Diabetes - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Latest Treatments for Type I & Type II Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) metabolic disorder that prevents the body to utilize glucose completely or partially. It is characterized by raised glucose concentration in blood. Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level.
To understand diabetes, it is important to first understand the normal process by which food is broken down and used by the body for energy. Several things happen when food is digested:
* A sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream. Glucose is a source of fuel for the body.
* An organ called the pancreas makes insulin. The role of insulin is to move glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where it can be used as fuel.
When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level. In patients with diabetes, the absence or insufficient production of insulin causes hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts lifetime.
Types of Diabetes
* Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Its onset is usually sudden & diagnosed in childhood. This type of diabetes accounts for 10-15% of all people with the disease. It can occur in any age, although commonly under 40, and is triggered by environmental factors such as viruses, diet or chemicals in people genetically predisposed. People with type 1 diabetes must inject themselves with insulin several times a day and follow a careful diet and exercise plan.
* Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. It makes up 80-85% of diabetic cases & usually non-insulin dependent. It develop slowly & usually occurs in adulthood. Symptoms may not show for many years and, by the time they appear, significant problems may have developed. Many people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it, although it is a serious condition. The disease is strongly genetic in origin but lifestyle factors such as excess weight, inactivity, high blood pressure and poor diet are major risk factors for its development. People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes may be treated by dietary changes, exercise and/or tablets.
* Gestational diabetes mellitus is high blood glucose that develops at any time in 5-10% of pregnant women who do not have diabetes & diagnosed though an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Risk factors for GDM include a family history of diabetes, increasing maternal age, obesity and being a member of a community or ethnic group with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While the GDM or carbohydrate intolerance usually returns to normal after the birth, the mother has a significant risk of developing permanent diabetes while the baby is more likely to develop obesity and impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes later in life. Self-care and dietary changes are essential in treatment.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
High blood levels of glucose can cause several problems, including:
- Weight loss inspite of increases appetite
Patients with type 1 diabetes usually develop symptoms over a short period of time. The condition is often diagnosed in an emergency setting. Some people with high blood sugar experience no symptoms at all especially in case of Type 2 diabetes.
If you have diabetes, your doctor may tell you to regularly check your blood sugar levels at home. There are a number of devices available, and they use only a drop of blood. Self-monitoring tells you how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control your diabetes. It can help your doctor prevent complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar levels in a range based on your age. The normal glucose levels shall be
- 70 - 130 mg/dL for adults
- 100 - 180 mg/dL for children under age 6
- 90 - 180 mg/dL for children 6 - 12 years old
- 90 - 130 mg/dL for children 13 - 19 years old
- Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
- 110 - 200 mg/dL for children under age 6
- 100 - 180 mg/dL for children 6 - 12 years old
- 90 - 150 mg/dL for children 13 - 19 years old
Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes treatment include insulin and glucose-lowering pills called oral hypoglycemic drugs. These drugs create several side effects like Nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea, loss of appetite, muscle pains. According to National Institute of Health (NIH), people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder).
People with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections. Insulin does not come in pill form. Injections are generally needed one to four times per day. Some people use an insulin pump. It is worn at all times and delivers a steady flow of insulin throughout the day. Other people may use inhaled insulin.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes may respond to treatment with exercise, diet, and medicines taken by mouth. There are several types of medicines used to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. Medications may be switched to insulin during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Gestational diabetes may be treated with exercise and changes in diet.
The immediate goals are to treat diabetic ketoacidosis and high blood glucose levels. Because type 1 diabetes can start suddenly and have severe symptoms, people who are newly diagnosed may need to go to the hospital.
The long-term goals of treatment are to:
- Prevent diabetes-related complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputation of limbs
Latest Treatments for Diabetes
There are several innovative drugless treatments for Diabetic patients which are based on far infrared rays & complete detoxification through ion therapy. These treatments cause increased blood circulation, natural blood detoxification, increase of immune strength & combat the various complications of diabetes. One such machine i.e. Ionic Foot Spa, works on the basis of ion therapy, causes decrease in blood glucose levels which can be measured through various laboratory tests. These therapies are much more effective & can also be used along with medicines. The need of medicine intake is slowly decreased with use of regular therapy & can be controlled without any drugs. Allthough the results & time duration of recovery may vary depending upon patient to patient and their case history.