Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which blood sugar is increased and/or sugar is excreted in urine. It occurs due to malfunctioning of endocrine system.
The carbohydrate that we eat is ultimately converted to glucose and utilized to produce calories or energy. Insulin is a hormone secreted by pancreas with the help of which glucose is utilized to produce energy. In the patient of diabetes, the secretion of insulin is less or absent and hence the level of glucose in blood increases and it is also excreted in urine.
Glucose is magic natural substance which imparts energy to every living being. Our brain can utilize energy produced by glucose only. If glucose in not available to brain even for a few moments, then damage can occur to the brain. Metabolic processes ensure constant supply of glucose to brain and each and every cell of our body. Pancreas and insulin plays important role in metabolism of glucose in our body.
Pancreas is a ductless gland situated behind stomach and it’s secretion is directly supplied to the blood. A large portion of pancreas secretes digestive juice. Amongst the cells which secrete this digestive juice, located are the beta cells of pancreas which secrete insulin. Insulin secreted by beta cells directly mixes with blood and reaches every cells of body.
Insulin is a key for the entry of glucose to the cell through the cell wall. In the absence of insulin, glucose cannot enter the cell and the cell is deprived of the much needed energy.
In the condition known as diabetes, insulin is not secreted or its secretion is insufficient and therefore glucose in the flood is not utilized by the cells and the level of glucose increases in the blood. In the absence of insulin, this surplus glucose is not stored by the body and hence it is excreted in urine. Glucose does not appear in the urine until its blood level rises to 180 mg/dl. When blood glucose level exceeds 180 mg/dl, it starts appearing in urine.
Reasons for occurrence of diabetes include faulty dietary habits (consumption excessive fat and carbohydrate and sugar), sedentary life style, genetic inheritance, obesity, age.
Types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and Diabetes of pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes occurs at the age below 20 years. The reason for development of diabetes is thin and weak body and destruction of beta cells of pancreas. Onset of diabetes is sudden. Patient becomes hungry and thirsty very often. There is gradual reduction in body weight. Fatigue and increased saliva are common symptoms. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes occurs usually after the age of 40 years. The reasons for occurring type 2 diabetes are obesity, lack of exercise, overeating and familial. Onset of diabetes is gradual and hence it is difficult to ascertain that when it would have started. Fatigue, excessive thrust, frequent sufferings from infections, difficulty in healing of wounds, tingling sensation in arms and feet, increased frequency of urine are the common symptoms. Type 2 diabetes is treated with modification of lifestyle, drugs, exercise and whenever needed, with insulin.
Diabetes occurring during pregnancy
Almost 5 percent of pregnant ladies develop diabetes in the sixth to ninth month of pregnancy. Secretion of Hormones for the development of fetus interferes with functioning of insulin and thus blood sugar increases. This is transient diabetes and disappears after the birth of child. But in rare occasion it may become a permanent condition.
The symptoms of pregnancy diabetes are just like type 2 diabetes.
In the incidence of diabetes occurring during pregnancy, chances of abortion increases, but development of the fetus takes place normally. There is a possibility of birth of overweight child. Diabetes of pregnancy is treated with diet control and insulin only.
About 35 to 50 percent of women who suffered from diabetes of pregnancy are at risk to develop diabetes at later age.
If diabetic patients maintain a healthy lifestyle by consuming appropriate diet, taking regular exercise and takes medicines regularly, then they can very well keep their diabetes under control and lead a happy life.