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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes Definition

Diabetes is a chronic or long-term disease characterized by an increase in blood sugar (glucose) levels above the normal value. There are two main types of diabetes, namely type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Some Risk Factors

Some Risk factors for type 1 diabetes:

  • Factors of family history or heredity, namely when someone will be more at risk of developing type 1 diabetes if there are family members who have the same disease, because it is associated with certain genes.
  • Geographical factors, people who live in areas far from the equator, such as in Finland and Sardinia, have more risk for type 1 diabetes. This is due to the lack of vitamin D that can be obtained from sunlight, thus ultimately triggering autoimmune diseases.
  • This disease is most detected in children aged 4-7 years, then in children aged 10-14 years.
  • Other factors, such as consuming cow’s milk at an early age, water containing sodium nitrate, cereals and gluten before the age of 4 months or after 7 months, having a mother with a history of preeclampsia, and suffering from jaundice at birth.

Some Risk factors for type 2 diabetes:

  • Overweight or obese.
  • High belly fat.
  • Unhealthy as well as rarely doing activities or sports.
  • Family member has history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Black race, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian-American, have a higher number of sufferers compared to white race.
  • Age above 45 years, although it is possible to occur before the age of 45 years.
  • Prediabetes, which is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • History of the disease during pregnancy.
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), disease that has characteristic like irregular menstruation, excessive hair growth, and obesity.

Causes

It is caused by a disturbance in the body, so the body is unable to use blood glucose into cells, so glucose builds up in the blood. In type 1 diabetes, this disorder is caused because the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Whereas in type 2 diabetes diabetes, this disorder occurs due to the body not effectively using insulin or insulin deficiency relative to blood glucose levels. High glucose levels can damage small blood vessels in the kidneys, heart, eyes and nervous system, consequently cause various kinds of health complications.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes :

  • Feel thirsty quitely often.
  • The frequency of urination increases, especially at night.
  • Constantly feel hunger.
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason.
  • Always feel limp and tired.
  • Blurred vision.
  • when wounds, needs quite long to heal.
  • Frequent infections of the skin, urinary tract, gums, or vagina.

Diagnosis

Doctor will diagnose it in someone by conducting medical interviews, physical examinations, and supporting examinations such as blood and urine tests.

Complications

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause complications in the form of retinal eye damage, nerve damage, stroke and coronary heart disease, kidney damage, sexual dysfunction, miscarriage, or stillbirths baby from mothers who have it

Treatment

Treatment of type 1 diabetes :

  • Insulin to control blood glucose. Giving insulin by inject into the layer under the skin about 3-4 times a day according to the dose recommendation from doctor.
  • A healthy diet and regular exercise to help control blood glucose levels.
  • Take care of your feet and have your eyes checked regularly to prevent further complications.

Treatment of type 2 diabetes :

  1. Changes in lifestyle to become more healthy, for example:
    • Avoiding high glucose or high fat foods.
    • Eating high-fiber foods
    • Doing exercise regularly, at least 3 hours every week.
    • maintain ideal body weight.
    • Avoid or stop smoking.
    • Avoid or stop consuming alcoholic drinks.
    • Maintain leg health and prevent feet injured.
    • Check eye health conditions regularly.
  2. Giving drugs under the supervision of a doctor. Example of the medicines are:
    • Metformin to reduce blood glucose levels
    • Sulfonylureas to increase insulin production in the pancreas
    • Pioglitazone as a trigger for insulin.
    • Gliptin (DPP-4 inhibitor) to prevent the breakdown of GLP-1.
    • SGLT-2 inhibitors that affect to urine.
    • GLP-1 agonist to trigger insulin production without the risk of hypoglycemia.
    • Acarbose to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates.
    • Nateglinide and repaglinide are beneficial for releasing insulin into the bloodstream.
    • Insulin therapy as a companion to other medicines.
    • Other drugs are given to reduce the risk of complications, such as statins and anti-hypertensive drugs.

Diabetes Prevention

In type 1 diabetes, these include:

  • Underwent intensive treatment if there are family members who have type 1 diabetes.
  • Have a DNA test to determine the presence of a carrier gene or type 1 diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, these include:

  • Maintain ideal body weight by eating low-fat foods.
  • Eating high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Reducing consumption of sweet foods and drinks.
  • Exercise regularly and do lots of physical activity.
  • Reducing the time to sit still too long, like when watching television.
  • Avoid or stop smoking.

Reference:

  • Medical News Today. Accessed in 2019. Diabetes: Symptoms, Treatment, and Early Diagnosis.
  • WebMD. Accessed in 2019.Diabetes Center: Types, Cause, Symptoms, Test, and Treatments.

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