Definition of diabetes; diabetes is a chronic and untreatable disease. It is caused by a lack or failure to use a hormone called insulin, or both.
The pancreas produces insulin. It allows glucose (sugar) to enter the body’s cells for use as an energy source. In a person who does not have diabetes, insulin works well, and cells have the energy they need to function.
When insulin is lacking or does not function effectively, as is the case with someone living with diabetes, glucose cannot be used as fuel for cells. It then gathers in the blood and causes an increase in the sugar level, that is to say, hyperglycemia.
1. Definition of diabetes; types
There are different types of diabetes; type 1 diabetes, type 2, gestational diabetes, and other rare types.
- Definition of diabetes type 1: Usually begins in childhood or adolescence. We talk about insulin-dependent diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease that destroys cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. This type is characterized by the total absence of insulin production. People living with type 1 diabetes, therefore, depend on daily injections of insulin or an insulin pump for survival.
- Definition of diabetes type 2: Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes (90% of cases). It usually occurs in adulthood, in individuals 40 years of age and older. Unfortunately, we have seen in recent years that it appears in younger people. In populations at risk, it can even appear from childhood. In some people living with type 2 diabetes, the production of insulin by the cells of the pancreas is insufficient. In others, the insulin produced does not do its job well; this is called insulin resistance. Finally, you may also see insufficient insulin secretion and insulin resistance in some people. In all cases, the result is an increase in the blood sugar level, that is to say, hyperglycemia, because the body cannot use glucose (sugar) adequately as a source of energy.
- Definition of gestational diabetes: Also called “pregnancy diabetes” is a disease that women can contract during the second trimester of their pregnancy (approximately 8% of pregnant women). Unlike type 1 and 2 diabetes, which are progressive pathologies and which need control for life, gestational diabetes usually disappears after giving birth. When a woman has gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, she is more likely to experience it again during her next pregnancy and remains at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. The more a woman is pregnant at an advanced age, the higher the risk of developing gestational diabetes during her pregnancy.
2. Definition of diabetes; Symptoms
After illustrating the definition of diabetes, we have to deal with its main symptoms.
2.1 Symptoms of diabetes type 1
In case of diabetes type 1, we generally observe:
- Severe urges to urinate and drink, dry mouth.
- A lack of energy and fatigue a weight loss.
- Vision problems.
- Discomfort, nausea, and abdominal pain.
2.2 Symptoms of diabetes type 2
In fact, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are slower to appear, and, in many cases, there are not even any significant symptoms. In addition to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, the person often feels a feeling of exhaustion and general fatigue. Moreover, wounds heal more slowly than in people without diabetes.
2.3 Symptoms of gestational diabetes
Generally, a pregnant woman does not have obvious symptoms of diabetes. However, some symptoms appear as:
- Unusual fatigue.
- Exaggerated thirst.
- Increased volume and frequency of urine.
These symptoms may go unnoticed, as they are very common in pregnant women.
3. Definition of diabetes; diagnosis
The High Health Authority has issued recommendations for the screening and diagnosis of diabetes.
A blood test on an empty stomach or after absorption of a sugar solution is necessary. However, it is necessary to check this result several times to be sure. But from a value of 1g / L on an empty stomach, beware. A blood sugar level between 1 and 1.26 g / L, already reveals glucose intolerance.
After 45 years, in a family where there is a diabetic person, it is advisable to have your blood sugar measured every year.
Screening for diabetes is also systematic in the 6th month of pregnancy.
4. Diabetes definition; causes and risk factors
Among the main reasons for this sharp diabetes
- Exercise deficiency
- Food types: Common foods today include ready-made foods. They are full of fats and sugars in which the blood absorbs easily and will cause an increase of “insulin resistance.” thus, leading to diabetes
4.2 Risk factors
Risk factors diabetes type 1:
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and damages cells responsible for the insulin discharge in the pancreas, rather than attacking and destroying harmful germs and/or viruses.
Consequently, the body remains with a small amount of insulin or without insulin at all. In this case, the sugar collects and accumulates in the blood circulation, instead of being spread among the different cells in the body.
The real cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown yet, but it appears that family history probably plays an important role; people who have a diabetic person in their family, are under the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. There are additional factors, too, that may cause diabetes, such as exposure to virus infections.
Risk factors diabetes type 2:
In people with “prediabetes” that may aggravate and turn into type 2 diabetes, cells resist the impact of insulin action while the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance.
In these cases, the sugar collects and accumulates in the blood circulation instead of being distributed among the cells and reached in the various parts of the body.
The direct cause of these conditions is still unknown, but excess fat, especially in the belly, and the lack of exercise seem to be important factors.
Researchers are still searching for a real and accurate answer to Why do “prediabetes” and type 2 diabetes happen to a particular number of people.
However, different factors clearly augment your risk of diabetes, including:
Gender; men are more vulnerable than women.
Age: the risk increases as you get older.
The excess of weight.
Risk factors gestational diabetes:
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that make the cells resist the insulin, and during the second and third term of pregnancy, the placenta enlarges and produces large amounts of these hormones, which make the insulin production more difficult.
In normal situations, the pancreas issues a reaction to produce an extra amount of insulin to overcome that resistance. But the pancreas sometimes fails to keep pace, which leads to a little amount of glucose attaining the cells, and a large amount of it accumulates in the blood circulation. Thus, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) is formed.
Any pregnant woman may develop gestational diabetes.
5. Definition of diabetes; treatment
In all cases: it is advisable to modify your diet and practice regular physical activity. A diabetic person should favor slow sugars (rice, pasta), fibers (fruits, vegetables, cereals), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, sunflower oil). Avoid quick sugars (sodas, sweets) and too much red meat. Meals should preferably be taken at a fixed time (no snacking).
5.1 Diabetes type 1 treatment
In case of type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are necessary. The control of blood sugar is necessary to assess the dose of insulin to manage. Some patients may have an insulin pump that delivers the right dose of insulin.
5.2 Diabetes type 2 treatment
In case of type 2 diabetes, if the modification of the diet combined with physical exercise is not enough to control blood sugar. The doctor may prescribe anti-diabetics: hypoglycemic sulfonamides, glinides, biguanides, intestinal alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, or glitazones. These drugs can cause side effects, such as headaches, sight problems, arthritis, and digestive problems (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache). Ask your doctor, who will modify your treatment. The doctor may prescribe insulin treatment if anti-diabetic medications are insufficient.
6. Diabetes definition; complications
Diabetes may lead to:
- Gradual rise in blood pressure.
- Distinguished blood lipid disorders, especially Triglyceride.
- Low-density lipoprotein (HDL-HDL).
-In general, a person with diabetes suffers distinct damage: in the kidneys, in the retina, and the nervous system.
However, complications from diabetes vary depending on the type of diabetes.
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Originally published on Live Positively.