What is Diabetes?

What is DiabetesDiabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that causes high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to make and/or effectively use insulin. Food, when eaten, gets broken down into a form of sugar called glucose.1 Glucose enters the bloodstream and goes to the surrounding cells where it is used as energy. Our bodies need insulin to help use sugar, starches, and other food that fuel daily life.2 Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.3

Facts and Figures:

387 million people have diabetes; by 2035 this will rise to 592 million4

Facts & Figures
Facts & Figures

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes. It is usually caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body's defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin. The reason this occurs is not fully understood. People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin. The disease may affect people of any age, but usually develops in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood. If people with type1 diabetes do not have access to insulin, they will die. 1

Only about 5% of people with diabetes have type 1. 2


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults accounting for 90% to 95% of all diabetes cases.3 Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. It is characterized by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency, either or both of which may be present at the time diabetes is diagnosed. The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes may remain undetected for many years and the diagnosis is often made when a complication appears or a routine blood or urine glucose test is done. It is often, but not always, associated with overweight or obesity, which itself can cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes can often initially manage their condition through exercise and diet. However, over time most people will require oral drugs and or insulin.4

Type 2 diabetes risk factors

A number of factors can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Type2 Diabetes

These include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a waist size of 31.5 inches or more (women) or more than 37 inches (men)
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Having a first-degree relative with type 2 diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or raised cholesterol levels
  • Being of South Asian and African-Caribbean descent
  • Smoking 5

Gestation

Gestational diabetes mellitus

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes consisting of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It develops in one in 25 pregnancies worldwide and is associated with complications to both mother and baby. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women with GDM and their children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Approximately half of women with a history of GDM go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five to ten years after delivery.

1http://www.idf.org/about-diabetes
2http://www.lillydiabetes.com/Pages/type-1-diabetes.aspx
3http://www.lillydiabetes.com/Pages/type-2-diabetes.aspx
4http://www.idf.org/about-diabetes
5http://www.diabetes.co.uk/type2-diabetes.html

Symptoms of Diabetes

Vomiting and stomach pain

Symptoms of Diabetes

Blurred vision

Symptoms of Diabetes

Others symptoms includes;

  • Weight loss
  • A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow-healing wounds
Diabetes Warning Signs

The development of type 1 diabetes is usually sudden and dramatic while the symptoms can often be mild or absent in people with type 2 diabetes, making this type of diabetes hard to detect.

If you show these signs and symptoms, consult a health professional.1

Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms, which is why it's important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy.2


1http://www.idf.org/signs-and-symptoms-diabetes
2http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/?loc=db-slabnav

Individuals can experience different signs and symptoms of diabetes, and sometimes there may be no signs. Some of the signs commonly experienced include:

Frequent urination

Frequent urination

Excessive thirst

Symptoms of Diabetes

Increased hunger

Symptoms of Diabetes

Tiredness / Feeling Lazy

Symptoms of Diabetes

Vomiting and stomach pain

Symptoms of Diabetes

Blurred vision

Symptoms of Diabetes

Others symptoms includes;

  • Weight loss
  • A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow-healing wounds
Diabetes Warning Signs

The development of type 1 diabetes is usually sudden and dramatic while the symptoms can often be mild or absent in people with type 2 diabetes, making this type of diabetes hard to detect.

If you show these signs and symptoms, consult a health professional.1

Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms, which is why it's important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy.2


1http://www.idf.org/signs-and-symptoms-diabetes
2http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/?loc=db-slabnav

A diagnosis of diabetes is made if a person has any of the following test results:

  • FPG is 126 mg/dL or higher
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) symptoms exist and casual plasma glucose is 200 mg/dL or higher
  • Plasma glucose is 200 mg/dL or higher at 2 hours during an OGTT
  • A1C is greater than or equal to 6.5%

If any of these test results occur, testing should be repeated on a different day to confirm the diagnosis.1

Symptoms of Diabetes Symptoms of Diabetes Symptoms of Diabetes

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)

This test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. Fasting means after not having anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl

Random (also called Casual) Plasma Glucose Test

This test is a blood check at any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms.

Diabetes is diagnosed at blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (also called the OGTT)

The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood glucose levels before and 2 hours after you drink a special sweet drink. It tells the doctor how your body processes glucose.

Diabetes is diagnosed at 2 hour blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl

A1C

The A1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. The advantages of being diagnosed this way are that you don't have to fast or drink anything. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%.2


1http://www.lillydiabetes.com/Pages/type-1-diabetes-symptoms-and-diagnosis.aspx
2http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/?loc=db-slabnav

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