The sweet talk
Experts tell us about one of the most prevalent lifestyle illnesses, diabetes, and provide tips on how to live a fuller life despite being affected by it
Yesterday, the world celebrated World Diabetes Day (WDD) — a day dedicated to increasing an understanding of the lifestyle disease. Celebrated on November 14 every year, WDD was first created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization. It is now an annual event with different themes each year and the theme for this year is ‘women and diabetes’.
The Oxford dictionary defines diabetes aka diabetes mellitus (DM) as, “A disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.” Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist, Dr Gadge’s Diabetes Care Centre, Goregaon (W), further explains the various types of diabetes including the three major types — type 1, type 2 and gestational:
Type 1 DM: This results from the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, and is common in children. The patient requires lifelong insulin treatment. Generally, this is a frustrating disease as it requires regular self-monitoring of blood glucose, timely insulin injections, and multiple follow-ups with the doctor. And even after doing so, sugar levels tend to fluctuate.
Type 2 DM: This begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. This kind of diabetes is common in adults. Gestational diabetes:
This happens only during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that can lead to a build-up of sugar in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. If not, your blood sugar levels will rise and can cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes makes one more prone to develop type 2 diabetes. A major cause for gestational diabetes is being overweight before getting pregnant.
LADA: LADA stands for Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood. LADA is a form of type 1 diabetes that develops later into adulthood. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and kills off insulin producing cells.
MODY: This stands for Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young and is more likely to be inherited than other types of diabetes, due to its stronger genetic risk factor. It is a form of diabetes that develops before the patient reaches 25. Steroid induced diabetes: Corticosteroids are used to reduce harmful inflammation but can lead to diabetes. People who are already at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes or those who need to take steroids for longer periods of time are the most susceptible to developing this kind of diabetes.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE DIABETES SYMPTOMS
Hunger and fatigue: If the body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if the cells resist the insulin that the body makes, the glucose from food can’t get into the cells leaving one with no energy. This can
make a person more hungry and tired than usual Frequent urination and thirst: Normally, body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through the kidneys. But when diabetes raises blood sugar, kidneys may not be able to do so. This causes the body to make more urine, and that requires more fluid intake Slowed down healing:
Over time, high blood sugar affects blood flow and cause nerve damage. This makes it hard for body to heal wounds
Unplanned weight loss: If the body can’t get energy from food, it starts burning muscle and fat for energy, making one lose a lot of weight.