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Diabetes: Diagnosis, Classification and Treatment

Glucose in the blood is the main source of energy used by the cells of our body. At the time of developing saccharine diabetes or diabetes mellitus, this metabolic disorder is characterized by drastically affecting the way the body uses glucose leaving too much glucose in the bloodstream. This long-term excess of glucose can generate delicate health conditions such as damage to the eyes, and kidneys, cerebrovascular accidents, and amputations.

Its earliest and most common symptoms are:

  • Constant urge to urinate, including several times during the night (polyuria)

  • Excessive feeling of thirst (polydipsia)

  • A lot of hunger (polyphagia)

  • Tiredness and lack of energy

  • Fruit breath

Data of interest

About 30.3 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes.

1 in 10 people in the U.S. don't know they have diabetes.

It is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called acquired, is common in 90 - 95% of cases.

In the last decade, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled.

Risk factors for developing diabetes

  • Overweight

  • Family history (parents or siblings)

  • History of gestational diabetes

  • Ethnics

  • Age

  • Little or no physical activity

Types of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

The immune system, by mistake, activates its defenses towards the body itself by destroying the cells of the pancreas responsible for developing insulin, which is a hormone that helps glucose enter the body's cells for use. It is more common in children and young adults, diagnosed patients should be given insulin daily.

Type 2 diabetes

The level of insulin production in the body is insufficient or the cells will not respond to the action of insulin to take advantage of glucose, so high blood glucose levels are generated, it is more common in adults, but it is increasingly being diagnosed in children and young adults.

Gestational diabetes

It is diagnosed in women during pregnancy, even women who have no previous diagnosis of diabetes. Unlike other types of diabetes, it does not develop from insulin deficiency but from ineffective use of insulin during pregnancy.

About 10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes and of these 50% will develop type 2 diabetes later, but there are measures to prevent it.

How diabetes is detected

Before the symptoms of diabetes, it is necessary to take blood tests:

  • Fasting glucose measurement

  • Glycosylated hemoglobin or A1C

  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), in pregnant women is performed between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation

  • Random blood sugar measurement

Treatments for diabetes

It is based on a balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, exercise, and medication. The goal is to keep blood levels within normal ranges to avoid affecting other areas of the body.

The drugs commonly prescribed for this condition are injected insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs (they keep blood sugar low). It can also be a combination of both drugs.

The appropriate treatment depends on each diagnosis and the doctor's determination about the right plan for you. Under no circumstances we recommend self-medication.

Prevention of diabetes

  • It is possible to delay diabetes through making lifestyle changes such as:

  • Reduction of body weight in case of obesity.

  • Moderate intensity physical activity.

  • Improve the intake of carbohydrates in the diet.

Complications of diabetes

After several years of high blood sugar, poorly controlled or never controlled, multiple symptoms of complications may appear such as:

  • Neurological: tingling or numbness in the hands, feet or fingers, the sensation of touch is lost to heat, cold, pain, vibration.

  • Renal: fluid retention, swelling in the feet and face.

  • Cardiovascular: increased blood pressure, chest pain, shortness of breath.

  • Ophthalmological: blurred vision, black spots, flashes of light.

  • Immune: You may be susceptible to repeated infections, which take a long time to heal, or which do not respond to common treatment.

  • Sexual: such as erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation, decreased libido and vaginal lubrication.

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