Diabetes

Definition of Glucose:

Glucose is one of the simplest forms of sugar, and it serves as an energy source for the body's cells.

 

Definition of Insulin:

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas, and it helps unlock the body's cells, so that sugar can enter the cell and be used for energy.

 

Definition of Diabetes:

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, which may cause blood sugar levels to rise or drop beyond the normal range.

 

Prediabetes:

Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but still not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Early detection and treatment of prediabetes can help restore blood sugar levels back to normal, and prevent type 2 diabetes.

 

Types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that causes the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed, preventing the body from being able to produce enough insulin. For this reason, type 1 diabetes patients will be dependent on external sources of insulin throughout their lifetime.

  • Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

  • Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is any change in blood sugar levels that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, regardless if the condition continues after childbirth or not.

  • Other Types of Diabetes:

Some people develop rare types of diabetes due to several factors. These include different types of monogenic diabetes, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, and diabetes caused by certain medications (such as: cortisone compounds and certain AIDS medications). Diabetes can also be caused by certain rare syndromes (such as: Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and Turner syndrome)

 

Identifying which type of diabetes a patient has helps in determining the best possible treatment option. However, it has become more difficult to determine which type of diabetes some patients have developed, especially since the way types of diabetes used to be classified in the past (where type 1 diabetes was said to only affect children and type 2 diabetes only affected adults) is not considered very accurate nowadays. 

 

Diabetes Diagnosis:

  • Random blood sugar test:

A random blood sugar test checks your blood sugar at a random time of the day. A level of 200 mg/dl or higher is a sign that you have diabetes.

  • Laboratory tests:

There are multiple laboratory tests that are used to diagnose diabetes at hospitals. These tests are often repeated the following day to confirm the diagnosis. Some of these tests are:

  • Fasting blood sugar test:

A blood sample will be taken after 8 hours of fasting, often in the morning before eating breakfast.

  • Glucose tolerance test:

For this test, blood sugar levels are tested before drinking a certain sugary liquid, and then 2 hours after drinking it.

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test:

This blood test, which doesn't require fasting, indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two.

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