What is Diabetes?
It is a condition whereby the amount of glucose in an individual’s blood is too high due to the body unable to utilise it properly. This is because the pancreas produces little or no insulin to help glucose to enter the body’s cells.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate the amount of glucose in blood. After a meal, our blood glucose levels will tend to rise. Therefore, insulin is secreted to break down the glucose into energy for the body to use, thus maintaining a
normal blood sugar level. However, people with diabetes whom has little or no insulin produced by the pancreas, blood glucose levels remain high and they will feel tired easily as glucose is not broken down to energy for the body to use.
Types of Diabetes
- Known as an auto-immune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin injections for survival.
- This disease can occur at any age, mostly in children and young adults
- Complications are sudden and life-threatening
- Mostly associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, insufficientphysical activity and being obese.
- Body cannot properly use the insulin. Body become resistant to insulin.
- Occurs more frequent to people of age OVER THAN 40 YEARS OLD, particularly those who are overweight and
- Can be controlled with proper diet and exercise but most diabetics need oral medication.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
- Occurs in about 2-5% of all pregnancies
- Women who were not diagnosed to have diabetes previously will show high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
- Always lethargic
- Frequent Urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Wounds that won’t heal or take very long to heal
- Sexual problems
- Constantly hungry
- Blurry vision
- Numb or tingling hands or feet
- Always thirsty
- Vaginal infections
Complications of Diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Lung disease
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
Guidelines to Blood Glucose Levels:
- Random blood glucose level (Normal): < 7.8 mmol/L
- Random blood glucose level (Diabetic): ≥ 11.1 mmol/L
- Fasting blood glucose level (Normal): ≤ 6.0 mmol/L
- Fasting blood glucose level (Diabetic): ≥ 7.0 mmol/L
What can be done?
- Insulin jabs are mainly applicable for individuals with Type 1 diabetes.
- There are short and long acting types of insulin jabs
- Always keep all insulin bottles with a spare one in fridge when not in use
- Do exercises regularly such as cycling, swimming and many other activities which allows the body to use up the glucose in the bodies, therefore lowering the blood glucose levels in the body.
- Get a proper diet.
- Do not smoke. It worsens the narrowing of blood vessels already caused by diabetes. This will then reduce
blood flow to many organs and this may lead to many serious complications.
- Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol interferes with meal plans and blood glucose control especially if taking insulin or other medications for diabetes.
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