Diabetes, get to understand the basics.
- By Joy Njeri
- November 2, 2021
- 130 views
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body is unable to regulate its blood sugar levels. This could either be because the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or because the body is unable to utilize/respond to the insulin produced effectively.
There are four major types of diabetes:
Type 1-previously known as insulin dependent. Comes about as a result of auto-immune reaction where the cells that produce insulin destroy themselves.
Type 2-also known as non-insulin dependent. The body is unable to effectively use the insulin produced.
Prediabetes- A condition where blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be detected as diabetes type 2.
Gestational diabetes-this typically affects pregnant women. This increases the risk of developing type two diabetes later for both women and children. It is detected through prenatal screening.
Hyperglycemia-when blood sugar levels are overly raised. Hyperglycemia symptoms are confusion, weakness, nausea and vomiting, fruity smelling mouth and shortness of breath.
This state is triggered by eating too much carbohydrate, lack of exercise, missing a dose of insulin/using expired insulin, stress and ingesting certain medications such as steroids. To determine blood sugar levels you can take a test called RBS(Rapid Blood Sugar)from the comfort of your home.
Hypoglycemia-when sugar levels fall far below normal. This may come about as a side effect of diabetes medication, insulin overproduction, hormonal imbalance, excessive drinking of alcohol engaging in heavy physical exercise and skipping meals. Quick treatment involves taking food or drinks that are high in sugar such as sodas and sweets. The long term treatment is identifying the root cause of the hypoglycemia and addressing it. Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia are; shaking because of lack of energy, excessive hunger, excessive sweating, irritability and an irregular heartbeat. At its worst hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, blurry vision or death.
Symptoms of diabetes
Early tell tale signs of diabetes are;
•Excessive thirst and hunger
•Pain or numbness in hands or feet.
As the disease progresses possible complications may develop;
•Heart attack and stroke
•Neuropathy-dysfunction of the peripheral nerves. May cause numbness.
Pro-tip when dealing with diabetes;
Eat wholesome natural and if possible raw foods like salads and fruits.
Hydrate-drinking up to 8 glasses of water is a rule of thumb
Insulin injections are compulsory as advised by a doctor.
Proper storage of insulin-consult a doctor on whether to refrigerate or store at room temperature.
Exercising-physical activities are an integral part of managing weight.
Routine blood sugar monitoring using a blood glucose meter. Always ensure that the sugar levels are within your goal range.
Did you know that :
•Diabetes is the number one leading cause of kidney problems, limb amputations and blindness among the older population.
•Over 30 million people have diabetes.
•1 in 4 people have no idea they have diabetes.
•Diabetes can be reversed-commonly known as recession. Recession means that blood sugar levels are in normal range. One could get away with taking medication.
Diagnosis of diabetes.
Haemoglobin A1C test also called glycosylated haemoglobin test.-Analyses blood glucose levels for up to two or three of previous months.
Fasting plasma glucose test-measures the level of glucose in the plasma. One may need to fast before this undergoing test.
Oral glucose tolerance test-here, tests are run before and after taking glucose to monitor how well/badly the body processes glucose.
Treatment can be administered through:
a. Non -pharmacological;
i. Education on healthy diet
iii. Regular physical activity
b. Pharmacological treatment ;
i. Oral glucose agents.
iii. Combination Therapies – Oral glucose agents and insulin
Head on to checks.sahlhealth.com to buy a test or consultation with one of our experts. Call +254769687287 for more information.
Sexual dysfunction in diabetes
Prevalence of sexual dysfunction is common in both men and women and especially so in advanced stages. For men, this may be exhibited in erectile dysfunction. It emanates from the damage of nerves and blood vessels due to poor blood sugar control. Women may have decreased libido and dyspareunia. Consult your doctor to change medication. Finally,seek counselling services together with your partner to explore other treatment options.