Diabetes mellitus is commonly known as diabetes. It is a disease of metabolism which causes an increase in blood sugar. The hormone that is responsible for the movement of sugar from the blood into the cells for storage is known as insulin. When a person is suffering from diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin, or it is not able to effectively utilise the insulin that it makes.
Diabetes is certainly a serious issue for people who are suffering from it. In case diabetes is untreated, the high blood sugar levels hold the capability to damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes and other organs. As such, one must keep doing regular health checkups if they are diagnosed with diabetes or if they show specific symptoms associated with the disease. Following are a few symptoms of diabetes:
Increase in thirst
Causes Of Diabetes
Each type of diabetes corresponds to a different cause. Let us take a look at them.
Type 1 diabetes
This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. In this, the immune system begins to attack and destroy the cells which synthesise insulin. About 10% of people suffering from diabetes have this type. Unfortunately, the cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown. Scientists have not been able to figure out why does the immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It is also suggested that genes might play a role in these types of disease.
Type 2 diabetes
This type of diabetes is a cause of a combination of genetics as well as a few lifestyle factors. There are a few risks that expose people to this type of diabetes. For example, being overweight or obese increases your risk. This is because when you have extra weight in your belly, it makes the cells more resistant to the effects of insulin on the level of blood sugar. Diabetes usually runs in families. People in the same family share the genes which carry the potential to developing type 2 diabetes.
This type of diabetes refers to women who are pregnant. Most women with this type of diabetes do not show any symptoms. Gestational diabetes is detected during a routine blood sugar test performed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. The cause of gestational diabetes is hormonal changes during pregnancy. The placenta which connects the baby to its mother produces some hormones which can make the mother's cells less sensitive to the effects of insulin. This eventually results in a high level of blood sugars.
How to care for diabetes patients?
If you are one of your family members have been diagnosed with diabetes, then you need to make sure that you follow a few procedures to avoid any complications. These are as follows:
Smoking is hazardous for diabetes patients. It is known for reducing blood flow in the legs and feet, which might worsen the condition. Sometimes even an amputation is required. Smoking is also related to several other disorders which may lead to blindness, nerve damage and even premature death.
For diabetes patients, regular physical and eye examinations are a must. You need to schedule 2 to 4 check-ups in a year in addition to the yearly routine eye exams. During the physical check-ups, the doctor usually asks you about the nutrition and activity level of your body. On the other hand, during the eye checkups, the doctor checks for signs of retinal damage, glaucoma and cataract.
There have been cases where diabetes patients are prone to gum infections. Therefore you must take care of your teeth by brushing them twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing also helps to do away with unnecessary particles caught between the teeth. You might also want to use a mild mouthwash to do away with any microbes in your mouth. You need to consult your dentist if you notice any bleeding, reddening or swelling in your gums.
Check Your Feet
High levels of blood sugar are known to reduce the blood flow and damage the nerves in your feet. If this is left untreated, then that can lead to serious infections. Diabetes is known to cause pain, tingling and even loss of sensation in the feet. As such, you must consult your doctor if you see a little soreness that doesn't heal within a few days. In case you spot a foot ulcer then see your doctor immediately.
Intake Alcohol Moderately
For people who use insulin, alcohol can result in low blood sugars. As such, you must always intake alcohol in moderation. If you can reduce it to a minimum, then it will be beneficial. You must always remember to drink with a meal or a snack.