When your body stops making enough insulin that it should, it means that you are diabetic. In this article, I am going to discuss diabetes, its types, and the treatment of diabetes.
Diabetes is the kind of disease that lasts for a longer period of time and is listed under the title of chronic disease. It affects the body’s function of turning food into energy.
The maximum portion of the food that we eat, is broken down into glucose (sugar) and goes into the bloodstream.
High blood sugar motivates the pancreas to release insulin. Due to insulin, the body’s cells use blood sugar as energy.
If someone has diabetes, his body stops making enough insulin or cannot use insulin as it should be used. When there is a shortage of insulin or body cells do not respond to insulin, it increases the level of sugar in the bloodstream.
Continuously high levels of blood sugar result in serious health issues like heart disease, vision loss, or kidney disease. Diabetes is a disease that is not curable 100 percent yet, but there are some healthy routine habits that can help in fighting this disease. Controlling body weight, having healthy foods, regular exercise and walking can really help.
Types of Diabetes
Mainly, there are three types of diabetes. They are as follows:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes that occurs in pregnancy)
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks the body and stops it from making insulin. This is a very rare type. Only 5-10% of the people who have diabetes are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Often its symptoms develop very quickly. Usually, children, teens, and young adults carry this type of diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes require insulin on daily basis.
Type 1 diabetes has not been cured yet, however, struggles are being made to overcome this disease. In the later part of the article, we will discuss available treatments for type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
When the body does not use insulin properly and fails to maintain normal blood sugar levels, this situation indicates type 2 diabetes. This is a common type of diabetes and is found in almost 90-95% of people who are diabetic. It takes years to develop and usually is diagnosed in adults.
If its symptoms are not noticed, then it is necessary to go for blood sugar tests if you feel that you have the risk of carrying diabetes.
In the later part of the article, we will discuss the available treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Pregnant women carry this type of diabetes. Before pregnancy, these women did not have diabetes. Women who become prey to gestational diabetes and their babies can be at higher risk for health problems.
Usually, gestational diabetes ends after the delivery of the baby. However, it is an indicator of a higher risk of having type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes can result in obesity in the childhood of your baby, and your baby can carry type 2 diabetes later in life.
Treatments for diabetes (Type 1 and 2)
Usually, doctors advise the use of insulin injections or insulin pumps for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Also, doctors advise frequent blood sugar checks and carbohydrate counting.
Whereas for treating type 2 diabetes doctors advise necessary lifestyle changes and monitoring of blood sugar on regular basis. Doctors may also suggest diabetes medications, insulin, or both.
Regular Monitoring of blood sugar
While making your treatment plan, the doctor may ask to check and record your blood sugar four times a day or more if you’re taking insulin. Always remember that regular and careful monitoring is the safest and only way to control your blood sugar level within your target range.
Patients caught with type 2 diabetes who aren’t using insulin generally need to check their blood sugar much less in frequency.
For patients who are using insulin, doctors may advise them to use a continuous glucose meter for the monitoring of blood sugar. Although this technology isn’t a complete replacement for the glucose meter, however, it can prove helpful in reducing the number of finger sticks necessary to check blood sugar.
In spite of careful and regular management sometimes blood sugar levels variate surprisingly and unpredictably. To learn about these changes in blood sugar levels you need to seek the help of your doctor.
Your doctor will guide how your blood sugar level changes due to food, physical activity, medications, usage of alcohol, illness, and stress. Also, the doctor will tell how fluctuations in hormone levels affect blood sugar levels.
Also, your doctor may recommend regular AIC testing for the measurement of average blood sugar levels over the last some months.
Comparing daily blood sugar tests along with AIC tests helps in monitoring the working of your diabetic plan. On the basis of this comparison, your doctor may advise a change in your diet plan, oral medication, or insulin regimen.
Usually, doctors advise insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes for their survival. Also, many patients with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may require insulin therapy.
There are many types of insulin are available depending upon the needs. These types may be short-acting or regular insulin, rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin, and intermediate-acting insulin. However, it is the doctor who will decide the insulin type or its mixture for you as per your requirement.
You cannot take insulin orally for lowering blood sugar. Usually, doctors, advise the use of an insulin pen, or a fine needle or syringe for injecting insulin.
Doctors may also advise an insulin pump for the purpose. Actually, this pump is a device like a small cellphone. It sticks outside of your body. The reservoir of insulin connects to the catheter through a tube. The catheter connects under the skin of your abdomen.
Now a day’s tubeless pumps are also available that work wirelessly. You just need to adjust an insulin pump to release or dispense specific amounts of insulin. You can adjust insulin delivery as per your requirement depending on your daily meals, activity level, and blood sugar level.
Oral or other medications
Also, Sometimes the doctors advise oral or other medications as per requirement. A variety of medications are available for treating diabetes. Some diabetes medications enable your pancreas to produce and release more insulin.
On the other hand, some medications limit the production and release of glucose from the liver, when you need less quantity of insulin to transport sugar into your cells.
For some patients who have type 1 diabetes, the doctors may recommend a pancreas transplant. After successful transplantation of the pancreas, you do not need insulin therapy further.
However, such transplantations involve a lot of risks, and also sometime these transplantations may fail. After the transplantation of the pancreas, doctors advise some drugs for the lifetime period for the adjustment of the organ. These drugs put very serious side effects.
Due to the very serious side effects of these drugs doctors only recommend transplantation for those patients whose diabetes is not controllable through other means.
Bariatric surgery is not a perfect cure for type 2 diabetes patients however, obese patients whose body mass index is higher than 35 may gain benefit from this surgery. However, there are a lot of risks in this procedure.
If the tests confirm that you are carrying diabetes then you must consult the doctor, general physician, or healthcare provider for better guidelines to cope with this chronic disease. This disease is controllable through treatments and medications. Also, regular checkups with a doctor or consultant can help the cause.