What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the chronic endocrine diseases prevalent across the world. The disease is directly linked to metabolism, which is a process of breaking down food for growth and development of tissues and organs in the body. The body needs energy and this is why we eat. Most of the food is broken down to sugar, known as glucose that is to be transported through the blood stream to various parts of the body cells.
The transportation of glucose to cells and tissues around the body cannot be possible without insulin. Insulin is secreted by pancreas which lies behind the stomach. The hormone is responsible for opening up cells to allow entry of glucose. Any defect in form of low production or failure to secrete insulin blocks glucose from entering the cells. In this case, glucose continues to ‘aimlessly’ flow in the blood. Brain cells also need glucose for proper functioning and communication with the nerves; meaning they are also affected with insulin deficiencies.
The pancreas should automatically detect when food enters the stomach and secret the appropriate amount of insulin. Failure or defect in this process leads to Diabetes. Diabetes is therefore high amount of glucose in the blood that is wasted and typically passed out in urine. This is noticeable in the color of your urine. Too much glucose in the blood leads to physical effects such as vision blurriness or even dizziness.
There is a required level of glucose in your body; any increase in this form of sugar in a human’s body blood stream has effects. The Diabetes type depends on level of sugar above the required level. Mild malfunctions of the pancreas hence production of insulin can result to mild increases of sugar level in blood. This is referred to as pre-diabetes. This is an indication of insulin deficiency that may be worse in the long run; thus, pre-diabetes is a sign of impending failures in your sugar-cell process. However, it can go unnoticed. In some people, excessive thirst and vision difficulty will be noticed while in others it will not.
Up to date, there is no specific treatment for Diabetes. The condition is managed time after time with insulin injections and helping the kidney perform its functions as required in cleaning the blood, which is full of glucose. When cells fail to receive glucose for a day, the body becomes extremely weak as this is the only source of energy. Therefore, diabetes stalls proper functioning of the body by weakening the cells’ abilities.
Diabetes is common around the globe. It affects people of different ages and cultures. Although scientists conclude it is genetic, there is little to prove or solve its occurrence. It is important to be aware to the causes so far discovered to try and keep clear or delay its occurrence.
Your environment also plays a major role in determining your risk levels. For example, people living in the coldest regions of the earth are more susceptible. It is vital to note that environmental factors combine with specific genetic compositions to determine whether one will suffer from the disease.
The most common and acknowledged conditions that allow diabetes to thrive are obesity and old age. It is now common knowledge to watch what you consume. The debate on what to consume and not to consume has generated a lot of misconceptions and myths. Find the correct direction from your doctor on your diet.
Causes of Diabetes
Discovering the causes of diabetes is a crucial step toward the war against it. It is critical to understand the basics of the disease. Most people today believe in notions and myths that are misguiding. The result is there are more people around the world that are succumbing to the diseases. The millions of dollars spent on managing diabetes could be saved if we learnt its causes. With this knowledge a good population will be able to avoid the risk of contracting diabetes. Eventually, the high rates across the world will be reduced.
Without the knowledge of the causes, most people rely to the doctors to identify their symptoms. By the time they have the signs of the disease; it is too late to take preventive measures. Avoid this common way of identifying this disease. Instead, learn and act on what causes diabetes to stay safe. Another huge part of the population learns by watching their loved ones suffer from diabetes. The rest of the population stays ignorant until they meet first hand with the deadly diseases from diagnosis.
The scientists have not concluded their findings on the precise mechanisms that lead to the conditions. They do not possess the full knowledge of the causes of the disease. They however agree it is genetic based. This is not enough to explain the condition that causes many people across the world to fall to this disease.
To understand the causes of diabetes or any other disease, it would first be vital to learn how our bodies work. The causes of a disease arise from the unconducive environment in our bodies. This environment is created by what we consume. There are foods that create a very uncomfortable situation in our bodies. When consumed regularly, they pose a huge risk of contracting diseases. The common myth is that sugar is the enemy. The fact is natural sugar is good for generating energy for your body. It is impossible for these sugars to cause harm to you. Artificial sugar, which is many times sweeter than natural sugar is your enemy. Watch what you consume regularly instead of relying on myths.
The knowledge of reasons that lead to diabetes is only a scratch of the surface. Safety of your body from invasion requires studying the evolution of medicine. We will, however, focus on changing our views on Diabetes.
The Misconception of Natural Sugar
Natural sugar is mistaken to be a cause for Diabetes. A huge part of the population live conscious of natural sugar to avoid the disease. This is misguided but a very common belief across the world. The problem is; everyone likes sweet food. Avoiding these foods weakens them and puts them at risk of other vulnerabilities.
Like other natural foods, these sugars help the body restore energy. Our bodies are designed to manage the levels of sugar-substances. They can determine the requirements depending on each individual’s activity rates. Insulin and Glucagon are hormones present that are responsible for this intelligent decision. It is important to remember that these hormones can only operate well with natural substance sugar.
Consuming unnatural sugars puts you at risk. This is because it contains substances that are not useful to your body. Instead, these substances accumulate and cause harm eventually. It is easy to know if whatever you consumed is acceptable by your body. If at first, you react by vomiting, diarrhea or other dis-comfortabilities, note that they are indicators to unwanted substances. If however, you insist on consistent consumption, you will suppress your body into submission but later regret it. Be responsible, therefore of what you consume as sugar.
Genes are linings on the DNA of our cells that carry instructions of what protein to make. You probably know that they are responsible for our uniqueness in physique. They carry information from our parents and the parents before them. The interaction between genes from both parents, each other, and the environment is a complex process that may determine the risk of Diabetes.
The findings of the role of genes to patients are perplexing to researchers. For example, over 90% of people suffering from type 1 Diabetes do not have a family history of the disease. This explains the complex combination of very many genes involve. There is also the evidence of their interaction with the environment. Moreover, twins may not necessarily have the same level of risk of contracting the disease. In fact, one of the children could suffer from type 1 diabetes and the other is at not more than 20% risk.
The complex interaction of genes explains why children born of diabetic parents may not suffer from it in their lifetime. Inheriting diabetic genes does not necessarily guarantee your condition. You can only be described as susceptible to the disease but not necessarily vulnerable.
Findings reveal that malfunctioning of the gene region responsible for the immune process puts individuals at risk. The HLA, as it is known, identifies your cells apart from foreign bodies.
Failure to make this separation leads to a condition called auto-immune response. This is condition where your cells face destruction because they are mistaken for foreign cells. The insulin gene region of your DNA is also responsible for your susceptibility.
Despite the extensive research on diabetes 2, little is known about the behavior of the genes responsible. There are many genes discovered that are associated with the disease. However, the interaction process is undefined. Scientists cannot tell which ones are involved or the role they play in creating conditions that sustain Diabetes.
The advancement in genotyping has exposed some useful information that guides our knowledge on diabetes-causing genes. However, the information is not enough to help you avoid the type 2 version.Environment Element
In Europe, the immediate relatives to a patient with type 2 Diabetes have between 20 to 40% prevalence for the disease. Types are more susceptible according to a research done in Western countries. Between 50 and 90 % of twins are at risk of type 2 Diabetes.
The role of the environment on contracting diabetes is unquestionable. The environment interacts with your gene types that make you susceptible to increase your risk. It is not easy to determine which exact combinations put you at risk. They depend on specific times, or combination of different times. The eventual result is additive.
Some of the most common possibilities are cow milk and cold weather. Cow milk is largely consumed but is among the common things around us that causes diabetes. There are other numerous environmental conditions that contribute to susceptibility of type 1 diabetes. Remember, the environmental factors have to combine with the specific combination of genes to make you vulnerable.
Scientists claim that genes have a bigger role to play in type 2 than type 1 diabetes. Consequently, the environment has the smaller less significant share in causing type 2 Diabetes. An individual’s age, feeding lifestyle and obesity remain the most influential possibilities for acceleration of diabetes.
In the recent past, babies born with low weight have been identified as more susceptible than those with normal weight. This condition is related to insulin resistance and hence determines one’s level of risk to type 2 Diabetes.
As a child you begin the process of susceptibility. Your auto-immune process starts early in your infancy. In some cases this process begins before birth. As you develop and grow in a risky environment, the process accelerates until you are fully at risk. There are different signs that may lead you to seek medical attention. It is at the clinic that you will be diagnosed and insulin replacement recommended.
Extreme cold regions have high prevalence for diabetes type 1. The low temperatures affect the normal metabolic process. This condition raises the number of beta cells. For an individual who already has an autoimmune process underway, the process is accelerated. This person is vulnerable to the disease at this time. An area with extremely low temperatures therefore, causes diabetes.
The Scandinavian countries in Asia are among the coldest on earth. Research reveals that diabetes is most common in these areas. Moreover, more people are diagnosed during the winter months. When temperatures fall further, more people are at risk every year.
Cold weather is therefore a contributing factor to contracting diabetes. It however, depends on other underlying factors. An individual who has low insulin is ever at risk when temperatures reduce beyond normal.
You have probably heard counselors advising against enduring stress. The reason is that stress hormones resist insulin. Without insulin action on, the beta cells are tasked with heavier duties. They cannot work on their own for long and eventually fail to give you the immunity you need.
Most people think that the old people are the most vulnerable to diabetes. The fact, however is that teenagers are the mostly likely to develop type 1 diabetes. During early puberty, there is rapid growth. It is at this age that the growth hormone may block insulin action. The better cells are constrained to react with more production of insulin. If the young person had an auto-immune condition already, the damaged better cells will not be capable of handling the pressure. The result is an onset of diabetes.
Cow’s Milk Proteins
The importance of a mother’s milk cannot be over-emphasized. In some cases however, it is not possible to get the mother to feed the baby. The mother could have died during the delivery. In other cases, the mother is not allowed to breastfeed the baby due to a doctor’s restrictions. The most common reason behind the restriction is HIV/AIDS in the mother. These conditions may lead to the introduction of cow milk to an infant.
The introduction of cow milk before the baby is 4 months is risky. It may trigger the infamous autoimmune reaction. Scientists explain that there is a protein in the cow’s milk which the infant’s body rejects. In response the body of the infant creates antibodies to fight this protein. The protein is called bovine serum albumin.
Viruses are harmful especially to a person with an already weakened immune system. They are also responsible for the early stages of the autoimmune process. This means that viruses contribute to the destruction of the beta cells. When the fetus is exposed to a virus is critical. Viruses responsible for mumps and measles are some of the early initiators of the autoimmune process.
Diabetes causing viruses include the Coxsackie B4. It resembles a natural protein in your body called GAD. This resemblance is a danger to you because antibodies will be directed against GAD. The result is diabetes type 1. Just like what happens with cow milk in a baby, auto-antibodies are secreted to fight the infection. They end up reacting with GAD proteins creating the destruction process. Type 1 diabetes thrives in these conditions. It begins to evolve with the destruction of your immune proteins. With damaged GAD proteins, the cold weather may worsen the situation. The resultant condition will be extra pressure on the pancreatic beta cells. More insulin needed that cannot be obtained causes the acceleration of diabetes.
What Really Causes Diabetes?
Conventionally, high blood sugar is the answer to any diabetes. But is it the root causes of this condition in your body? There are significant arguments on differences between prediabetes and diabetes, the truth is, it is the one and same thing; they are both caused by one thing. High insulin levels in the body. High sugar level in the body is only a symptom of insulin levels. It is important to understand the primary cause of this condition that is increasingly causing deaths and depleting resources in our families across the world.
Although the risks are well described in every section of the world in bid to create awareness on diabetes, people never take it seriously to control blood sugar level until they are diagnosed with the disease. It is all about the foods we eat that lad to increase of insulin levels in the blood. When food goes in the body, it is broken down to various elements mainly sugar, commonly known as glucose. This process is preceded by secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for escorting glucose to body cells for storage as fat.
Typically, sugar broken down from carbohydrates is stored in liver and muscles. However, the storage in these two places is limited thus the need for insulin in the body to clear out excessive sugar for storage in cells. Yes, the liver and muscles can get full. It is more like a closet that when packed it can’t take in anymore unless you want to squeeze and pour everything out. Insulin activity is only possible if tissues around cells are activated and sensitive to its actions; otherwise, it would be of no us.
When the liver and muscles get full, insulin takes over the process and transports glucose in the blood stream to cells, where they are stored as fat. This is how the body generates energy. Storage of glucose as fat in body cells including cells in the brain attribute to activities of the body in pumping blood throughout the body as well as converting it to muscle energy for movement. This process is determined by muscle sensitivity to insulin activities; any form of resistance leads to accumulation of sugar in the blood. With the liver and muscles being full and the tissue resistant to insulin, there is nowhere else to go other than to pass out through urine.
● Causes of Tissue Resistance
Tissue sensitivity to functionalities and role of insulin important; in fact, this is what triggers accumulation of sugar in the blood hence the condition referred to as Diabetes. But what blocks entry of glucose to body cells for conversion and storage as fats? Isn’t it a natural process/ yes, it is a natural process but we inhibit and interfere with its flow by the food we eat. The food you eat determines a lot of things including cell membrane permeability in the body, which is crucial in insulin activities.
All foods high in carbohydrates contribute to insulin resistance. Bread, potatoes, cereals, pasta, and rice are high in carbs, which provokes insulin resistance to the cells for fat storage. Besides, the human body is not meant to be stationery; blood movement and cell activity rely on movement. This is why exercise is a common talk in every health talk. Blood moves faster if the body is physically active. Prolonged stay in one position slows down movement of blood and can sometime lead to clogging. Eating carbohydrates without walking, running is a dangerous trend.
When you consume lots of carbohydrates and fail to move, the liver and muscles will work as usual and open up to store the broken sugar. Also, the pancreas will be faithful enough to release required amount of insulin to help in transporting the excess sugar to the cells. However, this process cannot be successful without proper flow of blood. Insulin accumulates in the body together with glucose because of blood flow in capabilities hence diabetes.
It all comes back to us, the food we eat. While diabetes is categorized as an endocrine disease meaning caused by failure of pancreas in regulating blood sugar level, it is our own doing. In fact, the insulin has no part to regulate blood sugar. I know it sounds contradictory. The insulin is responsible for transport of sugar to cells, which are either sensitive or resistant to its activity. After delivering glucose to a cell membrane, the work of insulin is done. If this process fails, insulin levels are considered to be excess because the released amount is not utilized due to inhibition by cell tissues.
However, there is another angle to it in explaining diabetes; pancreas failure. There are malfunctions of the pancreas that can lead to low or high insulin secretion, which in not equivalent to the amount of carbohydrate intake that needs to be broke n down to sugar and stored in cells. The insulin is only a product of the process that aids in finishing up sugar transportation hence energy in the body. Although we point to high insulin as a cause of diabetes, it is secreted by the pancreas; without it being secreted in required amounts, there is little it can do. Besides, if the pancreas functions normally and secretes the appropriate amounts, and your high carbs intake inhibits its function, it stands a stranded hormone.
Apart from the food we eat, malfunctions in the pancreas significantly contribute to diabetes.
This is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflated due to activation of digestive enzymes within the body organ before they are released into the small intestines to aid in digestion of food. The accumulation of these digestive enzymes in their activated state while in this organ causes inflammation. Typically, the condition is painful. If you are having constant pains in your abdomen then you are likely to be affected by this condition, which more often than not leads to cancer.
The pancreas has only two major and crucial functions in the body, which are makes it indispensable. First, it secretes digestive enzymes to small intestines and secondly is the secretion of insulin hormone to aid in food and energy distribution across the body. If pancreatitis occurs, these two functions are interfered with meaning problems with food digestion and loss of energy because the insulin functions.
By now, we all know the importance of insulin the body with regards to blood sugar and diabetes. It is wholly dependent on functions of the pancreas. Whether you point to high insulin levels, low insulin levels or high blood, there are still background activities that the hormones depends on to function effectively. Understanding the basic functions of hormones and their role sin body activities is crucial to proper management of the human body. Therefore, it is important to understand why there is blood sugar and what hormone is involved instead of settling on the generic causes of diabetes.
Just like other diseases and infections in the human body, Diabetes is as a result of human deficiencies. Either our activities or assumption of signs in our body end up in serious health complications that necessitate to the very basics like healthy foods. The causes of pancreatic malfunctions for instance are mostly human activities and negligence. While some people born with complications in body organs, the body organs always function naturally as required until we interfere. Besides, birth with body organ complications can only be pointed back to genetics meaning someone somewhere did something wrong and interfered with the natural body function.
This is extensive because you need to understand the root cause of diabetes and hopefully change lifestyle and perception of the same. Today, diabetes is a major health concern in the world that cuts across people of all ages, race, and culture.
Evidently, pancreatitis interferes with functions of the pancreas, which is the only one responsible for secretion of insulin. Insulin is at the very base of any discussion on diabetes. Interestingly, some causes of inflammation of the pancreas that inhibits secretion of insulin are human related.
Causes of Pancreatitis
There are multiple causes of inflammation of pancreas but we will focus on only one, alcoholism. Excessive intake of alcohol lads to malfunction of the liver commonly referred to as liver cirrhosis. As mentioned before, the liver is an imperative body organ, which helps in storage of sugar from carbohydrates. The liver shares this role with muscles. The amount of carbohydrates consumed every day has to be broken down to sugar and stored in either of these organs. Liver failure means no more storage of the sugar hence need for more insulin to quickly distribute to the cells; thus, overworking the pancreas. This leads to pancreas malfunction. The more carbs amount you take the higher the risk of increasing blood sugar level because the insulin is insufficient hence unable to control and transport the product of carbohydrates to the cells.
Also, alcohol prevents turgidity of cells thus interfering with their permeability. This is directly linked to insulin resistance, which ultimately causes diabetes. Cigarette smoking is also one of the human activities apart from excessive intake of alcohol that causes pancreatitis and ultimately diabetes. All these are linked to failure of production of insulin or excessive insulin production in the blood.
Controlling insulin levels should be the ultimate focus and concern when analyzing the causes of diabetes. Something else you probably did not know, proteins raises insulin; hence, high intake of these with starch and carbs increase conversion to sugar. High sugar blood level is only a symptom of diabetes; there are background activities that cause the condition. It is important to understand the body functionalities with reference to insulin and pancreas when discussing causes of diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by long term damage of organs leading to ultimate failure. The most common symptoms include thirst, blurred vision and weight loss. In its extreme forms, diabetes Mellitus causes stupor and coma. Without medical attention, it will lead to a quick death. The initial symptoms are however, not severe and may take a long time before diagnosed. It can be defined as a disorder of chronic hyperglycemia. It is defined by dysfunctional metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein in your body. The result is unregulated secretion of insulin.
In 1980, the Expert Committee classified Diabetes Mellitus into IDDM commonly known as type 1 and NIDDM or type 2. A revision followed five years later in 1985. During this conference, newly discovered etiological types as well as other complex types of hyperglycemia were included. For example, diabetes mellitus advances via clinical stages naturally. As a result, the patients progress from a stage to another in the disorder. They can therefore be easily categorized into stages. The characteristics of their diagnosis can be used for identification. This becomes their identity in the absence of knowledge of their underlying etiology.
Diabetes diagnosis must be fully done to avoid misinterpretations. The consequences of the result are very important to the patient. Their lifestyle is bound to change in accordance to the diagnosis. The clinician must be confident they completed every test and re-took the tests to ensure they are giving the correct results. For example, diagnosis for a person with severe symptoms must differ from asymptomatic person with mere blood glucose levels above normal.
The requirements for diagnostic confirmation in a situation where the patient has severe hyperglycemia should be intense and detailed. Gross hyperglycemia is detected with other circulatory stress conditions and trauma. It should not be used to conclude that the person has acute Diabetes Mellitus. For an asymptomatic subject, the diagnosis should not rely on a single test. The main test is usually the blood glucose value and is not enough to guarantee the diagnosis. Other tests to determine the plasma and blood glucose is important. To avoid misjudgment, ensure that the tests include a complete follow up. For example, fasting and random samples regularly. Some of the tests may fail to point to the evidence so be patient and persistent. The patient should continue under surveillance. It is only until the diagnosis is confirmed that they should be directed.
Like discussed earlier, the clinician must consider the genetic history of the patient. The environment should also be taken into consideration. The knowledge of other issues such as their age, adiposity and other disorders is crucial to note.
● Diagnostic Criterion
According to a report on diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus, the world Anti-Doping Agency focuses on thirst and urine volume as the initial symptoms. Other symptoms that prompt the tests include recurrent infections and drastic weight loss. Extreme cases of drowsiness and coma are the clearest indicators to diabetes. They predict high levels of glycosuria in the patient’s blood.
It is not a guarantee to conclude the patient’s condition the first-time tests are taken. It may need re-testing. The fasting plasma is often the cause for retesting. It is recommended to change the diagnostic criteria of diabetes mellitus for more tests. The reduction of concentration in glucose in the fasting plasma requires a new approach.
● Individual Diagnosis
The rules defining individual diagnosis are different from the ones used on the general population. For example, individual diagnosis should not be based on a single glucose determination. The individual needs to plan their life according to the results. There is no room for error or generalization. It is important that the clinician conducting the tests follows it up with confirmatory tests. More tests on the blood/plasma should follow up these initial tests.
After identifying a group of people at risk of diabetes, take the ones with the highest prevalence for voluntary individual tests. It is important to identify these people to find the disease and treat it early. Identify the disease early stages in the young people to take preventive measures. Using the fasting value and the 2-h to conduct this test is according to standards of the World-Anti-Doping Agency. Other institution such as the ADA Expert committee prefer the fasting plasma glucose.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the new classification of diagnosis using the stages of the disorder helps to determine an individual’s level. It is based on the degree of hyperglycemia in the patient. This degree defines the level of danger in the person of population. The association’s report on Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus determined that the classification can be used to make a conclusion about diabetes prevalence of an area. Most importantly, it can help to determine the correct treatment for the advancement of the disorder.
Today, all situations can be categorized into clinical classifications based on the stages. As the stages progress, the subject should be monitored and receive the appropriate treatment for every stage. If treated early, it may be present but will not advance to cause hyperglycemia.
Most importantly, this system of diagnosis helps to identify diabetes mellitus at any stage. This has enhanced the early treatment process. For example, it is possible to identify it at the stage of normoglycemia. It simply relies on identifying islet cells antibodies present. This condition makes a person likely vulnerable to the autoimmune process responsible for accelerating type 1 diabetes. For type 2 diabetes symptoms, there are only few indicators that reveal the condition.
● Category Requirements
As the disorder progresses, it is likely to cause different effects to different people. The result can be a different version of the disease. For example, it may be manifested as either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes depending on a variety of other contributing factors. The most influential factor for this difference is the environment. Specifically, cold weather changes in extreme winters affect people differently.
The same processes of advancement may therefore result in diverse conditions. While most people will require exercises for weight reduction others may use oral agents. They do not require insulin shots. Instead, they may successfully revert to IGT which is characterized by normal levels.
Achievement of Normoglycemia is a desirable goal. The other group of patients use insulin shots but do not depend entirely on them. This is because their bodies are producing insulin. With residual insulin secretion, they can live with a few insulin additions. Others with complete cell destruction need insulin shots to survive. For normoglycemia, some patients can achieve it with exercise for weight reduction or increase.
Stages for Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus is divided into two major categories according to the stages of advancement. Insulin requiring for survival and insulin requiring for control. These categories are the advanced versions of the previously known Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) which is reputed for the c-peptide deficiency and metabolic control (NIDDM). The latter is known for condition characterized by endogenous insulin secretion that is not enough for normalcy.
Impaired Glucose Regulation
Impaired Glucose regulation also known as impaired glucose tolerance defines difference between a diabetic situation and homeostasis. IGT is the difference between tolerance and fasting glycaemia. Since the aim is to attain normalcy, IGT works towards natural history of the carbohydrate. Subjects who show evidence of a balance in IGT and IFG are described a euglycemic daily.
These conditions lead to normoglycemia which is near the natural glycated hemoglobin level. Although both IGT and IFT are not clinical entities, they are risk factors that help determine metabolic disorders accurately. These two imbalances may appear at any of the stages in diabetes mellitus.
The former (IGT) is associated with insulin resistance syndrome and therefore, not a likely contributor to cardiovascular problems. It is just an indicator and catalyst of increased risk. This risk is brought by its association with metabolic inhibitors which lead to cardiovascular problems. Patients only show IGT intolerance when they react to an oral glucose intake.
The acceptable levels for normality are 6.1 mmol equivalent to 110 mg per dl. This is the concentration of a fasting venous plasma glucose. The values are common in people with verified normal levels of glucose.
Gestational diabetes is common to pregnant mothers. It is characterized by an intolerance in carbohydrates abnormal action that leads to hyperglycemia. It is a stubborn case where insulin shots make no difference. Gestational hyperglycemia leads to antedate pregnancies. This risky condition also persists after the pregnancy.
Women previously diagnosed with diabetes mellitus have high risk of antedates pregnancy. They are however, free from risk of gestational diabetes. They need close attention and observation throughout pregnancy. Their medication should be regulated with regards to before, during and after the pregnancy.
● Pregnancy and Diabetes
For most pregnant women with prevalence to diabetes mellitus, the first few months have normal levels of glucose. The first trimester shows levels even lower than those women not carrying any fetus. The slightest evidence of fasting of the plasma may indicate a diabetic condition. High glucose levels during this early time of pregnancy may lead to antedated pregnancy if left unattended. The criterion for determining abnormal concentration are yet to be determined.
People who are most at risk of gestational diabetes are women of advanced age. Most of the sufferers are those women with history of glucose intolerance. Others with history of gestational age babies are also susceptible to gestational diabetes. Ethnicity is also a major contributor of the occurrence of gestational diabetes in a community. Pregnant women with high levels of plasma fasting or abnormal blood glucose are also at risk of this disorder.
It is vital for pregnant women to get sufficient tests to determine their condition. Diabetes symptoms in women depends on their ethnic groups. Those with high prevalence of the disorder should be focused on. Prior tests should be conducted and the patients monitored. Screening is important because it guides the medical practitioner to provide the adequate prescription to the mother. The first trimester of pregnancy is the most critical. These women who are vulnerable should be monitored closely during this time. After this, other tests are taken when the subject is between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.
To diagnose gestation diabetes, common tests include a standard OGIT performed after overnight fasting. The fast should not be less than 8 hours. 75 g of anhydrous glucose in water is given to the patient. The test takes at least 2 hours for the determination of plasma glucose. According to the WHO criteria for diabetes mellitus, women with IGT are classified as having Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM).
Diabetes is categorized into two main types; the first type is insulin dependent. With this type, there is no insulin produced by the pancreas which is necessary for an individual to live. It is noticed in adolescents and children. The second type is dependent on insulin in the sense that a person’s body is unable to react accordingly. There is also another type, gestational diabetes. It is not very common and it happens during pregnancy then one heals. Sometimes it is associated with a risk of being diagnosed with either of the other two types named above much later in life.
Signs and Symptoms
If a person has the following as symptoms that they experience, and maybe in the family there has been a relative who was diagnosed of diabetes mellitus before, it is a wise idea to visit a doctor. Some of the symptoms may include; vomiting, nausea, having very dry skin, getting sores that take time to clear, contracting more infections than normal.
Also, if one losses weight that cannot be explained, experiences frequent usage of the restroom or she or he feels thirsty most of the times. Other symptoms may be; feeling hungry at most times of the day even after having regular meals, abrupt changes in vision because of glucose levels in the blood fluctuating, exhaustion most of the time; and becoming numbs-that is the feet or hands. Finally, the levels of glucose may shoot so high that it is dangerous for an individual because it may cause them to get into a coma.
This does not mean that all the above can be experienced at once, but we mean to put it that, a few combinations may be experienced in different people. We advise anyone who gets any combination among the above symptoms to take this as a trigger to go to the hospital.
Also, if someone is experiencing frequent headaches, this among the signs of diabetes. Also, feeling extremely fatigue all the time is a symptom of diabetes that triggers for a checkup too.
Signs and symptoms of Diabetes
Just like any other disease or infection, there will be physical signs that to indicate improper state of body organs and tissues. When body organs, hormones, and tissue are functioning as required, which we call normal; there is a high you feel comfortable and at peace. The reverse of comfort is an infection or disease that is interfering with normal functioning of the body. Infections and causes of diseases vary but you cannot miss to identify signs. Some are mild and you can actually miss till the disease advances to untreatable levels. However, most signs are evident and it doesn’t require any skill or keenness to know your body is in an abnormal state.
Why does diabetes create symptoms?
It is the same thing; body organs, tissues and hormones functioning in an unexpected way or not functioning at all hence body discomfort. Insulin is the pointer to diabetes. This hormone, which is responsible for converting and transporting sugar to body cells, is secreted in the pancreas. The pancreas determines the amount of insulin to secrete depending on the amount of food in digestion.
The amount of food in this case does not mean plates you clear on the table, it is the amount of carbs taken in. if you are eating huge amounts of vegetables, There is little or no need for insulin; the pancreas focuses on releasing digestive enzymes to help in such situations. The amount of insulin in the body determines effectiveness of breaking down the carbohydrates to sugar and storage in different organs and cells.
Typically, the liver and muscles store the glucose. Excess sugar produced from the digestion process is transferred to body cells and even the brain cells where the glucose is stored as fat. Fat is necessary for body energy, growth and development. Without insulin functions in transporting glucose to the cells, the body loses energy as well as ability to naturally grow. It actually deteriorates.
The fact that no energy is produced from the cells, you will feel weak. Also, failure of the insulin in delivering glucose as fat to the cells means there is increased level of blood sugar and has to be passed out because the blood should be pure to undertake other activities in the body. Excessive blood sugar is passed out through urine. The body naturally tries to flush out blood sugar through urine.
In this case, the hormone is inhibited to function; a condition known as insulin resistance. Cell membrane and tissues block activities of the insulin thus failure to convert glucose to fat and storage in the cells. The body loses energy. You don’t need expertise or diagnosis to tell your body is weak. Body weakness is evident in joints and muscles, which are necessities for any kind of movement. It is important to be keen on your everyday body behavior to notice the early signs and symptoms of diabetes.
Early signs of diabetes
Imbalance in insulin levels is a common condition hence possibility of many people having diabetes. The disease is considered a slow killer because the symptoms can be obvious and easily missed or assumed. According to a recent report by CDC, at least 100 million of Americans are living with Diabetes but only a handful of this population is aware. Of course, the best way to determine if you have this condition is to go for blood test to clear any doubts. Blood tests on sugar level should not only be when you feel body abnormalities or change or any of the signs that will be mentioned below, blood test should be a regular health check-up practice.
● Increased urination and excessive thirst
When glucose accumulates in the body, the body finds ways of removing it in a natural process through the kidney. The kidney generally functions as a clean-up body organ; in this case, it goes over drive.
Excessive sugar in blood blocks many other functions primarily transportation of critical nutrients with the blood. The frequent urge to relieve yourself is because of the kidney’s over drive actions; this also creates the necessity to replenish the fluids that help in passing out glucose. If you urinate frequently, you will need to hydrate regularly.
The excessive need for water can be easily overlooked, it should not. Our bodies need water and we should be keen on taking huge amounts to help with biological processes. The importance of water in the human body cannot be over stated. However, taking more than 4 liters a day should make you question your health. In fact, the 8 glasses of water in a day come with no thirst; it is usually a habit that you have to train. Without taking an effort to increase water intake, the body would not ask for more.
In this case, the body is asking for more and more; there is no quenching of thirst. If your water intake and thirst frequency has suddenly increased, you should consult a doctor on your blood sugar level.
● Weight loss
Drastic weight loss is a sign of high sugar in blood, specifically a sign of insulin resistance. The number of pounds shed might be normal, ranging from 10 pounds to 20 pounds within three months. If you haven’t been working out or on a diet and you realize the weight is decreasing you might just be having diabetes. With insulin resistance, the glucose cannot get into the body cells and get stored in form of fats hence body weakness. The failure of cells to get energy from glucose means the body is running on empty, no fuel! It creates a need for sourcing this energy from other parts and compounds of the body.
The proteins are obvious target by digestive enzymes, which breakdown this food component as an alternative source of body fuel. The presence of insulin and lack of glucose in the body is interpreted as starvation by the body. it is the same thing when you stay long before you eat; the body naturally breaks down proteins form muscles around the stomach linings to create energy. Naturally, our bodies are accustomed to certain feeding periods that if extended, it is interpreted as starvation and alternative measures are sought.
Kidneys working extra hard to eliminate the accumulated sugar in blood requires high energy. Elimination of sugar through urine directly lowers the calorie level in the body hence weight loss.
● Unending Hunger
If you are continuously eating with no satisfaction, you have a bigger problem than worms. This is also a simple sign of diabetes that can be easily assumed or mistaken for changes in lifestyle. Be cautious of your body behavior to avoid late diagnosis. When the blood sugar level drop or exceeds the normal rate of 9, the body interprets it differently. When the blood sugar is low, the insulin is in excess and no carbohydrates to break, it is obvious there is no food intake. Conversely, high blood sugar means there is insulin resistance hence need for energy in the cells.
In both two cases, the body will ask for more food. Typically, you will experience sharp pains, which is the body crave for hunger. You might have noticed people with Diabetes have to keep food near; they eat regularly either to balance sugar level. Sometimes, you may feel hungry immediately after eating; don’t wait for a trumpet, go for diagnosis.
● Skin problems
If you suddenly notice you have dry and itchy skin, there is a high chance that you have diabetes. Increased blood sugar level interferes with proper blood circulation because of the heavy blood hence slow movement. The blood may not be getting to other parts of the body; this is evidenced by skin darkening on random body parts.
Usually, you will notice dark skin below the neck and around the arm pit. It is an indication of poor blood circulation as a result of concentrated sugar. If you notice these skin problems including acanthosis nigricans, you might want to take blood test. It does not cost much of your time and money; early diagnosis helps with easy disease management.
● Slow healing
This is a classic sign of diabetes, you need not to wait any longer; consult the doctor on your way forward. When you experience a bruise or a cut, blood flows profusely for a long time, which you will notice to be abnormal.
A minor bruise can lead to excessive loss of blood. This is because of high amount of sugar in the blood stream interfering with swift flow of blood to the affected area. Platelets are responsible for healing and if they cannot be transported to the affected spot, the wound will take longer to heal. You are definitely experiencing insulin resistance hence diabetes.
● Yeast infections
Fungus and bacteria thrive in high sugar environment. If you have high blood sugar, you are prone to other infections, mostly candida and other fungal infections. Don’t consider this normal, there is an attraction to the bacteria and fungus.
The conducive environments for these two disease causing elements lead to frequent illness and irritability. You are likely to start developing allergies and body infections that never existed before in your body. If you notice frequent infections and strange illness, which have not been part of your worries, take a blood test to ascertain the cause. You are likely to be diabetic.
● Blurry vision
When the glucose in blood exceeds the acceptable level, it interferes with positioning and shape of the lens in your eye. It is considered a refraction problem. Sight also depends on glucose, which is supposed to be delivered by insulin; low levels of insulin or insulin resistance deny supply of this important element to brain cells integral in sight.
You are likely to experience flashes of light on occasional basis and blurred vision. This is an automatic indication of high blood sugar; if left to prolong, it might lead to blindness. Yes, high blood sugar levels for a long time can permanently block vision. However, you can easily reverse the refraction problem if you manage the sugar level in its early stages.
● Tingly fingers
High levels of sugar in the blood stream affect nerve functions. You are likely to experience numbness and shaky toes and fingers. In extreme cases, it goes to numbness of the whole hand or leg; you will experience difficulty with motion and flexibility. Just like in blindness, this should not be left to be rampant, the effects can be irreversible. It is important to control blood sugar level as quickly as it is noticed to avoid permanent nerve damage.
● Blood test
While some of the signs and symptoms listed above are direct links to high blood sugar hence diabetes, the verdict is only after a blood test. Experts recommend more than one blood test over given intervals to establish a base level.
What are diabetic socks?
Diabetes patients usually have a problem with blood circulation and this is the focus of these specially designed socks. Diabetic socks are seamless and non-elastic unlike normal socks. They are customized in such a way that they don’t restrict movement of blood by sticking to the leg. Restrictions to blood movement reduce the healing process. Diabetics also have a tendency to swell hence discomfort and pain related with nerve infections.
● Functions of these socks
- Minimize moisture accumulation.
- Prevents skin blistering.
- Decrease pressure on the feet.
● Why do you need diabetic socks?
Not all people affected with diabetes have to wear the socks. This is only if you are sensitive to temperature changes and you are experiencing irritation and swelling. Women with gestation diabetes are also advised to wear diabetic socks to allow free flow of air thus preventing swellings.
There are multiple types of diabetic socks varying in material, length, color, and size. If you need a combination of all these with specific characteristics matching your foot needs the Doc Ortho Loose Fit Diabetic Socks is for you.
- Has soft and non-binding construction for true comfort.
- Life time guarantee of its durability; the manufacturer offers free replacement on quick damage of the socks.
- Minimal compression hence free blood circulation.
- Improved moisture management for quick drying of your feet.
- 80% Cotton, 15% polyester, and 5% spandex.
Neuropathy is a common condition for people with diabetes. It is a nerve conditions that results tingling, pain and elements of weakness when on your feet. A person with diabetes is likely to feel burning sensation while walking. In extreme cases, an individual loses sense nerves and may not notice damage or cut on the foot.
Also, people with diabetes experience frequent swelling and ulcers on the bottom of their feet. It is a common daily struggle for people with this disease; hence, the need for special shoes to counter the effect and provide some form of comfort and enhance the healing process. In fact, according to American Diabetic Association more than 600,000 people affected with diabetes have foot complications, which often lead to amputation.
● Do I need the shoes?
Proper care of your feet is crucial to reduce the need for an amputation. If you have diabetes, you should regularly visit a podiatrist to ensure your foot is checks and maintained. It is possible to lose feet with few months after diagnosis with diabetes; it all depends with how your lifestyle after the diagnosis and how you manage the uneven sugar levels in blood. Regular check-up of your feet will determine upon doctor’s prescription is you need a pair of diabetic shoes or not.
While purchase of the shoes should be exclusively after prescription, here is how to know your feet are deteriorating and you need these shows:
If you are having trouble when walking with respect to numbness and burning sensations then you automatically need these shoes. They are not here to replace medication and insulin shots, diabetic shoes ensure you are having a comfortable and painless daily life as you on with the drugs.
For a normal person, blisters on the feet go away after a few days with treatment cream and physical massage. For people with diabetes it is different; a slight scratch or hard hit on the ground develops a blister, which can lead to more infections and damage to the foot to the extent of amputation. While the shoe has no side effect, doctors only recommend if the patient is having nerve complications.
Here are the doctor qualifications for diabetic shoes:
- History of pre-ulcerative callus.
- Callus formation and neuropathy.
- Previous foot ulceration.
- Deformations on the feet.
- Poor blood circulation.
As mentioned, diabetic shoes are known to provide comfort and reduce physical damage to your feet, here are some of its unique elements that differentiate them form normal shoes.
They have a higher and wider toe box meaning extra room and flexibility for your toes. If you have diabetes you will understand that the last thing you want is toe abrasion. Usually, the skin becomes soft and any scratching no matter how gentle can cause bruises, swelling, and bleeding. This wide fitting characteristic of the show ensures you don’t get blisters or red spots around your toes.
The shoes are made from special material that restrict air movement inside the shoe; typically, people with diabetes have soft skin vulnerable to physical damage, any unnecessary moisture only increases risk of damage.
Zenon is the ultimate material in diabetic shoes. The material is placed between the inner and outer sole to create a spongy feeling. It actually increases depth of the shoe; besides, you are bale to swing in-out as you walk. This prevents the heel from rough surfaces and uneven terrain.
Reduced direct contact to the ground as you walk clears out the feeling of an injured foot. With these shoes, you are able to walk freely without pain and worry of swellings.
● Are they helpful?
Absolutely! The shoes offer patients great comfort and pain free life. If you are having the slightest foot complications like a developing blister and you start wearing this, you will realize the difference from a regular shoe. It will protect you from future complications and need for amputation.
However, if you are in the early diabetes stages, there is little need for the shoes. Also, if you diagnosed your condition early enough and you are disciplined with prescription on lifestyle with regards to managing blood sugar levels, there is no need. However, if you are in the two scenarios but with history of foot problems, it is high time you purchase an Orthofeet Proven Pain Relief Plantar Fasciitis Sprint Comfortable Orthopedic Diabetic Sneaker from Amazon.
Here are some of the shoe’s unique features that make it the best in the diabetic shoe category:
- Soft inner sole.
- Non-binding fabric.
- Extra depth design.
- Easy gait, which adds spring to your walking steps.
- Orthotic support; cushioned heel pads.
Apart from the diabetic shoes and diabetic socks, there are a whole lot of other tools and resources for people with diabetes. It does not matter the stage of diabetes or type you were diagnosed with; whether you have lived with it for years or few weeks, it is a difficult condition considering it demands change of lifestyle and discipline.
Nevertheless, it all depends on yourself; your attitude towards the disease and discipline in terms of following directions from a medical team. You can live with diabetes for years or you can die from it within months; yes, it’s possible to succumb to the disease. It is a give and take relationship with your body and mind; what you feed it is what you get in return; garbage in garbage out.
Other than information and direction from experts, here are some products and tools designed to help people with diabetes, make use of them.
● A1CNow Self Check 2
Other than the doctor’s regular check, which comes after every two or three months depending on severity your condition, you need to self-evaluate your condition. It is important to analyze progress with regards to drugs and lifestyle practices you are implementing in the treatment process. You might be exercising or borrowing a technique from a friend for whom it worked but may be worsening your condition. Buy this self-check equipment for frequent a1c tests.
● Blood Ketone Test Strips
Ketones level should be regularly monitored to ascertain the trend in treatment and patient’s condition. It is a common concern for people with type 1 and type 2-diabetes. Typically, ketones are measured through urine, which can be limiting especially if the patient is experiencing dehydration as a result of secondary infections from diabetes. With this test strip, ketone measurement doesn’t have to wait for you to drink water and get urine, the blood strips are quick to give you results and establish cause and severity the infection. It is also more accurate than urine strips. Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Test Strips is the best you can get in the market. It is simple and faster to use than others in its category.
● Insulin coolers
If you are suffering from Diabetes, you already know the significance of insulin your body. Whenever your blood sugar rises or falls, it is activity of insulin and you need to balance the levels immediately. Diabetes should not stop you from going to adventures and long trips, just know your limits. You can actually carry insulin; it should be on top of your packing list. Let alone traveling, dashing out to town for quick errands should not happen without insulin in your hand bag or pocket.
There is only one issue with insulin that is covered with this equipment; insulin is sensitive to high temperatures. If you have been driving for several hours during summer you know what insulin can look like after exposure to the heat. Don’t dispose insulin because of heat; it’s an expense and part of medication. Be sure to purchase an insulin cooler that can maintain it in a good state for at least 28 days. While there are many appliances to help you carry insulin, Frio Insulin Cooling Case not only cools insulin but also insulates in the cold season.
● Medical ID bracelet
In the eventuality you lose consciousness due to acute infection, it is important for the strangers around to know what they are dealing with. It is advised that diabetes patients at critical stages should always be in the company of someone aware of their condition. You might forget your medication or eat something unsuitable for your condition; it is only safe to be always in company of family member, spouse or close friend.
However, this is not practical in the daily life considering everyone has to go to work and take care of individual duties. In one way or another, you will find yourself alone. The medical ID bracelet is crucial for person with diabetes because it specifically states the person names, contact addresses in case of emergency, home address, and other details necessary for help. There are multiple ways of identifying a patient during emergency; if wearing neck lace or carrying cards in your wallet is not comfortable for you then get Silicone Bracelet Medical Alert ID; you can customize and include any details you consider helpful in emergency.
There are endless diabetic supplies and products to aid in your comfortability and flexibility. Some of the mentioned tools are covered by MediCare while others are not; be sure to check with your medical insurance cover details and analyze the best and affordable equipment for you. Do not live a miserable restricted life because of it. Diabetes is a disease just like any other that requires care and positive attitude to live a normal life.
Diabetes in women
According to research by Annals of Internal Medicine, the death rate of men living with diabetes significantly fell between 1977 and 2000. In the same period, the number of women diagnosed with diabetes increased with a worrying rate, which automatically translated to death by the same cause. The extreme variations and relationship between diabetes vulnerability to the two sexes has not yet been established. However, the researchers have few pointers on the likely reason for the increase in women infection with Diabetes.
Inflammation and endocrine diseases are generally higher in women than in men because of the design of a woman’s body. Unlike men, most if not all of the activities depend on hormones. Any interference or inhibition of one hormone creates a ripple effect to influencing other body processes hence susceptibility to such infections.
Complications in women diagnosis are difficult to diagnose hence attributing to the increasing number.
Typically, healthcare on cardiovascular complications is less aggressive on women as compared to treatment in men. The variation in treatment intensity exposes women to more diabetic related risks.
However, the World Health Organization indicate a shift of the variability in infections with men’s demographic gong up to 15 million as compared to women with diagnosis at only 13 million worldwide. The statistics in 2000 led to major concern and focus on women treatment that left the men a step behind. Nevertheless, WHO indicates overall rise in people diagnosed with diabetes form 108 million to 422 million across the world.
Diabetes Symptoms in Women
Diabetes is a universal disease and most of the signs are similar to men and women. However, the woman’s body is different; as a woman, you are likely to encounter unique additional signs that won’t be present in men with diabetes.
● Urinary Infections
Urinary tract infections are commonly associated with women. The condition is a result of reduced blood flow hence difficulty of white blood cells to reach affected body areas in time. High sugar level in blood is a breeding environment for bacteria and fungus; the fact that white blood cells cannot get to the bacteria and kill them, they spread and cause infection on the urinary tract. You are likely to experience pain when urinating as well as a burning sensation. The color of the urine also changes to red-bloody like.
● Sexual dysfunction
Neuropathy is almost unavoidable when living with diabetes. In women, the inflexibility of fibers is not only on the legs, hand, joints, and other moving parts of the body but also on the vaginal area. If uncontrolled, you are likely to lose sex drive.
● Oral and vaginal yeast infections
As mentioned, high levels of glucose in the blood creates a favorable environment for disease causing organisms. Fungus in the body leads to yeast infections both in the mouth and the vagina. Also, a woman is also likely to develop vaginal thrush due to diabetes. The condition is characterized by painful sex, soreness, itching, and vaginal discharge. Usually, a cheese like substance forms around the mouth as indication of oral yeast infection.
Diabetes symptoms in men
In the same way, men have unique signs and symptoms that indicate diabetes. It is important to get acquainted with specific signs to your sex because diabetes can easily be missed. Most of the signs are similar to normal body dysfunctions that can easily be discarded; however, closer look and blood tests can prove a severe infection, diabetes.
● Erectile Dysfunction
If your experience difficulty in maintaining an erection, there is a high chance you have diabetes. Although the condition can be caused by many other health complications like blood pressure, nervous system conditions, poor blood circulation, smoking, and even emotional stress; diabetes is not out of the picture. In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases elaborate on prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men; according to the health institute, 20 to 70 percent of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction. Further, the experts explain in their research report, men 45 years and younger with the disease are more likely to experience the condition.
Erectile dysfunction is mainly attributed to damage in the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is exclusively responsible for controlling constricting and expansion of blood vessels. Diabetes interferes with proper functioning of the nerves hence functioning of the ANS. As a result, blood flow the penis and other parts of the body is affected; erection is wholly dependent on expansion of blood vessels and rapid flow of blood; failure to such causes erectile dysfunction.
● Retrograde Ejaculation
You are likely to produce less semen if you have diabetes. The condition entails redirection of flow from the scrotum to the bladder instead to the duct and out of the body. There are multiple explanations to these conditions, mainly nerve malfunctions. Diabetic neuropathy attributes to most of health conditions; in this case, the nerves that help direct the semen from its source to the penis do not have enough blood or are simply weak thus easy to fall back the liquid to the scrotum. While the amount of semen can be difficult measure, significant decrease is noticeable.
● Urologic Complications
Nerve damage affects the urinary tract in men. Either the bladder becomes over active or it completely shuts down and holds no urine. The moment water and any fluids go through the digestive tract; you will feel the urge to relieve yourself. High levels of sugar in blood also attract bacteria and fungus and just like in women, men can develop urinary tract infections. You should be free to discuss the issues with your doctor for extensive evaluation and examination. Prolonged symptoms and diabetes traces in the body can cause severe damage to the body and death.
● Risk factors in men
- High cholesterol.
- Inadequate physical activity.
- Over weight.
- Age more than 40.
This type of diabetes is known to come later in pregnancy du to uneven insulin levels in the body of a woman. While it is linked to genetic and medical history of a woman, gestational diabetes is common in pregnancy because of clash in hormonal functions. During pregnancy, the body of a woman produces less of estrogen and increases production of growth and development enzymes for the baby; the amount of food taken is also distributed between the mother and the growing fetus. When insulin is produced and tries to function normally in distributing glucose to the body cells, it meets receptive cell membranes due to interaction with other hormones; as a result, blood sugar level significantly rises.
Typically, the blood sugar level returns to normal after diabetes. However, this is not a guarantee; a woman may advance to type 2 diabetes considering it involves insulin levels. It is important to consult with a doctor late in pregnancy and the following months after delivery.
Gestational diabetes does not generate any noticeable signs and symptoms on a woman.
Nevertheless, you should take caution and visit a doctor even before you get pregnant for examination. A doctor can evaluate your blood sugar level and advise when to get pregnant and if there is a possibility of your body hormones clashing to lead to diabetes. While it is common in pregnant women, it is not a must occurrence.
Once you are pregnant, it is crucial to get back to the doctor as part of prenatal care to check for traces of gestational diabetes. The regular check-ups are extremely important because it can pose a risk to the fetus. This type of diabetes mostly occurs the last three months of pregnancy; it is a disease like any other and should not be anything to alarm you. Awareness and early diagnosis is crucial to safe child bearing and successful delivery.
After delivery, the blood sugar can return to normal without any medication. However, consistent blood tests should be conducted after every three weeks for certainty.
● Risk factors
Family or previous history is a top risk factor for gestational diabetes. If you had the condition in your previous pregnancy or you have a slightly high level of blood sugar, you are likely to develop gestational diabetes at the end of your pregnancy.
Excess body weight during pregnancy makes you vulnerable to diabetes.
If you are beyond 25 years, there a high likelihood of developing gestational pregnancy.
There is no specific treatment or preventive drug to stop gestational diabetes; however, healthy living lifestyle is a technique towards reducing probability of its occurrence. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy during pregnancy:
Keep active. Many women tend to reduce body movement and any form of exercise as they advance in pregnancy. Understandably, your body is bearing weight and you have to take care of the baby but this is not a reason for not exercising at all. When blood fails to flow in the required amount to every part of the body, sugar accumulates hence diabetes. All you need is a 30 minute walk or non-strenuous activity every day as you near the end of pregnancy. Besides, exercise because you will need the exercise when you get to delivery.
Eat healthy foods. Vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and low in fats and carbohydrates; this will help to reduce clash of insulin and hormones produced by the placenta. While you should take balanced diet, watch the portions and cut on calories.
Weight loss is not recommended during pregnancy, yet it is a risk factor at advanced stages of pregnancy. Be sure to exercise heavily and cut weight before you get pregnant.
Diabetes treatment is all about eating healthy. According to NHS, there is no special diet. Healthy in this case means low fat and high fiber and high nutrients. Controlling blood sugar is about helping the insulin achieve its purpose in transporting glucose around the body and adding helping cells increase sensitivity to insulin activity. If not for the conditions that we call this a treatment plan, a diabetic diet is the best health plan ever. It is about eating the right portions of food at specific meal times. Taking in high amounts of anything or delaying/extending meal times is detrimental to functionality of the hormones. Discipline is crucial in achieving quick results through diet.
Conventional clinical treatment procedures only mimic the natural process and elements produced from natural foods and how they influence body activities. In fact, your doctor is likely to refer you to a dietitian to help in developing a healthy diet specific to your condition. It is important to consult with a dietitian, don’t assume every practice you consider healthy is best for you. For instance, weight loss is only recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. It does not make any other impact on all other blood sugar conditions.
● Healthy carbohydrates
Carbs cover a wide range of foods; all you need to do is select the quality types by the help of your doctor. There are simple and complex carbohydrates that are rich in sugars and starch respectively; while they all have the same component; some have fat occurrences that are detrimental to a person with diabetes. Fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains are the most preferred for carbohydrates because they have less fat.
● High fiber
Fiber is an incomparable component in the digestive system. It entails all the plant products that cannot be easily absorbed during digestion. Fibers help in regulating the digestion process as well as controlling blood sugar. It is extremely important for individuals with this condition to take vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, and whole-wheat flour to increase fiber content in their bodies. The benefits of high fiber in the digestion and control of food processing in the stomach is immense; this is a must for people with diabetes.
● ‘Good’ fats
The word good is in quotations because fat is not good for the body. You don’t have to be diagnosed with diabetes to start avoiding fats; the effect of fat on blood circulation and cardiovascular functions is detrimental. However, fats are divided in to two; polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Consult the doctor on proper choice of fatty foods that help in regulating cholesterol levels in your body. Common foods with low calories are olives, peanut oil, almonds, avocados, and walnuts. Nevertheless, high intake of fat is detrimental to your health, any efforts to maintain blood sugar level will be diminished on too much of anything, especially fats.
● Regular fish
Fish is the best alternative to fats; the kind of fat in specific types such as tune and cod are better than taking cholesterol from chicken and dairy products. However, not all types of fish are good for you. Some contain mercury that its effects are immeasurable. Avoid sword fish and tilefish as well as fried fish.
Must-Avoid Foods If You Are on a Diabetic Diet
● Saturated fats
Animal proteins and dairy products should be off your shopping list if you are to live healthy with diabetes. It is about sacrificing one thing to get another; you have heard enough of these fats and it’s time to take care of your health or you watch it go down the graph.
Most foods have fat occurrence; avoid the high fatty animal products such as eggs and cream. In fat, you should not take more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol in a day.
This is bad for your health because it requires attention of the liver and kidney, which are already on over drive or malfunctioning. Consuming high amounts of sodium is a negative on your treatment efforts.
Most of us like baked foods, snacks, and margarine. I know they brighten your day but you should avoid any trace of these if you are to recover or slow the effect of diabetes.
Basically, all foods that increase fats and cholesterol in your body should be eliminated in your diet. Already your blood stream is impure because of sugar saturation. Besides, blood circulation is not normal because of the high blood sugar and insulin resistance of cells; adding any fats to the blood vessels is enhancing blockage of blood flow. Cut on fats and cholesterol!
Borderline diabetic diet
There is a tendency to try in balancing ‘fun’ in eating style and structure with healthy practices. Experts in the field ensure you do not live a miserable life without what you consider fun; you should look forward to meal times as before diagnosis. You need to fall in love with the diet because it is the only way. There are special designed foods for people living with diabetes; typically, they are low in sugar and low in fats. Snacks for diabetics and fruits for diabetics are some of the foods you should consider to spice up your diet. Nevertheless, you are supposed to understand the stated causes and effects of diabetes, therefore what you can help in controlling the condition.
Alcohol and Diabetes
Alcohol is a combination of yeast, starches, and sugar. It is a common drink across the world renowned for pleasure. It is also an anti-depressant but lasts in the body for only a short period. The drink has significant health benefits; however, if used in huge quantities, it is a drug. It alters normal functioning of the brain and often leads to staggering and slow speech. Considering alcohol has a lot of sugar and calories, it impact on a person with diabetes especially when not consumed in moderation. It either increases or reduces the blood sugar level depending on the type of diabetes. There is no clear direction on use of alcohol with people living with diabetes; it is important to understand the associated risks and consult with your doctor before using the drink.
● Can I drink with diabetes?
It all depends with your condition and type of diabetes. While the human body is uniform in terms of body organs and tissue functions, how we relate to different environment stimuli and infections is different.
If your blood sugar is well controlled, you can certainly take alcohol. However, any discrepancy in blood sugar level should make you worry about your decision. Low sugar level and high sugar in blood cannot go hand in hand with alcohol, which adds more calories to the body. Increased calories and sugar in the body necessitates release of more insulin to break down and transport the sugar, which can lead to sharp changes in sugar level.
● Alcohol-liver relationship
The liver is specifically known for storing and secreting glucose to be transported to cells around the body. Additionally, it is responsible in detoxifying the blood stream. When you drink alcohol, the liver does not recognize it as food; instead it interprets the drink to be toxin hence the need to eliminate it from the body. The body has the ability to fight and restore normalcy on its own by the help of a liver. Unfortunately, the liver cannot multi-task; when it’s detoxifying the body, there will be no absorption of glucose for storage or secretion of sugar to body cells. Toxin in the body is apriority for the liver. Therefore, presence of alcohol interferes with the glucose storage and secretion process, which leads to accumulation of both insulin and sugar in the blood stream.
● Effects of Alcohol on blood sugar level
Moderate amount of alcohol in the body often leads to increase in blood sugar level. Conversely, excess alcohol drops the level of sugar in blood, which is extremely dangerous for people with diabetes type 1.
Beer and wine, which are considered luxurious products with alcohol, have high carbohydrates that increase blood sugar level.
Alcohol is an appetizer and you are likely to over eat after consuming such a drink. Food intake in the body stimulates secretion of insulin for storage and secretions of sugar thus increase in sugar level.
Excessive weight is a risk factor for people with diabetes; alcohol has large amounts of calories that make it impossible to reduce weight.
● Facts about diabetes and alcohol use
Depending on how much you drink, glucose level in the blood either falls or increases. This is because alcohol directly interacts with diabetes medication. Most of the diabetes medication prescribed by doctors stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin in a bid to lower glucose level in blood. Alcohol inhibits insulin activities because it has to be broken down and cleared out of the body by the liver. The clash of interest in the body often leads to insulin shock, which is a medical emergency for a diabetic patient. It can actually lead to death.
Alcohol directly interferes with functionality of the liver. The liver is entirely responsible for regulating blood sugar level by secreting appropriate amounts of glycogen stored as glucose to body cells. On consumption of alcohol, whether little or excess, the liver has to abandon its duties and focus on removing alcohol from the blood stream because it is not recognized as food. In the process, depending how long it takes with respect to the amount of alcohol, your body sugar level is unmanaged.
Be sure to test for blood sugar before taking alcohol. The fact that alcohol diverts attention of the liver, glucose level in blood should be well balanced because the liver is technically unavailable for any regulation.
Blood test for sugar should be a regular practice for you if you can’t leave alcohol. Sometimes, alcohol leads to significant drop of glucose in the body; this happens after the intake. It is important to test for blood sugar moments after taking alcohol. You might as well decide to always take snacks after alcohol just in case your body needs sugar.
Again, consult with a healthcare expert concerned with your diabetes treatment on accepted or safe amounts of alcohol for you. To some patients, alcohol should be completely out of the picture. On the overall, women with diabetes are advised to take a maximum of one beverage in 24 hours while men have a maximum of two alcohol beverages. In the end it is upon you to take doctor direction seriously and discipline your lifestyle.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels over a long period lead to more health complications. It is important to go for blood tests regularly to detect traces of diabetes in its early stages where it is easy to manage. If the blood sugar levels prolong or go unattended, you are likely to lose essential body organs and their functionality, which is a slow process of disability and ultimately death.
According to WHO, death complications are categorized into two; microvascular and macrovascular.
Microvascular infections entail damage to small blood vessels mainly the eyes that lead to blindness (temporary or permanent) kidney failure that lead to renal failure. This category of diabetes complications also lead to nerve damage that attribute to impotence and foot disorders hence amputation.
Macrovascular infections involve damage of large blood vessels. Heart attack, stroke, and difficulty in blood circulation are the major complications related with diabetes. Research scientists are still evaluating the possibility of metabolic functions to stop or reduce effect of type 1 and type 2-diabetes.
The condition occurs for people with both type 1 and type 2-diabetes. It occurs due to prolonged and uncontrolled blood sugar levels that affect blood vessels in the retina. Excessive and prolonged high blood sugar slows down the blood circulatory system. It is also caused by lifestyle of an individual with respect to choice of foods and physical activity that determine flow of blood through the blood vessels.
Retinopathy occurs after swelling of blood vessels in the retina. Usually, blood clots on the small blood vessels inside the eye, which causes swelling and leaking. Sometimes, there is abnormal growth of additional blood vessels on this part of the eye. These two scenarios affect sight that often begins with blurry vision and flashes of light on the eyes. If the condition is not managed in good time, it causes permanent damage.
The cause of retinopathy is directly linked to high level of sugar in the blood. The improper circulatory system with impurities in the blood leads to blockage of the tiny blood vessels. Blockage means there is no more blood supply hence no functioning thus the need for growth of new blood vessels. The new growths are likely less to function because of issues in blood circulation hence leaking and protruding on the retina.
● Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy
- Floating dark spots in your vision.
- Problems with color vision.
- Vision loss.
- Blurred vision.
- Empty areas in your vision.
● Types of diabetic retinopathy
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
This is the first stage of retinopathy that attributes to the early signs and symptoms. In this early stage and type of complication, the tiny blood vessels are not growing. People with this condition have weak walls on their blood vessels in the eye that leads to formation or tiny bulges, which protrude from the walls of these blood vessels. The vessels in the eye are too tiny in the sense that any protruding or change in direction of blood vessels leads to swelling or leaking. Any interference on these vessels cannot go unnoticed.
At times, the blood leaks into the eye, which is a sign of an advancing infection and impact of diabetes. Prolonged non-proliferation leads to dilation of the larger blood vessels that become irregular hence blocking vision. Also, nerve fibers get affected over unattended retinal issues. When the nerve fibers begin to swell, it is a medical emergency as you might be losing sight.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy
This is an advanced stage of retinopathy. The condition is brought about by irregular growth and close down of large blood vessels in the retina. When blood vessels close, the body naturally initiates growth of new ones; in this case, abnormal vessels grow leading to leaking to the retina. Blood and excessive fluid is noticeable on the jelly part of the eye.
The condition can go further to form a scar due to malfunctioning blood vessels. The scar at the back of the eye is built up with pressure because of increasing number of abnormal blood vessels and leaking on the eye. This is an extreme condition that can cause dislocation of the retina hence permanent blindness.
When there is insufficient insulin in the body, the liver breaks down fat to turn them to fuel as source of energy. The broken down elements are referred to as ketones. Increased amount of ketones in the blood stream causes an acidic environment that leads to interruption of all body processes including digestion and thinking. This condition develops due to negligence or uncontrolled diabetes.
The body cannot run without fuel, on absence of sugars because of inactivity of insulin, fats are the only option for energy. Too high blood sugar levels that insulin can’t manage or prolonged high levels of blood sugar lead to breaking down of fats hence chemical imbalance in the body.
- Physical trauma.
- Alcohol/drug abuse.
- Heart attack.
- Strong medication such as corticosteroids.
● Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
- Abdominal pain.
- Excessive thirst.
- Persistent nausea and vomiting.
- Breath shortness.
- Frequent urination.
- Fruity-scented breath.
Blood and urine tests should be taken using specialized equipment to show the amount ketones in the blood stream. Ketones are the most definite way of ascertaining whether or not you are experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis.
● Risk factors
If you miss insulin doses, you are more likely to experience this condition because the body has to get fuel. Missing insulin denies body energy from sugar hence need for alternatives.
Exercises for people with diabetes
The role of exercise in healthy living cannot be over stated; we all need to exercise whether we are sick or not. You don’t have to wait until you are a diabetes patient before you take this seriously; physical activity is significant in blood flow, which is crucial for all body processes. If you are living with diabetes, you should take this even more seriously.
Blood circulatory system is crucial to functionality of liver and insulin. By now, you are well acquainted with the role of each of this in regulating sugar level in the body. Exercise not only burn calories but also enhances blood flow; efficiency in this process helps to manage blood sugar level, which is the main concern in diabetes. According to the ADA, aerobic exercise helps insulin to function better.