What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease which is caused due to the increase of sugar levels in the blood. To control the sugar levels in the blood, our body itself produces a hormone called insulin. This insulin is produced by an organ called the pancreas. The functionality of pancreas is to convert the food we consume into fuel for the cells. This pancreas has two functions, namely exocrine function, it helps in the digestion of the food we consume, endocrine function, it helps for regulating the blood sugar in the body as the endocrine functionality is the main reason for the disease called diabetes. The endocrine part of the pancreas produces the hormones called insulin and glucagon, and these hormones are directly released into the bloodstream. The insulin is used to decrease the sugar levels in the blood. Glucagon hormone is used to raise the sugar levels in the blood. The proper level of blood sugar will play an essential role in the functionality of the main organs like the brain, liver, and kidneys.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes are caused due to the rise of sugar levels in the blood. The general symptoms for diabetes are as follows :

  • Increased hunger – they have a high appetite; they need to eat something very frequently like for every hour. If they don’t eat anything, their sugar levels will be reduced. Also leads to unconsciousness.
  • Increased thirst – they have to drink water or liquid items like lemon water etc. more frequently to avoid their thirstiness.
  • Weight loss – suddenly they lose weight; this will be the primary sign for identifying that they got diabetes.
  • Frequent urination – uncontrollable urination
  • Blurry vision – loss of clarity in the vision, blurry vision is a primary sign, as they neglected it this blurry vision leads to loss of vision, in extreme cases.
  • Extreme fatigue – it is a way of feeling like less energy, more tiredness, always feeling lazy etc.
  • Sores don’t heal – if they got any injury, it takes more time to heal. Maybe sometimes it leads to cut off that injured part, due to the infection caused because of not healing the injury.

Causes of diabetes

A healthy pancreas releases insulin and helps a person body store and use sugar from the food eaten. Diabetes happens when one or more of the following occurs :

  • The Pancreas doesn’t make any insulin.
  • The pancreas makes very little insulin.
  • The body doesn’t respond as it should to insulin.

When there is not required volume of insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells. It increases in the bloodstream instead. This can lead to damage in many areas of the body. As the cells are not obtaining the glucose of required volume, they don’t work as they should causing diabetes.

Other causes of diabetes:

  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle: Which includes food habits, sleep timings, type of work, exercise for the body, mental stability, physical fitness, etc., maybe the reasons for some people who are suffering from diabetes.
  • Overweight or obesity – also lead to diabetes. Fats resist the effect of insulin on the sugar levels of blood.

Correlation between diabetes and heart diseases

The statistics below speak for itself on how strong the correlation between heart diseases and diabetes lies.
  • Approximately 68 percent of people who are 65 or older having diabetes die from some form of heart disease of which 16% die of stroke.
  • Adults suffering from diabetes are 2X to 4X more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.
  • Diabetes is one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Why are people with diabetes at increased risk with Heart Diseases ?

Patients with insulin resistance i.e diabetes in combination with one or more of these risk factors are at even greater risk of cardiovascular diseases disease or stroke. However, by managing their risk factors, patients with diabetes may avoid and delay the progress of heart disease. We at Cardium do periodic testing to assess whether you have developed any of these risk factors mentioned below associated with cardiovascular disease.

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking

What does our cardiologist have to say?

Diabetes is so tightly linked to heart disease. We, Cardiologists, see 10 times more patients with diabetes as compared to endocrinologists. Between 20% and 30% of unselected patients in cardiology, clinic practice have diabetes. That is three times the population prevalence and shows you the concentration of diabetes in a cardiovascular patient population.

Why is diabetes called a silent heart attack?

The high blood glucose generated in diabetic patients causes the following effects :

  • Damages the oxygen supplying blood vessels controlling the heart
  • Damages the arteries and stiffens them
  • Builds-up of cholesterol in the blood vessels.
The longer diabetes stays untreated, the greater the chances of cardiovascular diseases as it weakens the heart and forces it to pump harder than usual.

How to diagnose Diabetes?

Our in-house Cardium Pathology laboratory is fully automated and equipped to test all kinds of diabetes related tests

Treatment for diabetes

The treatment for preventing the risks of diabetes are as follows.
  • Rapid-acting insulin starts functioning in 15 minutes and shows effect up to 3-4 hours.
  • Short-acting insulin which starts functioning in 30minutes and shows effect up to 6-8 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin which starts functioning in 1-2 hours and shows effect up to 12-18hours.
  • Long-acting insulin starts functioning in a few hours and shows effect up to 24 hours or longer.

Diet for diabetes

To maintain the blood sugar in control, we need to follow a regulated diet. That diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein such as chicken and fish, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts.

Diabetes prevention

  • Do aerobic or any exercise like walking or cycling up to 150 minutes per week.
  • Avoid trans and saturated fats, with refined carbohydrates.
  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Try to lose 7% of body weight if you are overweight.

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