How to prevent diabetes type 2 is a very common problem these days due to our modern sedentary lifestyle.
Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a very common and prevalent disorder. It is a disorder in which levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood circulation are abnormally high because the body either does not produce enough insulin or the insulin is not sufficiently effective. Insulin is a hormone produced and secreted by the pancreas, which is an internal organ in our body. Insulin regulates the concentration of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. It is necessary to maintain blood sugar levels in a narrow range of 70 to 110 mg/dL of blood. In a normal healthy person, it is accomplished by regulation of the levels of insulin and other hormones in the body. Whereas, in a diabetic person, due to defects in the secretion and action of this hormone, it fails to effectively control the levels of blood sugar. The result is that, the blood sugar levels of a diabetic person are abnormally high.
I’m a diabetic; so what if my blood sugar is high?
The story doesn’t end here. If the body’s tissues are exposed to high levels of blood sugar, for long periods of time, then the effects on the functioning of vital organs of the body can be devastating. The damage may occur to the heart, kidney, feet, teeth, gums, nerves, joints and others. This damage is termed as complications of diabetes.
Type-1 Diabetes Mellitus: it is also called insulin dependant diabetes or juvenile diabetes. In this case, the pancreas can not produce any insulin and therefore it is quite severe in nature. It generally affects younger population. If there are 100 total cases of diabetes in a given population, 5 cases are of type 1 diabetes.
Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus: It is also called non-insulin dependent diabetes. It generally affects adults at the age of between 40 and 50; but in some cases it may affect even at a lower age. Genetic factor is a very strong cause combined with urban sedentary lifestyle. 95% of total affected cases are of type 2 diabetes. In case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas secrete less insulin than necessary to handle the blood sugar levels. Also the body responds poorly to insulin. As a result, the levels of blood sugar rise.
I do not have any of the above symptoms; I am over 40; Do I have diabetes?
When you are affected by diabetes, initially there are no symptoms. The symptoms listed above are actually those observed in advanced stage of diabetes. It is therefore prudent to undergo annual medical check up for diabetes (and other degenerative disorders like hypertension etc.). If you wait for these symptoms to appear, much damage might have already been done to many organs of your body.
Examination of fasting blood sugar is carried out. Normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Fasting levels of a diabetic person are generally higher than this. But a person is medically diagnosed as diabetic only if the fasting blood sugar is consistently more than 126 mg/dL on 2 or more occasions.
When fasting blood sugar is above 100mg/dl, but less than 126mg/dl, then it is known as impaired fasting glucose (IFG). People who are diagnosed as IGF are not called diabetic but they have risks for developing diabetes. Such persons can delay the eventual onset of diabetes by modifying their lifestyle (Exercise, diet, medication [metformin], quitting smoking etc). Recently it is found that IGF is not merely a precursor of type 2 diabetes but IGF itself is an independent risk for developing heart disease.
Diabetes is also diagnosed when blood sugar is checked randomly and is found to be 200 mg/dL or more.
If glucose is consumed orally, it quickly goes into blood. Normal person is able to clear it from the blood, but not a diabetic. The person under examination should do overnight fasting (8 hours) before undergoing this test. Then in the morning 75 grams of glucose in water is given as a drink. Blood samples are taken for several hours at intervals of 15 or 30 minutes and a graph of time versus blood glucose (blood sugar) is drawn. In a normal person, the blood sugar quickly rises and then quickly falls and is well in normal range. In a diabetic person, the levels rise quickly but take very long to fall.
The result of OGTT may be classified into the following four categories of diagnosis:
1. Normal: All values of blood sugar within 2 hours after consumption of oral glucose are less than 200 mg/dL.
2. Impaired glucose tolerance: Fasting blood sugar (more accurately plasma glucose) is less than 126 mg/dL. All values of blood sugar within 2 hours after consumption of oral glucose are between 140 and 200 mg/dL.
3. Diabetes: Fasting blood sugar (more accurately plasma glucose) is more than 126 mg/dL. All values of blood sugar within 2 hours after consumption of oral glucose are more than 200 mg/dL. The test is repeated on more than two different days