Diabetes mellitus: symptoms, types, treatment

Diabetes… Many have heard this word and know that “this disease is somehow related to sugar.” Someone is afraid of getting sick, someone doesn’t care.

What is diabetes, how to live with it and whether it is possible to fight it.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of endocrine diseases that develop due to insufficiency of the hormone insulin, resulting in hyperglycemia — a persistent increase in blood glucose.

The disease is characterized by a chronic course and a violation of all types of metabolism: carbohydrate, fat, protein, mineral and water-salt. There are 2 types, each of which requires a separate approach.

How do I find out if I have diabetes?

Naturally, the most accurate diagnostic methods are various blood and urine tests. It is not enough to measure the sugar level once, so if there are suspicions, the doctor will definitely prescribe a series of studies to the patient that must be passed.

What can cause such suspicions? The main symptoms are:

  • Increased urine excretion caused by increased urine pressure due to glucose dissolved in it (normally there is no glucose in the urine). It is manifested by frequent profuse urination, including at night.
  • Constant unquenchable thirst is caused by significant losses of water with urine and an increase in osmotic blood pressure.
  • Constant insatiable hunger. This symptom is caused by a metabolic disorder in diabetes, namely the inability of cells to absorb and process glucose in the absence of insulin (hunger among abundance).
  • Weight loss (especially characteristic of type I diabetes) is a frequent symptom of diabetes, which develops despite the increased appetite of patients.

Therefore, if these symptoms are detected, contact your doctor immediately!

What are the types of diabetes?

There are a number of classifications of diabetes mellitus according to various signs. The main types of diabetes include type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, which is responsible for the absorption of sugar by the body, the so-called insulin-dependent type. As a rule, it is diagnosed in people younger than 30 years. Such patients are forced to receive insulin artificially (by constant injections).

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85-90% of all cases of diabetes mellitus in the adult population and is most common among people over 40 years of age; as a rule, it is accompanied by obesity. It is especially important for such patients, as well as people whose relatives have diabetes, to control their blood sugar levels.

The situation is complicated by the fact that, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes manifests itself gradually. You can be sick for a long time and not even guess about it. Often a person learns about his illness by accident, during an examination for a completely different reason.

Is there a risk group?

Yes, of course it is. Type 1 diabetes is most often inherited. The risk also increases with inflammation of the pancreatic tissues, after injuries and infections.

At risk of developing type 2 diabetes are those people whose parents suffered from obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.

How to calculate if you have a risk of getting diabetes? It is necessary to measure the waist circumference and hip circumference, divide the first indicator by the second. If the resulting value is greater than 0.95 for men and 0.85 for women, then you fall into the risk group.

What complications does diabetes cause?

The main cause of chronic complications in diabetes is damage to small blood vessels and the peripheral nervous system. The walls of blood vessels and nerves suffer from excess sugar in the blood; penetrating into them, glucose turns into substances that are toxic to these tissues. As a result, changes occur that disrupt the normal functioning of the organ, in which there are many small vessels and nerve endings. If the patient keeps blood sugar within acceptable values (6,7-8,0 mmol / l), then late diabetic complications do not occur.

The negative impact of diabetes greatly affects some organs and affects others less, for example:

  • Eyes — the retina is affected, diabetes can cause cataracts (clouding of the lens) and blindness (changes in the retina).
  • Teeth — all diseases in the oral cavity develop at an accelerated pace due to a lack of blood supply. It is not uncommon for diabetes to be detected in the dental office, where the patient comes with complaints of swollen gums and loose teeth.
  • The heart is affected by diabetes; the heart muscle changes, changes in blood vessels due to high cholesterol lead to ischemic disease.
  • Liver — with poor compensation for diabetes, its normal functioning is disrupted, the liver increases.
  • Kidneys are directly affected by diabetes, which results in diabetic nephropathy.
  • The sexual system. Diabetes in men leads to impotence, miscarriages, premature birth, intrauterine fetal death are possible in women.
  • The process of pregnancy and childbirth in diabetic women is very complicated. Pregnant women suffering from diabetes need mandatory supervision of two specialists — an endocrinologist and an obstetrician.
  • Legs and feet — suffer from diabetes due to vascular and nerve damage. Possible result — trophic ulcers, gangrene, loss of limbs. In addition, feet and nails are susceptible to fungal diseases.
  • Joints are more susceptible to processes such as salt deposition than in a healthy person; in addition, diabetic joint changes are possible.
  • The circulatory system is directly affected by diabetes, which in turn initiates all of the above diseases. Diabetics usually have elevated blood pressure. Note that smoking is an additional factor that stimulates blood vessel damage in diabetes.

Therefore, it is important to understand that only by taking diabetes under control, successfully compensating for it, you can live a full life. Many people not only live with diabetes, but also achieve outstanding success: they conquer mountain peaks, run large organizations.

And do not despair if you hear such a diagnosis – everything is in your hands!

Is diabetes curable?

Unfortunately, scientists have not yet invented a remedy that can completely cure a diabetic patient. Currently, its treatment in most cases is symptomatic and is aimed at eliminating the symptoms without eliminating the cause of the disease.

Patient education plays a very important role in the compensation of diabetes mellitus. The patient should know what diabetes mellitus is, what it is dangerous for, what he should do in cases of sudden changes in blood sugar levels, how to avoid them, be able to independently control blood glucose levels and have a clear idea of proper nutrition.

Do I need to treat diabetes?

Absolutely! It is important to understand that this disease will not go away by itself. The most important goal in the treatment of diabetes is constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and maintaining it at the level recommended by the doctor.

If a person with diabetes takes a responsible approach to this issue, his well-being will be the same as that of a healthy one. Moreover, the further prognosis regarding complications, duration and quality of life will be favorable.

Is it difficult to control blood glucose levels?

In the modern world, this is no longer a problem. If earlier blood sugar could be measured only in the laboratory, now it is very easy to do at home. To measure glucose, there are high–precision devices – glucose meters. They are compact, very easy to use and designed specifically for self-measurement of glucose levels. If necessary, you can find out the sugar level at home, at work, while traveling, etc.

The whole process takes literally a few seconds and requires only one drop of blood. The test strip draws in a drop, and the result appears on the screen.

Prevention of diabetes

You need to remember that the best way to protect yourself is constant prevention, which you can carry out yourself:

  • Active lifestyle and weight control. Diabetes is directly related to obesity. Physical activity helps to reduce blood sugar and reduces the need for insulin.
  • Proper nutrition. The use of foods with a high content of dietary fiber, which normalize the work of the intestine and lower cholesterol levels.
  • These products include all fruits and vegetables, legumes, dairy products, nuts and others.
  • Refusal of excessive consumption of flour products, sweets, pasta and pastries. Eat bread made only from whole grains.
  • Avoid stress and do not smoke. One of the reasons for the manifestation of diabetes is stress and anxiety. Stress and smoking reduce the body’s resistance to diabetes.
  • Constantly monitor your blood glucose levels if you are over 40 years old. Also, it is necessary to take a sugar test for those who have a tendency to obesity, lead a sedentary lifestyle.

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