabetes patients often experience excessive thirst and therefore frequent need to pee, extreme food cravings and fatigue due to cellular starvation, and recurrent infections. Unexplained weight loss may also be seen, but not all the time. Poorly managed diabetes can also cause microvascular changes, which can result in vision changes, slow-healing wounds especially in the legs, and diminished sensation in the hands and feet, which increases their risk of being wounded without their knowledge.
At present there is no cure yet for diabetes, but it can be managed by means of medicines, like insulin and oral hypoglycemics, and lifestyle modifications, which include following a controlled diet and increasing physical activity. Keeping track of blood sugar and periodic check-ups with a doctor are also essential to check the effectiveness of diabetes management as well as the progression of the disease. For diabetes that is tough to control, a pancreas transplant is also an alternative, but only employed as a last resort. It is also vital that you quit smoking and reduce taking in of alcohol because these can hasten the development of complications.