Why should we care about Diabetes?

diabetes-quality-of-lifeDiabetes is a very common disorder to an extent that upto 12% of population in Delhi is diabetic and another 15-20 % is pre-diabetic. Diabetes is a disorder with very serious consequences if not treated well. And it is very costly to treat diabetic complications than to prevent them. The problem with diabetes is that it affects quality of life much more than quantity of life.
What causes Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body can’t use insulin properly due resistance to its action.What is prediabtes? In Pre-diabetes, person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes is also know as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)

What are different type of Diabetes Mellitus?
 1) Type 1- Diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes very little or no insulin. This form of the disease is most often seen in children.
2) 
Type 2- Body is resistant to the action of insulin, meaning it cannot use insulin properly, so it cannot carry sugar into the cells.
3) 
Other types include Gestational Diabetes (occurring in pregnant females) and secondary forms of diabetes like pancreatic DM.

What are the Risk factors for developing Diabetes Mellitus?
Main risk factors for developing diabetes are:
– Being overweight
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Family history of diabetes
– History of gestational diabetes
– Age
– Ethnic/racial background: African, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American

What are the symptoms that should alert you to see your doctor?
 Increased thirst
– 
Increased urination
– Constant hunger
– 
Weight loss Increased thirst
– Blurred Vision
– Fatigue, or a feeling of being tired
– Frequent fungal infections
– Very slow healing of wounds or sores Frequent fungal infections

What are my medication options?
– Treatment of Diabetes depend on the type of your Diabetes Mellitus
– 
For Type 2 DM: Most people can be managed with oral tablets for long time.
– 
For Type 1 DM: Insulin is must right from diagnosis
– 
For DM in Pregnancy, Insulin is recommended

Author: Dr. Rajiv Singla

A leading endocrinologist and diabetologist from New Delhi. An alumnus of University College of Medical Sciences, Dr. Singla completed his MD (Medicine) from Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC). He went on to pursue DM (Endocrinology & Diabetes) from reputed AIIMS, Delhi.

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