diabetes-the-silent-killer
By Medicover Hospitals / 04 April 2021

Home | Blog | Diabetes: The Silent Killer

Article Context:

  1. What is Diabetes?
  2. How Harmful is Diabetes?
  3. Types of Diabetes
  4. Diagnostic Criteria for Diabetes
  5. What are the Diabetes concerns?
  6. Risk Factors
  7. Diagnosis
  8. Treatment
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

What is Diabetes?

  • Diabetes is a chronic medical disorder in which the pancreas fails to generate insulin, which is needed to transport glucose into our cells. High blood sugar levels develop as a result of this. Hyperglycemia is the medical term for a high blood glucose level. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces. Insulin aids the production of energy from glucose by body cells. In the long run, hyperglycemia harms the body and can wreak havoc on the functioning of many organs.
  • Diabetes is dubbed the "Silent Killer" by medical professionals since it causes a slew of additional problems in patients. As a result, it's critical to keep diabetes under control in order to avoid the complications that come with it. If diabetes is discovered early, it can be effectively treated. Understanding diabetes and its adverse consequences on the body is critical for improved management of this condition.
  • How Harmful is Diabetes For Your Body?

  • Diabetes can have a lot of harmful effects on your body. They can be:
    • Stroke: A person with diabetes has a four-fold increased risk of stroke compared to someone who does not have diabetes.
    • Loss of Consciousness: When the body creates a high quantity of blood acids called ketones, a person may lose consciousness or perhaps go into a coma. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a significant diabetic condition.
    • Visual Disturbances: Damaged blood vessels in the eyes can create visual abnormalities such as floaters. This can result in blindness if left untreated.
    • Cataracts and Glaucoma: People with diabetes have a higher risk of glaucoma and cataracts than those who do not have diabetes.
    • Risk of Heart Disease: High blood pressure and damaged blood arteries place additional strain on the heart, raising the risk of heart disease.
    • Fatigue and Tiredness: Fatigue is the most prevalent symptom of diabetes, and it is caused by high blood sugar levels and other problems of the disease.
    • High Blood Pressure: A diabetic is at an increased risk of acquiring high blood pressure.
    • Pancreas Malfunction: Your body will not be able to convert glucose into energy if your pancreas is malfunctioning or non-functioning.
    • Gastroparesis: The prolonged emptying of the stomach might be caused by poor blood sugar management. Bloating, heartburn and nausea are all possible side effects.
    • Frequent Urination and Excessive Thirst: Urination on a regular basis can be an early symptom of diabetes. One of the problems of this illness is excessive thirst and frequent urges to urinate.
    • Protein in the Urine: A high quantity of protein in the urine could indicate that your kidneys are damaged and not functioning properly.
    • Damaged Blood Vessels: If you have too much glucose in your body, blood flow is restricted, which can produce a variety of symptoms as well as damage to your blood vessels. It goes without saying that diabetics who smoke are at a higher risk.
    • Nerve Damage: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which can make you feel like you're on pins and needles. A damaged nerve can alter your perception of cold, heat, and pain, leaving you exposed to a variety of injuries.
    • Dry Mouth: The body loses fluids at a faster pace when blood sugar is uncontrolled and high. This might cause dry mouth and cracked lips, which are common diabetes symptoms.
    • Foot Problems: Diabetic patients are more likely to develop calluses, infections, or ulcers on their feet. Nerve damage from high blood sugar and a reduction in circulation to your feet might cause this.

    Types of Diabetes

  • Diabetes is divided into three categories: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. The patient's body does not create enough insulin in type 1 diabetes. Although the body produces adequate insulin in type 2 diabetes, it is unable to use it effectively. Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs only during pregnancy.
  • Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas' insulin-producing cells are destroyed by the immune system. Beta cells are the name for these cells. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children under the age of 18. Type I diabetes causes a child's body to stop producing the vital hormone insulin. Type 1 diabetes in children has no cure, but it can be managed. An insulin pump or insulin injection must be used to restore the missing insulin. Advanced insulin administration and blood sugar monitoring have improved the quality of life and blood sugar management of children with diabetes.
  • Risk factors of type 1 diabetes:
    • Overweight
    • Lack of exercise
    • Unhealthy eating
    • Family history
  • Age, genetics, family history of diabetes can increase the possibility of becoming diabetic, which cannot be changed but lack of exercise and unhealthy eating can be changed.
  • Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition. This has an impact on how the body handles sugar (glucose). If left untreated, blood sugar levels will rise, perhaps resulting in significant repercussions. Type 2 diabetes was once only observed in adults, but with the rise in childhood obesity, diabetes is now prevalent in youngsters. Type 2 diabetes can be avoided by engaging in physical activity, eating healthy foods, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you detect any of the symptoms of diabetes in your child, consult a doctor.
  • Symptoms

  • The main symptoms of diabetes are:
    • Frequent urination
    • Excessive thirst
    • Weight loss
    • Blurred vision

    Diagnostic Criteria for Diabetes

  • If the following criteria, one or more are met, diabetes should be diagnosed:
    • Following a 75g oral glucose load, two-hour plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/L
    • Fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/ dl)

    Complications

  • If diabetes is poorly managed, it can lead to further complications, including cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, diabetic foot, pregnancy complications, kidney diseases, neuropathy, periodontitis. People with diabetes have a long healthy life with health professional support and good self-management. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented currently.
  • Type-2 diabetes can be prevented by following the below guidelines strictly:
    • Know your risk factors and take action
    • Stay active
    • Eat healthily
    • Have regular checkups for early diagnosis
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Take prescribed medicine regularly
    • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol

    What Are The Diabetes Concerns?

  • The current total number of people, living with diabetes, around the world is over 425 million. According to IDF (International Diabetes Federation), followed by India, China had the highest number of diabetes patients, 11.43 cr and 7.29 cr respectively, in the year 2017. Almost all these cases are type 2 diabetes. Families have key responsibilities in managing and preventing diabetes by advocating a healthy lifestyle in society.
  • One in two people living with diabetes, currently, remains undiagnosed. It is very important to have an early diagnosis and proper treatment to avoid serious complications. Once the management of diabetes was very expensive. Nowadays, access to various affordable essential medicines for diabetes has improved. This has also reduced the cost of it for individuals and families. To reduce various emotional impacts of the disease, education, and self-management support are provided for all the patients. As every family may have a diabetic person, it is high time for people to be alert about the disease and follow a healthy lifestyle to get rid of this disease.
  • Diabetes cannot be cured, but can only be controlled. People may get extremely disappointed when they know that, they’re diagnosed with diabetes. Positive thinking and the assistance of an expert health professional can control your diabetes effectively and make you lead a long healthy life. Timely precautions should be taken to prevent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes that comes with age, family history, or genetics cannot be prevented but can be controlled effectively by self-management and expert advice.
  • The most important thing is to get diagnosed in time. If it is diagnosed early, it is very easy to keep it under control. If it is diagnosed at a later stage, then it may lead to further complications, and taking medicines may not be effective. So, in case you feel you have any symptoms of diabetes, do not hesitate to visit your doctor. Remember, diabetes can be controlled but cannot be cured.
  • Risk Factors

  • Some severe risk factors of Type 2 diabetes are:
    • Family history
    • Age more than 45
    • High blood pressure
    • Gestational Diabetes
    • Physical inactive

    How to Reduce Risk Factors?

  • Follow the steps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes are:
    • Maintain healthy weight
    • Eat well
    • Be active
    • Get screened for Type 2 diabetes each year

    Diagnosis

  • A person may be suspected to diabetes if you are showing any serious risk factors that are associated with diabetes. Some of the diagnosis of diabetes may include some kind of tests like:
  • You'll be asked to perform a fasting glucose test, in which your blood sugar level is measured on an empty stomach in the morning. It will be proven that you have diabetes if your blood sugar levels are 126 mg/dL or greater.
  • The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is another test that requires you to consume a glucose-containing beverage. Your blood sugar level will be checked every 30 to 60 minutes for nearly three hours after you've consumed the beverage. Diabetes will be confirmed if the level reaches 200 mg/dL or greater throughout this time.
  • There is the A1c test, which is a blood test that displays your average blood sugar levels over the previous 2-3 months. You have diabetes if your A1c score is 6.5 percent or greater.
  • Treatment

  • The most primary objective of the diabetes treatment is controlling the blood sugar level and bringing it back to the normal range.
  • For the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes:
    • Insulin
    • Exercise
    • Type 1 diabetes diet
  • Treatment of Type 2 diabetes:
    • Weight reduction
    • Type 2 diabetes diet
    • Oral drugs
    • Insulin

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Some of the symptoms of diabetes are:

    • Frequent urge of urination
    • Excessive thirst
    • Extreme hunger
    • Weakness
    • Pins and needles

    High blood pressure and diabetes are referred to be "silent killers" since many people have these problems but are unaware of them unless they visit their doctor for regular examinations.

    It can happen without warning, and some symptoms are difficult to detect. Type 2 diabetes is a secret epidemic that, if not diagnosed and treated, can lead to catastrophic problems.

    Sugar, as it turns out, is a silent murderer. Glucose levels rise and fall as a result of sugar consumption. Mood swings, exhaustion, and headaches can all be symptoms of an unstable blood sugar level. It also causes cravings, which starts the false hunger loop.

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