Diabetes is caused by the failure of pancreas to secrete the enzyme insulin in sufficient volumes to enable the body to control sugar content in blood. There are two types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
This type of diabetes is called the juvenile-onset diabetes. As the name implies its onset could be during childhood. It is an auto immune problem where the immune system of the body destroys the beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. The causes could be virus infection and factors attributed to genetics. Though it could affect people at any age, generally it is those who are under 40 years affected in most cases. Around 10 to 15% of all diabetes patients belong to this category. Once a person contacts this disease he has to depend on insulin for the rest of his life. Therefore, it is also called the insulin dependent diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
The more common type 2 diabetes is strongly related to genetics in origin. The characteristics of this disease are the low level of insulin production or the resistance to the enzyme. Majority of the diabetes patients (85 to 90%) are suffering from this type of diabetes. The other factors that could contribute to this type of diabetes are the obesity, physical inactivity and high blood pressure. By the time the symptoms appear, the patient has suffered from the disease for a long time. Changes in eating habits, regular exercise and medication in tablet form may be required in order to control the disease. At final stages, insulin injections may become necessary.
Symptoms of diabetes
At the onset of diabetes the symptoms may not be felt. Buy the time the symptoms appear, some of the damages to your eyes, the kidneys and the cardiovascular system are already done. Therefore, you need to start treatment as soon as the symptoms appear. The symptoms may include extreme thirst, hunger and frequent urination. You will have dry and itchy skin. The sores and bruises will take longer to heal. You could have weight loss with no reasonable cause. Blurred vision and unusual tiredness or drowsiness may be felt. There will be numbness in the limbs and you will find recurring yeast infections on skin, bladder, gums and vagina. In case you find one or more of these symptoms, it is time to see your doctor. It may be diabetes.
Tests for diabetes
When your doctor suspects that you have diabetes he will ask you to take a fasting blood sugar test. You must take dinner and must not take anything during the next 8 hours. At the end of 8 hours, a blood sample must be taken and analyzed for blood sugar. A normal person will have a fasting blood sugar content of 70 – 100mg/dl and one who is suffering from diabetes will have over 120mg/dl. Anyone who has fasting blood sugar content between 100mg/dl and 120mg/dl is in the pre diabetes range. They need to control the diet and take frequent exercise to keep away from the disease as long as possible.
It is of utmost importance to diagnose diabetes early. There is no cure for diabetes. Therefore, you need to change your lifestyle to cope with the disease. In case you get the diagnosis early, you could make these changes early. This will prevent you complications that are associated with this disease. Also early diagnosis could prevent damage to the vital organs of the body.
If your family has a history of diabetes it is a good idea for you to get yourself screened. When you inform your doctor about your family’s history of diabetics, your doctor will take necessary action to screen you for diabetes.