What is Diabetes and how does it affect your life? We’ll be discussing the related aspects in this piece. Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic medical condition, more likely a disease that causes high levels of sugar in blood. Now we need to understand the whole phenomena behind the diabetes or why do our blood sugar levels rise.
There exists a hormone in our body, known as insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving sugar from the blood into your cells to be utilized for energy. Diabetes occurs when either your body stops making enough insulin or cannot process the insulin it makes. With this, the sugar levels, instead of going into our cells, remain in our blood which eventually causes diabetes.
Now here comes the types of the diabetes. To understand the diabetes in depth, you need to go through its types first;
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when our immune system starts attacking and destroying the cells in the pancreas. Let it be known that pancreas is an organ where insulin is made. Although the medical science has seen a lot of advancements in last couple of decades, but yet it’s still unclear what actually triggers the immune system to attack those pancreatic cells. Besides, among diabetic patients, about 10% of them suffer from type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when our body starts resisting the insulin that our pancreases produce, which eventually takes blood sugar levels in our body to rise.
Prediabetes is a condition when, our blood sugar levels remain usually higher though, but they aren’t high enough to be termed as diabetes.
Gestational is a condition when blood sugar levels go high only during pregnancy. Produced by the placenta, insulin-blocking hormones are responsible for causing this type of diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
There are many risk factors that are involved with each type of diabetes.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
The cause of type 1 diabetes is completely unknown. In light of limited available information, this type of diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells located in the pancreas, but as mentioned earlier, the reason is unknown to date.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
There could be multiple factors contributing towards type 2 diabetes ranging from genetics and sedentary lifestyle. Being overfat or having excessive fats, particularly in belly, makes our cells more resistant to the insulin’s effects on our blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes is also associated with the families, as family members share these genes and make them more vulnerable to being obese and diabetic.
Diseases associated with Diabetes
It is highly important to know about the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Living with diabetes straight away means that you are highly vulnerable to complications involving heart disease, high blood pressure, foot problems and weaker immunity. Let’s have a look at the below mentioned medical conditions which a diabetic patient might suffer from;
Those who are living with type 2 diabetes certainly are at increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) at any stage of their lives. Research studies report that people with type 2 diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t have diabetes.
Our kidneys do have a significant connection when sugar levels in our blood rise. It is so, because when blood glucose levels are too high, the kidneys struggle to filter blood, thus causing a considerable damage to the blood vessels within the kidneys.
High Blood Pressure
For those living with type 2 diabetes, the research studies depict that 2 out of 3 people either suffer from high blood pressure issues or they go on permanent medication to control their BP. It is pertinent to mention here that the high blood pressure is responsible for an increased risks of heart attack, stroke, vision-issues as well as the kidney diseases.
High blood sugar levels damage the retina’s blood vessels. So, people with diabetes are also at a notably increased risk of developing other complications that involve glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy. Wait, what could be worst; if left untreated, the severest form of retinopathy can even cause a complete and in irreparable loss of vision.
Type 2 diabetes poses greater risks of multiple complications affecting our feet as well. Majority of these diabetic foot-related issues are caused by the neuropathy, a condition when the nerve gets badly damaged. This condition is declared as neuropathy, depending upon condition of the foot.
Diabetic foot is a highly painful outcome of being diabetic. It doesn’t only cause unpleasant sensations in the feet, such as tingling, burning and stinging, but the diabetic foot also reduces the ability to feel sensations such as pain, heat and cold. In addition to it, risks of injuries also increase to a greater extent that takes longer than usual to heal. When the diabetic foot stops healing though medications, the physician, in worst of the cases, may also have to amputate an affected limb.
Life is a beautiful gift. We must not take it for granted at any cost. It’s an established fact that over the last couple of decades, induction of sedentary lifestyle has been the major root cause of all the diseases associated with diabetes.
Apart from that, our food choices, from organic to junk, or us, from being vegetarian to the fond lovers of processed food and fizzy drinks, such habits have grave consequences which we may experience in our later ages.
We can still say yes to the healthy lifestyle. How? By adopting active lifestyle, reviewing our eating habits, and managing our calories intake. No matter how busy we remain, until or unless we don’t find time for ourselves, we’ll keep on suffocating with approaching diseases around us.
Even a diabetic person, alongside prescribed medication, can lead a healthy life by bringing significant changes in his/her lifestyle. All we need to do is to have a strong will to modify our lifestyle. This single initiated-step will eventually be transformed into a routine-walk towards a healthy and active life.
ANTH Diabetes Clinic
Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital has a dedicated Diabetes Clinic within the hospital’s premises, where specialized and personalized diabetic care is provided to the patients suffering from diabetes, under the supervision of highly qualified and best diabetes doctor/diabetologist in Islamabad. Patients suffering from various complications due to diabetes are also being encouraged to follow the prescribed medications, adopt healthy lifestyle where required and walk a step towards healthy lifestyle.