Miscellaneous

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Dr. Ch. Darisüren & N. Erdenebileg

diabetesDiabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood glucose, also called blood sugar to become too high. Blood glucose is the main type of sugar found in your blood and is the main source of your energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body cells to use for energy.

Your pancreas (an organ, located between your stomach and spine, helps with digestion) – releases a hormone called insulin, into your blood. Insulin helps your blood carry glucose to all your body cells. Sometimes your body does not make enough insulin or your body cannot use insulin properly. Glucose then builds up in your blood and doesn’t reach your body cells, resulting in elevated blood glucose level and causing diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is when the amount of glucose in your blood is above normal, yet not high enough to be called diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have increased chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. With some weight loss and moderate physical activity, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented or blood glucose level can even be returned to normal without taking any medications.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes are:
• feeling very thirsty
• urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
• feeling very hungry
• feeling very tired
• weight loss and loss of muscle
Some signs of serious problems include:
• cuts or wounds that heal slowly
• dry, itchy skin, especially in the groin area
• feelings of pins and needles in your feet
• losing feeling in your feet
• blurry vision

Some people with diabetes don’t have any of these signs or symptoms. However, it’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed early, because it progresses if left untreated. You should therefore visit your doctor if you have symptoms like feeling thirsty, passing urine more frequently and feeling tired all the time and, the only way to know if you have diabetes is to have a blood test done.
Types of diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1. People, both men and women can develop diabetes and at any age.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, develops most often in young people; however, it can also develop in adults. In type 1 diabetes, your body no longer makes insulin or enough insulin because the cells that make insulin are attacked and destroyed by the body’s immune system.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can affect people at any age, even children. However, type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people. People who are overweight (especially at the waist), are inactive, those who smoke, who eat a lot of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweets and, those who have high levels of unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s fat, muscle and liver cells do not use insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. This condition is known as insulin resistance. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the increased demand by making more insulin. Over time, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin when blood sugar levels increase, such as after meals. If your pancreas can no longer make enough insulin, you will need your type 2 diabetes treated.

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