What is Diabetes?

Everyone must be aware of the term diabetes but how many knows what diabetes is? This article would mainly be discussing what is diabetes, diabetes risks, complications and symptoms. Diabetes is a continual metabolic disease connected with high glucose (sugar) supply in the blood. Insulin – the hormone created by the pancreas, regulates the glucose levels in the blood but in diabetic patients, the body either does not produce enough insulin or responds insufficiently to the insulin being produced, causing blood sugar levels to rise beyond normal.

People at risk with diabetes

Most people may not even be aware that they are facing a very potential risk of diabetes. Medical studies reveal that people aged 65 and above, getting little or no exercise are most definately candidates for diabetes. Overweight people (even mothers giving birth to babies over 9 pounds) with genetic history of diabetes, or from the Hispanic, African American, Asian American, Native American, or Pacific Islander communities,face an equal high-risk of diabetes.

Complications associated with Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to some serious complications like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, stroke and lower-limb amputations, but controlling measures can reduce the risk of such complications. Diabetes is one of the main causes for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Most diabetic patients run the risk of high blood pressure that leads to heart attacks and other diabetic complications, if not controlled and treated in a timely manner. Diabetics can reduce their chances of cardiovascular disorders by disciplined exercise, diet and avoiding smoking.

Symptoms of diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes consist of excessive thirst and hunger, weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination, general irritability and distorted vision. Many can easily dismiss these symptoms, as they are common to every day living.

Pre-diabetes- Warning signs of diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a state when blood sugar levels may be high but yet to touch the ‘danger zone’ level. Pre-diabetes does not necessarily turn into full-fledged diabetes. And the good news is that if it is detected early with the help of some very simple techniques it can it can be prevented altogether. Preventive measures that can be taken in this condition include monitored weight loss, balanced diet, disciplined exercise, avoiding tobacco, all of which go a long way in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Testing for diabetes/pre-diabetes:

The doctor gives a (Fasting) Plasma Glucose Test or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test to determine blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels are above 100, even after fasting, pre-diabetes may be the diagnosis, but if they are above 125, the person may have diabetes.

Diabetes Treatment

Depending on the diabetic’s stage, treatment may include insulin injections and habit-modification. Daily exercise and a healthy diet, and good medical supervision- can help lower risk of diabetes.