“India is home to the world’s second-largest adult diabetes population and every sixth person with diabetes in the world is an Indian. The past three decades witnessed a 150 per cent increase in the number of people with diabetes in the country,” ICMR said in its guidelines, adding that matter of immense concern is the progressive lowering of the age at which type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed, with the disease prevalence becoming apparent in the age group of 25 to 34 years in both urban and rural areas.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which is identified by the high blood sugar (glucose) level. An increased blood glucose level damages the vital organs as well as other organs of the human’s body causing other potential health ailments.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus could be further classified into the following two types –
1) Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is classified by deficiency of insulin in blood. The deficiency is caused by the loss of insulin producing beta cells in pancreas. This type of diabetes is found more common in children. It is characterized by an abnormally high or low blood sugar levels.
The patients of type 1 diabetes require regular administration of insulin. The type 1 diabetes is hereditary i.e. you are most likely to have type 1 diabetes if any of your parents had it. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, thirst, weight loss and constant hunger.
2) Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is characterized by the inefficiency of body tissues to effectively respond to insulin, which may be combined by insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes mellitus take medicines to improve the body’s responsiveness to insulin or to reduce the glucose produced by the liver. This type of diabetes mellitus is generally attributed to lifestyle factors like – obesity, low physical activity, irregular and unhealthy diet, excess consumption of sugar in form of sweets, drinks etc.
Causes of Diabetes
The food that we eat is broken down into useful compounds through the process of digestion. One of these compounds is glucose, usually referred to as blood sugar. Glucose is food for the cells of human body i.e. body cells rely on the availability of glucose for further using it as a source of energy. The job of carrying glucose to the cells of the body is done by the blood.
But mere carrying the glucose to the cells by blood isn’t enough for the cells to absorb glucose, a job which is done by hormone insulin, supplied by the pancreas. Insulin acts as a bridge for glucose to transit from blood to the body cells. Problem arises when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the body cells for some reason doesn’t respond to receive the glucose; both the cases result in the excess of glucose in blood, which is referred as Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Most common symptoms of diabetes are fatigue, irritation, stress, tiredness, frequent urination and headache including loss of strength and stamina, weight loss, increase in appetite etc.
Levels of Diabetes
There are two types of blood sugar levels – fasting blood sugar level (blood sugar test before food) and postprandial blood sugar level (blood sugar test two hours after having meal). Sugar level measured after fasting for at least eight hours generally after an overnight fast is called fasting sugar level. Blood sugar level below 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) before eating food is considered normal.
Sugar level measured after two hours of eating is called postprandial glucose level or PP level. The PP blood sugar level should be below 140 mg/dL, two hours after the meals.
Though, the maximum limit in both the cases is defined, the permissible levels may vary among individuals. Some people may have normal fasting sugar level of 60 mg/dL while some may have the normal value of 90 mg/dL.
Effects of Diabetes
Diabetes may have severe health consequences and it affects vital body organs. Excessive glucose in blood damages kidneys, blood vessels, skin resulting in various cardiovascular and skin diseases and other ailments. Diabetes damages the kidneys, resulting in accumulation of impurities in body.
It also damages the heart’s blood vessels increasing the possibility of a heart attack.
Apart from damaging vital organs, diabetes may cause various skin infections and the infection in other parts of the body. The prime cause of all type of infections is the decreased immunity of body cells due to their inability to absorb glucose.
Diabetes is a serious life threatening disease and must be constantly monitored and effectively subdued with proper medication and by adapting to a healthy life style. By following a healthy lifestyle, regular checkups and proper medication one can observe a healthy and long life.