What is Diabetes
Most of the carbohydrates in the food we eat enter into our body as glucose after digestion. And the body cells use glucose to produce the necessary energy. Most body cells depend on a type of hormone called insulin to take up this glucose. Diabetes is a disease of insulin. Diabetes mellitus is the overall condition of lack of glucose in the cells and increase of glucose in the blood due to low or ineffective insulin.
A person is diagnosed with diabetes when his blood glucose exceeds a certain level. These levels are 7.0 mmol or more per liter of blood plasma in a fasting state or 11.1 mmol per liter or more after 2 hours of feeding of 75 g of glucose in a fasted (adult) person.
Why does blood glucose increase:
A hormone called insulin is released from a gland called the pancreas in our body. When insulin is low or ineffective for some reason, blood glucose levels rise. And excess glucose is excreted in the urine.
This can be illustrated by comparing a diabetic patient with a normal person:
The pancreas >There is insulin >Glucose is used >Energy is being produced >person is healthy.
The pancreas > No, little, or reduced effectiveness of insulin > Glucose is not used > Blood glucose is rising and not enough energy is being produced > Have diabetes.
Causes of diabetics
Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes can also be caused by any particular disease e.g. viral infection. For energy, Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are needed. If diabetes, required insulin is not secreted from pancreas in our body or insulin effectiveness is reduced, So Carbohydrate, Protein & Fat are not used properly
Diabetes is not a contagious disease.
Symptoms of diabetes.
- a) Frequent urination
- b) Excessive thirst
- c) Increased appetite
- d) Loss of weight despite eating enough
- e) Feeling tired and weak
Not specific symptoms
- f) Delay in wound healing.
- g) to see less in the eyes
- h) more chance to skin Diseases e.g. boils etc.
- i) Frequently loss of baby of pregnant mother.
50% Patients do not show all these symptoms of diabetes but their diabetes is
diagnosed in general medical investigation.
Note: This article was written by Dr. Md. Manir Hossain, MBBS, CCD (diabetes). Dr. Manir is from Bangladesh and at the moment working in the Maldives.