Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood – it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.
When our food is digested the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. Our cells use the glucose for making energy required for its survival and function. However, since our cells are composite units, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present – insulin makes the gateway in our cells to take in the glucose.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. As one eats, the pancreas automatically release an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells and lowers the blood sugar level.
A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body does not produce enough insulin/ produces no insulin or the quality of insulin is not good. As the survival of the cells depends upon the intake of glucose, the cells consider the situation as short supply of glucose and not the insulin. This message is conveyed to the brain and brain orders liver to increase the supply of glucose. In turn liver enhances the supply of glucose in the blood. This results in too much glucose building up in the blood. This excess
blood glucose eventually passes out of the body in urine. So,even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not
getting it for their essential energy requirements.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Diabetes Type 1 – You produce no insulin at all.
- Diabetes Type 2 – You don’t produce enough insulin, or your insulin is not working properly.
- Gestational Diabetes – You develop diabetes just during your pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes:
The body stops producing insulin or produces too little insulin to regulate blood glucose level. Type-1 diabetes can occur in an older individual due to destruction of pancreas by alcohol, disease or removal by surgery. It is believed that type-1diabetes results from progressive failure of the pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. Presently, people with type-1 diabetes require daily insulin to sustain life. Type-1 Diabetes is also called Juvenile Diabetes because this condition starts in the childhood.
Type 2 diabetes:
The pancreas secretes insulin, but either the quantity of insulin produced by the pancreas is less or the quality of the insulin is poor.In Type-2 diabetes, initially a patient is given tablets which force the pancreas to secret required insulin. Slowly the performance of pancreas reduce and then external insulin is introduced to a patient. The quantity of insulin keeps on increasing with time. Type 2 diabetes is usually controlled with diet, weight loss, exercise, and oral medications.
Gestational Diabetes :
is a form of diabetes that occurs during the second half of pregnancy. Although gestational diabetes typically goes away after delivery of the baby. Women who have gestational diabetes are more likely than other women to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Women with gestational diabetes are more likely to have large babies.
Complications of diabetes
Both forms of diabetes ultimately lead to high blood sugar levels, a condition called hyperglycemia. Over a long period of time, hyperglycemia damages the retina of the eye, the kidneys, the nerves, and the blood vessels.
In the short run, diabetes can contribute to a number of acute (short-lived) medical problems
Blood pressure (BP)
Blood pressure is the pressure at which the blood is circulated in the blood vessels in our body. The heart which is a muscular pump supplies the pressure to move the blood and also circulate the blood throughout the body. The blood vessel (in this case the arteries) have elastic walls and provide same resistance to flow of blood hence ,there is pressure in the system,even between heart beats. “Nature’s purpose” in keeping blood pressure at a certain level is to ensure that the blood which carries oxygen and various nutrients needed by the body is pumped from one blood vessel to another. It is the higher in the larger arteries and low in smaller arteries. It is also different at different times of the day. It
increases during physical exercises, walking, mental stress and also sexual activity, and decreases when the body is at rest during sleep.
The effects of uncontrolled high blood pressure include:
Stroke: High blood pressure is the main cause for stroke. High blood pressure can cause a break in a weakened blood vessel in the brain. This can cause bleeding in the brain, which is brain hemorrhage or stroke. Other than High BP blood clot can also result in brain hemorrhage.
Impaired vision: Blood vessels in the eye can burst due to high blood pressure. Vision can become blurred or impaired which can result in blindness. Heart attack: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks. If the heart cannot get enough oxygen because of narrowed or hardened arteries, chest heart attack can occur.
Some common steps to reduce high blood pressure are:
- Stop smoking.
- Use organic food supplements to support healthy body
Some common tips to prevent low blood pressure are:
- Dehydration reduces blood volume,which causes a drop in pressure. Hence, drink plenty of water.
- Go for a walk after meals.this helps in bringing the blood pressure level up to normal.
- After exercising,take some time out to cool down stoppage in the middle of an exercise routine can lead to a fall in blood pressure.
- Salt is good for people with low blood pressure.Increase in salt consumption may vary from person to person
- Drinking alcoholic beverages is harmful to people with a low blood pressure condition. Such individuals should drink healthy juices or non-alcoholic drinks only
A heart attack occures if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly,this section of heart musles begin to die. Heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease. CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis (ath-er-oskler- O-sis). The buildup of plaque occurs over many years. Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture (break open) inside of an artery. This causes a blood clot to form on the plaque’s surface.
Heart attacks can be associated with or lead to severe health problems, such as heart failure and life-threatening
arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats.
Heart attack symptoms include:
- Chest Pain or discomfort. This involves uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or
left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. This discomfort or pain often lasts more than a few minutes
or goes away and comes back.
- Upper body discomfort in one both arms, the back,neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.
- Shortness of breath,which or before chest discomfort.
- Nausea(feeling sick to your stomach),vomiting,lighting headedness or sudden dizziness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may have unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness). A “silent heart attack” is a heart attack with no symptoms.
It is important to understand what causes heart attack.There is a fairly general trend towards encouraging regular
physical effort of a kind suited to age and condition of the person concerned. As a preventive as well as a remedial
measure exercise is of great importance along with food supplements.