Patient's Complete Guide to Diabetes

Overview of Diabetes

Diabetes (ذیابیطس) is a group of diseases that affect the production of insulin and levels of glucose in the body. Glucose is a vital component that is present in most food items. It serves as a source of energy that is used in the maintenance of muscles and tissues. Furthermore, glucose is also the main fuel source of our body.

If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious health complications. Thus early diagnosis and the right treatment are often recommended.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Some common signs and symptoms of diabetes are as follows:

  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Being always thirsty
  • Pain and numbness in feet
  • Slow healing of sores
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting

Types of Diabetes

There are three main types of diabetes. These types of diabetes are given below:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

Causes of Diabetes

The causes of diabetes depend on the type of diabetes that a person is suffering from. Type 1 diabetes has an unknown cause, but according to some research, it can be because the immune system destroys all the insulin present in your bloodstream.

During gestational diabetes, the hormones can make the cells resistant to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is commonly caused due to obesity. Some environmental factors and genetic issues can also cause diabetes.

Risk Factors of Diabetes

Risk factors of diabetes depend upon the type. Some common risk factors are given below:

  • Previous history of diabetes in the family
  • Environmental factors
  • Presence of autoantibodies in the bloodstream
  • Obesity
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Age
  • PCOS
  • Abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood pressure

Complications of Diabetes

Long-term and untreated diabetes can lead to some serious health complications. Such as:

  • Heart Diseases
  • Nerve damage
  • Renal damage
  • Blurred vision or eye damage
  • Foot damage
  • Severe skin conditions
  • Hearing impairment or hair loss
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • Low blood sugar

Prevention

Some lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of diabetes. Given below are some preventions of diabetes:

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Consume healthy fats
  • Quit smoking
  • Adapt exercise
  • Quit binge drinking
  • Hydrate your body
  • Optimize your vitamin D intake

Diagnosis

Your doctor might recommend some blood tests. These tests are mainly to check the level of glucose in your blood. Common tests that are used for the measurement of glucose in your body are given below:

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test requires a person to fast for eight hours. It is mostly conducted in the morning before you have your breakfast.

Random Plasma Glucose Test

A random plasma glucose test does not require fasting and thus can be conducted any time in the day.

A1c Test

This test is also known as HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test. The A1C test is used for the assessment of your average blood glucose level over a time span of two to three months.

It measures the glucose that is attached to red blood cells. Furthermore, fasting is not required for this test.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

For this test, firstly the level of glucose is measured after fasting overnight. After that, a sugary drink is given to the person. The blood glucose levels are then measured after every hour.

Treatment of Diabetes | When to Consult a Doctor

Given below are some of the treatments for diabetes. These treatments depend on the type of diabetes, insulin production, medications, and blood sugar monitoring.

Healthy Food Choices

A healthy diet means that you have to add fiber and nutrients to your diet. The diabetes diet differs from person to person and depends on the body’s metabolism. Your diet should compromise on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

You can also consume as long as it is recommended by your doctor. Otherwise, cut down on your sugar intake.

Regular Exercise

People with diabetes need to adopt a healthy lifestyle that also includes physical activity. Exercise tends to lower the blood sugar levels in your body to normal levels. Make sure to consult with your doctor prior to any physical exercise.

Monitoring of Blood Glucose

A careful and repetitive blood sugar monitoring is the best way to manage glucose and devise a treatment plan accordingly. Diabetic people can have a glucose monitor to check the level of glucose again and again.

Insulin Therapy

This is one of the most commonly recommended treatments for diabetes. There are various types of treatment methods for insulin such as regular insulin, long-acting insulin, rapid-acting insulin, and intermediate options.

As insulin cannot be taken orally, there is a need to inject it so that insulin can directly reach the bloodstream. It can be injected into the blood with the help of a simple insulin machine.

Medications

Some other medications alongside insulin can also be recommended to the patients by the doctors. These medicines can work with the pancreas and improve the production of insulin.

SGLT2 is a class of medicine that is prescribed to prevent renal damage.

Transplantations

Your doctor might also recommend a pancreas transplant if the damage is severe and none of the medications are working. After successful transplantation of the pancreas, insulin therapy is no longer needed.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Diabetes

Dr. Ehsan Ashraf Makki, Diabetologist
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Dr. Ehsan Ashraf Makki

Dr. Amena Moazzam Baig Mirza, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Shehzad Ul Haq, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Shehzad ul Haq

Dr. Tahir Hameed Malik, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Fawad Ahmad Randhawa, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Fawad Ahmad Randhawa

Dr. Muhammad Usman Ahmad, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Zia Ul Haq, Diabetologist
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Dr. Zia Ul Haq

Dr. Asjad Hameed, Endocrinologist
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Dr. Asjad Hameed

Dr. Mohammad Tufail Ijaz, Diabetologist
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Dr. Osama Ishtiaq, Diabetologist
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Dr. Osama Ishtiaq

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