Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it effectively. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, chapatis, and banana, from sugar and other sweet foods, and from the liver which makes glucose. Insulin is vital for life. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the glucose to enter the cells where it is used as fuel by the body. There are two main types of diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin. It is caused by our own immune system attacking the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and eventually destroying them. All people with type 1 diabetes need to receive regular injections of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not use insulin properly and/or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when. Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by a resistance to the action of insulin. It generally appears in adulthood although it can sometimes affect children.

Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and genetic factors have been identified as high risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors are:

  • Previous history of Diabetes in pregnancy
  • High cholesterol
  • Treament with medications for mental disorders
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome

The treatment is usually based on escalating regime of a combination of anti-diabetic medications. Some patients eventually need insulin injections.

Idea clinics produces many leaflets to help people understand what diabetes is and how to manage the condition. Understanding Diabetes is a leaflet that explains all this and more.

People with diabetes can develop different signs and symptoms. But most importantly, the disease is often asymptomatic until the blood sugars go very high. Common signs include:

  • abundant urine
  • excessive thirst
  • increased hunger
  • weight loss
  • tiredness
  • lack of interest and concentration
  • tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
  • blurred vision
  • frequent infections
  • slow wound healing
  • vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)

Type 1 diabetes usually appears suddenly and dramatically, as the symptoms are often mild or absent in people with type 2 diabetes, which makes it difficult to detect.

If you notice these signs, call us @ (040) 495 30673.

Diabetes is a condition characterised by insufficient insulin production to meet the needs of the body or by an abnormal response of cells to the effects of insulin, or both. Insulin is important because it moves glucose, a simple sugar of the blood towards the inside of the body's cells. Insulin also has a number of other effects on metabolism.

Ingested foods provide glucose to the body that cells use for energy. If insulin is not available or if it is not normally to allow the glucose in the blood to pass into cells, glucose remains in the blood. High levels of blood glucose is toxic; In addition, the cells do not get glucose are denied the fuel they need.

This is diabetes occurring during pregnancy in women who are prone to develop type 2 diabetes. It occurs due to resistance to insulin action caused by various hormones secreted from the placenta. The problem usually disappears after childbirth, but women who have gestational diabetes are at greater risk of long-term type 2 diabetes. There are other rarer forms of Diabetes which are not covered in this section.

The diagnosis of diabetes is by simple blood tests. The current guidelines for the diagnosis of

  • Diabetes: Fasting blood sugar >126 mg/dl OR
  • 2hr post OGTT* blood sugar >200 mg/dl OR
  • Hba1c level of >6.5% OR
  • Random blood sugar more than 200 mg/dl, with symptoms
  • Pre- diabetes.
  • These are a group of patients whose blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be labeled as Diabetes Fasting glucose between 100-126 mg/dL OR
  • Post OGTT* blood sugar between 140-180 mg/dL OR
  • Hba1c between 5.7-6.4% OR
  • Random blood sugar between 140-180 mg/dL
  • These patients have upto 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes if left untreated.

*Oral glucose tolerance test – performed after 2hrs of taking 75 gm of glucose

At present, it is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes, however, studies have shown that it is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes by making changes to lifestyle and to incorporate healthy eating and physical exercise.

There are 3 main steps to treat type 2 diabetes:

  • Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • the need to eat
  • irritability
  • paleness of the skin
  • sweating
  • trembling or shakiness
  • visual problems