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Diabetes Mellitus

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a chronic health condition that affects how the body regulates blood sugar (glucose). It occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that helps regulate glucose levels, or when the cells become resistant to insulin’s effects. This leads to elevated levels of glucose in the blood, which can have various detrimental effects on the body.

Diabetes Mellitus

Types of Diabetes

  • Type 1 Diabetes: An autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: A condition where the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check.
  • Gestational Diabetes: Develops in some women during pregnancy, where they experience high blood sugar levels that were not present before pregnancy. It often resolves after childbirth but can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life.
  •   Monogenic Diabetes: A rare form of diabetes caused by mutations in a single gene affecting insulin production or function.

Role of Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. It facilitates the entry of glucose into cells, where it’s used for energy. When the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels rise, leading to diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Common Symptoms

  • Frequent urination.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision.

Differences in Symptoms

  • Type 1 Diabetes symptoms can develop rapidly and may include nausea and vomiting.
  • Type 2 Diabetes symptoms may appear gradually and can sometimes be subtle.

Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

  • Type 1 Diabetes: The exact cause is unknown, but it’s thought to be an autoimmune reaction where the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: This type of diabetes usually develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Factors contributing to insulin resistance include genetics, obesity, physical inactivity, and a diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates.
  • Gestational Diabetes: This condition develops during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that affect insulin production and function.
  • Monogenic Diabetes: Caused by a mutation in a single gene, affecting insulin production or function.

Complications of Diabetes Mellitus

  • Neuropathy (nerve damage).
  • Nephropathy (kidney damage).
  • Retinopathy (eye damage).
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Foot ulcers and infections.

Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus

Common Tests

  • Fasting Blood Glucose test: This test measures blood sugar levels after an overnight fast. A blood sample is drawn, and the blood glucose level is measured. A fasting blood glucose level of less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is considered normal, between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes, and 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher on two separate occasions confirms diabetes.
  • HbA1c test: This test provides an average blood sugar level over the past two to three months by measuring the percentage of haemoglobin with attached glucose. An HbA1c level below 5.7% is considered normal, between 5.7% and 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher on two separate tests confirms diabetes.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This test measures how your body responds to a glucose-rich drink. It’s often performed when fasting overnight. After drinking a glucose solution, blood samples are taken at intervals to measure blood sugar levels. A blood sugar level of less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) at two hours is considered normal, between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8-11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes, and 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher confirms diabetes.

Interpretation of Test Results

  • Normal range: Blood glucose levels under 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) after fasting, HbA1c below 5.7%, and OGTT results below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) are considered normal.
  • Prediabetes: Blood glucose levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L) after fasting, HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4%, and OGTT results between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8-11.0 mmol/L) indicate prediabetes.
  • Diabetes: Blood glucose levels of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher after fasting, HbA1c of 6.5% or higher, and OGTT results of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher confirm diabetes.

Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Balanced diet and portion control: A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains is essential. Portion control helps manage blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Regular exercise and physical activity: Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can improve insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar levels.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Losing excess weight can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Medications and Insulin Therapy

  • Oral Hypoglycemic drugs: These medications, such as metformin, sulfonylureas, and DPP-4 inhibitors, help regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production or reducing insulin resistance.
  • Injectable medications: GLP-1 receptor agonists and insulin injections are sometimes necessary for those with advanced diabetes. They help control blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Insulin therapy: Some individuals, particularly those with Type 1 diabetes or advanced Type 2 diabetes, may need insulin injections to maintain adequate blood sugar levels.

Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels

  • Regular self-monitoring using blood glucose metres or continuous glucose monitors helps individuals track their blood sugar levels and adjust their diet, exercise, and medication accordingly.
  • Maintaining a log of blood glucose levels provides valuable data to healthcare professionals for treatment adjustments.

Regular Health Check-ups

  • Regular follow-up appointments with healthcare professionals are essential to monitor diabetes progression and adjust treatment plans accordingly.
  • Routine screening for complications such as neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases is crucial for early detection and management.

Why choose Shukan Hospital & IVF Centre in Ahmedabad for Diabetes Mellitus treatment?

  • Shukan Hospital & IVF Centre has a team of experienced healthcare professionals specializing in diabetes care. Their knowledge and experience can provide personalized treatment and management plans tailored to each patient’s needs.
  • The hospital offers a holistic approach to diabetes management, including lifestyle counselling, medication management, and ongoing support. Patients receive comprehensive care from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up.
  • Equipped with modern diagnostic tools and treatment facilities, Shukan Hospital & IVF Centre provides advanced care for diabetes mellitus, ensuring accurate diagnosis and effective management.
  • The hospital emphasizes patient education and support programs, helping patients understand their condition and empowering them to manage it effectively.

Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus

  •  Importance of Regular Health Screenings: Regular blood sugar tests and health check-ups can help detect diabetes early.
  • Lifestyle Recommendations: Adopting a balanced diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

FAqs

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.

Can diabetes be cured?

Diabetes management can help control blood sugar levels, but it’s a lifelong condition. The goal of treatment is to maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

How often should I monitor my blood sugar levels?

The frequency of blood sugar monitoring depends on the type of diabetes and the treatment plan. For some individuals, daily monitoring is necessary, while others may need to check less frequently.

Can lifestyle changes really help manage diabetes?

Yes, lifestyle modifications such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight management are crucial in managing diabetes. These changes can help control blood sugar levels and improve overall health.

Can diabetes affect my heart?

Yes, diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Managing blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure can help reduce these risks.

How can I maintain a healthy weight with diabetes?

A balanced diet, portion control, regular physical activity, and lifestyle modifications can help manage and maintain a healthy weight. Monitoring carbohydrate intake and focusing on nutrient-dense foods can also contribute to weight management.

Is there a genetic component to diabetes?

Yes, genetics can play a role in the development of diabetes, especially in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Family history and genetic predisposition can influence the likelihood of developing the condition.

Can stress affect blood sugar levels?

Yes, stress can impact blood sugar levels due to the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can increase blood glucose levels.

What medications are commonly prescribed for diabetes?

Common medications include metformin, sulfonylureas, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists, SGLT-2 inhibitors, and insulin therapy. The type of medication depends on the type and severity of diabetes.

Can diabetes affect my feet?

Yes, diabetes can lead to neuropathy, which affects nerve function, and poor circulation, making it difficult to detect injuries or infections in the feet. Regular foot examinations and proper foot care are essential.

What should I eat if I have diabetes?

A balanced diet, low in refined sugars and carbohydrates, and rich in fiber, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can help manage diabetes. It’s essential to monitor portion sizes and carbohydrate intake.

Can diabetes affect my eyes?

Yes, diabetes can increase the risk of eye complications, including diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Regular eye examinations can help detect and manage these complications early.

What is the normal range for diabetes?

Normal fasting blood sugar levels range from 70 to 99 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L). A hemoglobin A1c level of less than 5.7% is considered normal. Maintaining these levels helps reduce the risk of complications.