Are you like an average Nigerian who thinks Diabetes only happens to people that consume lots of “soda” or “sugar”?
Well, you may be right or should I say you’re partly right but lots of people do not even understand this condition so well. We don’t know how dangerous it is which is why I’m here to break it down to you in details.
So, if you are reading this, you’re in the right place. Forget google, it will only mislead you and make you nervous
If you are here for the first time, I welcome you, I do hope you continue to read from this blog from time to time. Check us up every Tuesday, and you can read the former posts. I am sure you will gain a lot.
What exactly do we mean when we say a person has been diagnosed of Diabetes Mellitus? That means the person has too much of sugar in the blood. It can also be called high blood glucose. This happens when your body can’t take up sugar to use as fuel. This will cause too much of sugar in your blood.
We have different types of diabetes but before I get into that, I am sure you want to ask me what causes this.
Like I said earlier, “taking of soda” alone is not the only cause. There are several other causes of Diabetes Mellitus .
1. Liver disease: anyone with any form of liver disease such as hepatitis is at the risk of having Diabetes.
2. Obesity: a good number of people who develop diabetes after age 40 are obese or have history of obesity.
3. Genetics: research has made us understand that diabetes may be inherited in different ways in different families.
4. Injury to the pancreas: this can include tumors, infection or even surgery.
5. Exposure to illnesses caused by virus
6. Age: now I’m not saying once an individual is of a particular age, they would have diabetes. All I am saying is that they have the risk of having it. The same way news have risk of an illness is the same way older people do. Individuals from 45 and above are at risk of having diabetes which is why there is so much emphasis on food, exercise and their health in general.
8. Having high blood pressure
Now let’s look at the types of diabetes Mellitus. There are different categories of Diabetes Mellitus.
We have the TYPE 1 DIABETES: It’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults (but can develop at any age). It was once better known as “juvenile” diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This is why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. In this type, the body attacks itself.
TYPE 2 DIABETES:With this type, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or your body’s cells don’t respond normally to the insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. Your parents or grandparents may have called it “having a touch of sugar.”
PRE-DIABETES: this one occurs before the type 2 diabetes. Here, the blood sugar is higher than normal but not enough to be diagnosed as Diabetes. How do you know the range ? Let’s see
There are several tests done and the range determines the diagnosis.
We have fasting blood sugar. To do this test, the individual must not have eaten anything so as not to automatically increase the blood sugar. When an individual does this test, the normal range is less than 100 mg/dl , for us to call it pre- diabetes, it ranges 100-125mg/dl while diabetes itself ranges 126 and higher.
For random blood sugar test which means it can be done anytime, the normal range is less than 140mg/dl, for us to term it as pre- Diabetes then it ranges 140-199mg/dl while diabetes itself is 200 or higher.
The last type of diabetes we have is the GESTATIONAL DIABETES: This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Okay now, when a person has diabetes, what are the symptoms this person exhibits ?
1. Weak and tired feeling
2. Slow healing cuts, wounds
3. Unexplained weight loss
4. Increased thirst
5. Frequent urination
6. Dry mouth
7. Blurred vision
8. Decreased sex drive in men
9. Urinary tract infection or yeast infection in women.
Note that in type 1 diabetes,symptoms can develop quickly – over a few weeks or months. Symptoms begin when you’re young – as a child, teen or young adult.
In type 2 and pre- diabetes,you may not have any symptoms at all or may not notice them since they develop slowly over several years. Symptoms usually begin to develop when you’re an adult, but prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in all age groups.I
In gestational diabetes, you may not notice symptoms. Your obstetrician will test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of your pregnancy.
Now that we’ve seen what Diabetes is about,let’s see the complications . What else can it turn out to be ?
1. Kidney damage which can cause kidney failure
2. Eye damage
3. Skin infection
4. Dementia: difficulty in remembering
6. Hearing loss
7. Foot damage
8. Cardiovascular issues such as stroke, heart attack, chest pain.
Can this condition be avoided ? Of course YES!
What do we do ?
1. Lower your stress. Learn relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation, yoga and other helpful strategies. Also, get adequate sleep
2. Limit alcohol intake
3. Eat healthy diet
4. Lose weight if you are overweight. Don’t lose weight if you are pregnant, but check with your obstetrician about healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.
5. If you think you have symptoms of prediabetes, see your Doctor.
If you have Diabetes already, trust me it’s not the end of the world. You are doing just fine and you can live long. Do not be scared. Here are few tips needed:
1. Take your pills as prescribed
2. Monitor your blood sugar closely as explained to you in the hospital.
3. Follow healthy diet as advised by dietician
4. Keep yourself hydrated
5. See your doctor regularly to monitor your diabetes and to watch for complications
6. Quit smoking if you smoke!
7. Exercise regularly
How well did you enjoy this read ? I know it’s a long read but it’s worth your time
Let me know if you have questions, suggestions in the comment section. See you next Tuesday.