Diabetes is a chronic disease of high blood glucose (sugar) level than the normal level, and is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or reduced tissues sensitivity, or both.
Insulin: A hormone produced by the pancreas to help control and maintain blood glucose.
Types of the disease:
Type 1 diabetes:
- This type occurs when insulin producing cells are completely disrupted and become unable to produce the hormone. Usually, this type of diabetes affects young people.
Type 2 diabetes:
- When the body can produce insulin either in insufficient amounts or normal amounts but ineffective.
- Gestational diabetes: High blood glucose as a result of the hormones produced by the placenta during pregnancy and often disappears after delivery.
- Secondary diabetes: Is diabetes that results as a consequence of another medication and hormones or pancreatic surgery and other reasons.
- Frequent urination.
- Feeling very thirsty / mouth dryness.
- Feeling very hungry.
- Sudden loss of weight.
- Itching and skin infection.
- A tingling sensation or numbness in the limbs.
- Blurred vision.
- Feeling hot in the feet.
- Slow-healing wounds.
- Random blood sugar test.
- Fasting blood sugar test.
- Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test (acumulative diabetes). Diagnosis is done in two different dates.
High Blood Sugar Averages Prediabetes Averages Normal Sugar Averages Types of Blood Test
From 126 mg/dl or more 100-125 mg/dl Less than 100 mg/dl Fasting Blood Test
From 200 mg/dl or more 140-199 mg/dl Less than140 mg/dl 2 Hours After Eating
605% or more 5.7-6.4% Less than 5.7% Accumulative Sugar Test
Causes and Risk Factors:
- Genetic Factors: Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.
- Obese: The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
- Exposure to viral diseases.
- High blood pressure.
- High fat in the blood.
- Laziness and lack of physical activity.
- Cardiovascular Diseases: Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Nerve damage (neuropathy): Excess sugar in the blood can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.
- Kidney problems (nephropathy): High blood glucose leads to kidney failure or kidney diseases.
- Retinopathy: High blood sugar damages tiny vessels that bring nutrients to the retina, blocking the passage of light to the retina.
- Feet problems: Nerve damage in the limbs, particularly the feet, makes the patient unable to feel the pain of an injury which can lead to ulcers in the foot.
- Skin conditions: Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
There is currently no cure for diabetes; however, you can keep level of blood sugar within normal range. Treatment of diabetes differs from patient to patient, the doctor decides the most appropriate type of treatment for each patient, depending on the following:
Type of diabetes.
- Health conditions of the patient.
Effective treatment of diabetes depends on the patient himself, when he is committed to adjusting his sugar level, he will enjoy a healthy life, through the followings:
- Visiting diabetes clinic regularly.
- Checking your blood sugar regularly at home.
- Exercising regularly.
- Taking care of your feet and checking them daily.
Prediabetes, type2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can be prevented through the following:
- Eating healthy foods by choosing those lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Regular physical activity.
- Avoiding overweight.
Examinations necessary for diabetics:
- Checking blood pressure at each visit.
- Checking weight at each visit.
- Checking feet every 6 months.
- Checking accumulative sugar every 6-12 months.
- Checking cholesterol and triglycerides every 12 months.
- Checking eyes every 12 months.
Saudi Ministry of Health