Today on our healthpository series: Diabetes

Today on our healthpository series: Diabetes

Diabetes also known as Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder in which the body cannot process glucose normally.
This occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin produced by the pancreas.

This results to a health condition known as ‘Hyperglycemia’ (the presence of too much sugar in the blood).
The body cell makes use of glucose as energy and without insulin, the body cell can’t use the glucose for energy.

The pancreas is the organ behind the stomach which produces insulin while Insulin is the chemical that allows the passage of glucose into the body cell.

Types of Diabetes

Type1 diabetes: This is when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin. The main causes of this type 1 diabetes is medically unknown but research shows it can be as a result of genetic factors. It often affects children and teenagers.

Type2 diabetes: This is when the body cannot use the insulin produced by pancreas. This is mostly caused by life style, family background as well as some genetic factors too.
Being overweight increases the chances of having type 2 diabetes as it makes the cell more resistance to the effect of insulin produced.

Gestational diabetes: This is the rise in blood sugar level during pregnancy and is caused by hormonal changes that occurs during pregnancy.
The placenta produces insulin-blocking hormone which makes the body less sensitive to insulin. Overweight women during pregnancy are at risk of having gestational diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

These include:

*Increased appetite
*Increased thirst
*Unintended weight loss
*Frequent urination
*Blurry vision
*Extreme fatigue
*Sores/ Wounds that don’t heal


Diabetes can’t be cured but we manage the condition with medications and life style changes.

If left untreated it can result to a lot of complications such as; heart disease, heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, nephropathy, vision loss, itchy skin and foot damage.

Type 1 diabetes can be treated by medications, such as insulin injection or insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed by regular exercise, balance diet and medication.

Gestational diabetes can be managed by exercise and diet, but sometimes insulin intake will be prescribed to help lower the blood sugar.

Remember, healthy eating helps a lot in managing diabetes. The rise and fall of your sugar level depends on the diet you take. If you are not using up a lot of energy during the day, you might consider reducing your starchy and fatty food intake.
You can see a dietitian today to work a diabetes meal plan.

Routine check-up is also advised so as to know your sugar level.

Yusuf Babatunde
Health Advocate

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