“A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.” World Health Organization
According to WHO, The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Prevalence has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that arises when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin produced in sufficient quantities. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a typical side effect of uncontrolled diabetes and can cause devastating damage to many body systems, especially neurons and blood vessels, over time. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to kidney, heart, and blindness.
Untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your nerves, eyes, and other organs.
Symptoms of diabetes
- Blurred vision.
- Increased thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Extreme hunger.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Feeling very tired.
- Have too dry skin.
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling feelings in the hands or feet.
Types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is the most severe form of diabetes and is caused by a lack of insulin in the body. It is an autoimmune disease, which means your body is attacking itself. That’s why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is caused by a lack of insulin in the body. This type occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people.
Medication can control both types of diabetes, but there is no cure for type 2 diabetes.
This type is the stage before type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Most women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. This problem is often diagnosed through a standard blood sugar test or an oral glucose tolerance test, which is usually done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. A woman with gestational diabetes may experience increased thirst or urination rarely. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy.
Risk elements for diabetes
- Type 1: Type 1 diabetes is more common among youngsters and teenagers, those who have a parent or sibling who is affected by the condition, and people who have particular genes connected to the condition.
- Type 2: You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, 45 or older, have a parent or sibling who is affected with diabetes, are not physically active, have had gestational diabetes, have prediabetes, and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol.
- Gestational Diabetes: You are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you have had gestational diabetes in the past, are overweight, have a family history, are over the age of 25, have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, or of type 2 diabetes.
What should the level of blood sugar be?
Ask your medical team. They might have a clear target area for you. But generally, most people aim to maintain these targets for their blood glucose levels:
- Between 80 and 130 mg/dL before a meal.
- Less than 180 mg/dL less than two hours after the start of a meal.
What happens if my blood glucose level is low?
Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level that is lower than the normal range (usually less than 70 mg/dL). This is a signal from your body that you require sugar.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia:
- Sweating, moist skin
- The skin tone is pale.
- Numbness in the mouth or on the tongue.
- Irritation, nervousness
- Nightmares, bad dreams, and disturbed sleep
- Vision is blurry.
- Seizures and headaches
- Weakness or tremors
- Rapid heartbeat
- Unexpected hunger.
What if the blood glucose level is too high?
Hyperglycemia occurs when there is an excess of glucose in the blood.
- Hyperglycemia is defined as a fasting blood glucose level greater than 125 mg/dL. (nothing to eat or drink for at least eight hours).
- A blood glucose level of 180 mg/dL or higher one to two hours after eating.
How to prevent diabetes?
If you are at risk of diabetes, diabetes can be avoided or prevented. The majority of what you need to do involves living a better lifestyle. If you make these modifications, you will reap additional health benefits. You may reduce your risk of developing other ailments, and you will most likely feel better and have more energy. The modifications are as follows:
- Loose extra weight: Diabetes prevention begins with weight management. By losing 5 to 10% of your current weight, you may be able to avoid or delay diabetes. And once you lose weight, you must never gain it again.
- Don’t smoke: Tobacco use can increase insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, try to quit.
- Increase your physical activity: Regular physical activity has lots of advantages. By doing regular exercise, you can reduce your blood sugar, lose extra weight and Increase your insulin sensitivity, which aids in keeping your blood sugar within a reasonable level. You should aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. You can do cardiovascular exercise on most days, for at least 150 minutes per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, bicycling, or running.
- Eat healthy food: Eat a variety of foods from each food group, including whole wheat, veggies, and fruits, and avoid red meat. It is essential to reduce the number of calories you consume each day in order to lose weight and keep it off. To accomplish this, you should eat smaller portions and consume less fat and sugar.
When should I call my doctor?
If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, you should see your doctor if you have any diabetes symptoms. If you already have diabetes, you should contact your provider if your blood glucose levels fall outside of your target range, if your current symptoms worsen, or if you develop any new symptoms then you should visit your doctor.
Is diabetes fatal?
Yes, undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes (severely high or severely low glucose levels) can cause devastating damage to your body. Diabetes can result in heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, or coma. These complications have the potential to kill you. Heart disease, in particular, is the leading cause of death in adults with diabetes.