Posted September 10, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 3 min read
Diabetes happens when your body isn't able to take up sugar (glucose) into its cells and use it for energy. This results in a build up of extra sugar in your bloodstream.
Causes of Diabetes
Causes of Type 1 diabetes
This is an immune system disease.
Your body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Without insulin to allow glucose to enter your cells, glucose builds up in your bloodstream.
Genes may also play a role in some patients.
Also, a virus may trigger the immune system attack.
Cause of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
- Your body’s cells don’t allow insulin to work as it should to let glucose into its cells.
- Your body’s cells have become resistant to insulin.
- Your pancreas can’t keep up and make enough insulin to overcome this resistance.
- Glucose levels rise in your bloodstream.
Cause of Gestational diabetes
Hormones produced by the placenta during your pregnancy make your body’s cells more resistant to insulin.
Your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to overcome this resistance.
Too much glucose remains in your bloodstream.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
This type is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself.
In this case, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have Type 1.
It’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults (but can develop at any age).
It was once better known as
juvenilediabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day.
This is why it is also called
Type 2 diabetes
With this type, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or your body’s cells don’t respond normally to the insulin.
This is the most common type of diabetes.
Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2.
It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people.
Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes.
Your parents or grandparents may have called it
having a touch of sugar.
This type is the stage before Type 2 diabetes.
Your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy.
However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Weak, tired feeling.
Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
Slow-healing sores or cuts.
Unplanned weight loss.
Frequent unexplained infections.
Diagnosis of Diabetes
Fasting plasma glucose test
This test is best done in the morning after an eight hour fast (nothing to eat or drink except sips of water).
Random plasma glucose test
This test can be done any time without the need to fast.
This test, also called HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months.
This test measures the amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen.
You don’t need to fast before this test.
Oral glucose tolerance test
In this test, blood glucose level is first measured after an overnight fast. Then you drink a sugary drink. Your blood glucose level is then checked at hours one, two and three.
Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes affects your whole body.
To best manage diabetes, you’ll need to take steps to keep your risk factors under control and within the normal range, including the following
Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by following a diet plan, taking prescribed medication and increasing your activity level.
Maintain your blood cholesterol (HDL and LDL levels) and triglyceride levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not be over 140/90 mmHg.