What is Diabetes, Causes and Types

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body cannot utilize glucose properly.

Glucose is an important nutrient that provides energy to many body organs, especially the brain. Failure to utilize glucose by the body is mainly due to lack of or deficiency of the hormone called insulin produced by the pancreas, and according to the cause of that deficiency diabetes can be caused by:

  1. Lack of production of insulin
  2. Decreased production of insulin by the pancreas
  3. Cells not responding to insulin

Diabetes is a chronic illness, about 5.7 million Egyptian have DM and about 14 million have pre-diabetes. However there is still no efficient treatment for the disease and the patient has to adjust his life style to stay healthy.

Diabetes Types:

Chronic diabetes can be either :

  1. Type 1 insulin dependent.
  2. Type 2 non insulin dependent.

While treatable variants of the disease are gestational diabetes :

  1. Occurs during pregnancy.
  2. Pre-diabetes.

Diabetes Type-1:

Type-1 Diabetes occurs early during childhood, where the immune cells attack beta cells of the pancreas causing lack of insulin in the body and decreased utilization of glucose in the body. About 5% of all diabetics have the type-1 disease

Diabetes Type-1 Symptoms:

In some types of diabetes there may be no visible symptoms, as in type-2 and pre-diabetes. However in type-1 diabetes, symptoms are early and apparent:

  1. Thirst
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Hunger
  4. Loss of weight
  5. Presence of Ketone bodies in urine
  6. Nervousness
  7. Blurred vision
  8. Delayed healing of wounds
  9. Repeated infections

And some symptoms may need urgent medical attention:

  1. Tremors and lack of concentration
  2. Hyperventilation
  3. Fruity odor of the breath
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Loss of consciousness

Type-1 diabetes occurs predominantly at childhood and puberty, but it can occur at any age

Diabetes Type-1 Diagnosis:

Although there is no definite treatment for diabetes, most patients can live a long and healthy life, if they adhere to a healthy lifestyle and maintain a good blood glucose level using insulin injections.

There is more than on type of insulin that your doctor can prescribe:

  1. Fast acting; starts acting after 15 minutes, peaks in one hour and keeps working for 2-4 hours
  2. Short acting; starts working after 30 minutes, peaks in 2-3 hours and continues for 3-6 hours
  3. Medium acting; doesn’t start working for 2-4 hours, peaks in 4-12 hours and continues working for 12 – 18 hours
  4. Long acting; starts action after several hours and continues working for 24 hours

Side effects of diabetes:

Diabetes, if not managed correctly can have a negative impact on many parts of the body

  1. Increased incidence of heart diseases
  2. Neural diseases
  3. Kidney diseases
  4. Atrophy of retinal vessels
  5. Delayed wound healing
  6. Fungal infections and repeated inflammations
  7. Hearing loss

But you can control diabetes and prevent many side effects if you make a few simple changes to your lifestyle, like:

  1. Doing sports
  2. Following a healthy diet
  3. Following the treatment plan
  4. Annual medical checkup
  5. Cessation of smoking

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