Diabetes Mellitus

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic syndrome due to increase in blood sugar due to inadequate insulin release and or insulin resistance.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes.

  1. Type 1 diabetes.
  2. Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is caused mainly due to autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells in 95 % of cases. It can be idiopathic or due to unknown reasons in 5 % of cases. This type of is mainly found in children and young adults. Having said that it can be seen at any age.

Type 2 diabetes is mainly seen in adulthood. In recent years it is also seen more commonly in children and young adults due to increasing obesity, lack of exercise and inappropriate eating habits. Type 2 diabetes is mainly due to insulin deficiency and insulin resistance.

Genetic factors play a huge role in both types of diabetes.

How do you diagnose diabetes?

Diabetes is diagnosed based on the blood work (labs) ordered by your primary care physician and the associated symptoms. Majority of the times it is diagnosed during the routine screening blood work. Lot of the times the disease goes unnoticed until someone experiences the complications of high blood sugars.

Criteria for diagnosing diabetes.

Fasting blood glucose ≥ 126 mg/dl

Hemoglobin A1c ≥ 6.5

2-hour Glucose Tolerance Test ≥ 200

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Some of the common symptoms of diabetes are as follows:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Excessive hunger
  3. Excessive urination
  4. Fatigue
  5. Weight loss.
  6. Dizziness.
  7. Blurry vision.
  8. Tingling and numbness of the extremities.

If you have any of these symptoms, you must contact your primary care physician for a consultation. 

What are the complications of diabetes?

Diabetes is serious illness. It can affect various organ systems. Diabetes affects vascular system causing symptoms of neuropathy, where there is a feeling of tingling and numbness of the legs and hands as well. The symptoms cause a lot of discomfort. It also affects the vascular system with poor circulation to the legs and other parts of the body, poor wound healing, affects heart, central nervous system with high risk for strokes, blurry vision, sudden loss of vision, kidney failure leading to dialysis if blood sugars are not properly managed.

08 November 2022
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