Diabetes in its Various Forms: All Preventable?

Diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle disease. It can be easily prevented but has continued to be on the increase due to poor awareness leading to late detection.

It is a chronic disease (develops slowly over time) in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin. In some cases when insulin is produced the body cells stop responding to it.

Insulin is the hormone that helps the body cells absorb the blood glucose from the food we eat.

When insulin is not available or when the body cells doesn’t respond to insulin the amount of glucose in the blood becomes high and the cells are deprived of glucose.

Over a period of time this disease affects many organs. If not detected early enough for treatment it can lead to other health issues such as renal failures, blindness, stroke etc.

3 Types of Diabetes exist

Type 1 diabetes which was formerly known as juvenile or insulin dependent.

It is the type that requires daily administration of insulin because the body produces less or no insulin.

Its cause is still unknown and is rarely prevented for now. It’s very common in little children.

The symptoms include excessive urination, constant hunger, weight loss, vision impairment and fatigue

Type 2 diabetes previously known as adult–onset or non-insulin dependent. In this case, the body produces insulin but it is unable to use it.

This type is very common especially among the obese.

It is considered as the milder form among the other types because of its slow onset and can usually be controlled with diet and physical activities.

Its symptoms are similar to type 1 disease including slow wound healing and extreme thirst.

Gestational diabetes is the type that occurs among pregnant women but generally resolves after childbirth. After then such patients are usually at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle and family history plays a huge role in determine if a woman has this.

Risk factors

  • Obesity
  • Family history of diabetes

Early Detection as Your Best Shot

Early detection gives an individual the best shot at beating diabetes.

Diabetes (type 2 which is the most common) doesn’t develop suddenly, regular blood sugar checks help an individual detect rising blood sugars at the pre-diabetes stage.

This makes it easier for management with lifestyle changes and sometimes might not require drugs at all.

Prevention

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease thus can be prevented. Here are a few lifestyle adjustments that can be helpful

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Avoid sedentary lifestyle by engaging in regular fitness activity
  • Maintain a good eating habit
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco use and foods with artificial sweeteners

Sunday Oluchi Goodness