Diabetes is a condition affecting how the body uses glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is essential to human health because it serves as a source of energy for the cells in your body.
The primary cause of diabetes is known to vary by type. Regardless of the type of diabetes, it will result in an excess of sugar in the blood. Be aware that high levels of sugar in your blood may result in serious health problems.
Chronic diabetes includes two main types:
Type 1 diabetes is usually identified during childhood and is categorized as genetic autoimmune wherein the body cannot produce enough insulin. This type of diabetes usually requires injected insulin and is closely monitored by the doctor(s). The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are known to occur quickly and are more severe.
Type 2 diabetes commonly occurs in older people. It is considered a preventable disease and usually occurs when the cells of your pancreas fail to produce enough insulin to break down glucose into energy for the body to use. However this type of diabetes can be reversed in some people. This type of diabetes is usually corrected with diet and mediations.
Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than the normal range but not too high. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and usually resolves after giving birth. Stress induced diabetes resolves occasionally on its own, particularly after any major operation.
Symptoms of diabetes vary depending on the amount of elevated blood sugar levels. Some people might experience symptoms while others may not initially experience anything at all.
HbA1c or glycated haemoglobin is a type of blood sugar level marker. It refers to a protein that develops in the blood when your red blood cells join with the glucose in your blood. Diabetic patients may sometimes have high levels of HbA1c and at risk of developing complications.
If you are a type 1 diabetic, it is essential for you to lower your HbA1c level. This way, you will be able to reduce your risk of micro-vascular complications i.e. diabetic nephropathy (kidney problems), diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), and diabetic retinopathy (eye problems). In patients with type 2 diabetes, reducing your HbA1c helps you to reduce the risk of heart failures, peripheral vascular disease, and cataracts.
The longer you have any of the types of diabetes, the less you have control over your blood sugar and the higher your risk of complications. It is a serious disease and is responsible for many kidney, eye, and circulatory problems, nerve damage and strokes in older people and should not be ignored.
Before you come for a blood test, make sure that you are well-hydrated: Drink plenty of water prior to your appointment.
The diabetes test involves inserting a needle into a vein in your arm near the elbow. You will feel a slight scratch or prick and a small amount of blood will be taken for analysis.
Before you develop any future complications due to diabetes, it is a good plan to have a diabetic screen, especially if it runs in the family, to monitor your current condition with advice and help to enable you to keep healthy.