Diabetes Check

by Rachel Bhan

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and other signs. The cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly. The three main forms of diabetes are: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (occurring during pregnancy). The beta cells of the pancreas being unable to produce sufficient insulin to prevent hyperglycemia is the cause behind. Type 1 is usually due to autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin. Type 2 is insulin resistance and is a result of loss of beta cell function. Gestational diabetes is similar to type 2 diabetes, in that it involves insulin resistance; hyperglycemia is seen. The hormones of pregnancy cause insulin resistance in those women genetically predisposed to diabetes.

Common Causes for Diabetes

The common etiological causes for diabetes are poor lifestyle, improper eating habits, smoking, obesity, sedentary activity, lack of exercise and so on. Typical diabetes symptoms are polyuria (frequent urination), polydypsia (increased thirst and consequent increased fluid intake) and polyphagia (increased appetite). Weight loss may occur. Other symptoms include extreme tiredness, weight loss, blurred vision, itchy skin and repeated minor infections such as thrush and boils. Uncontrolled diabetes results in retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy and atherosclerosis.

Suffering repeatedly with problems such as a heart attack, poor wound healing or a foot ulcer, certain fungal infections, stroke, neuropathy, or delivering a baby with macrosomia, certain eye problems, or hypoglycemia results in diabetes mellitus.

Diagnostic procedure begins with oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The fasting plasma glucose test measures the blood glucose after 8 hours of fasting. This test is used to detect diabetes or pre-diabetes. The normal level is 99 mg/dl and below. An oral glucose tolerance test measures the blood glucose 2 hours after drinking a glucose-containing beverage. This test can be used in the diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. The normal value is 139 mg/dl and below.

In a random plasma glucose test, blood glucose is checked without regard to when the individual ate his/her last meal. This test, along with an assessment of symptoms, is used to diagnose diabetes but not pre-diabetes Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) is another reliable indicator of the incidence of the disease. This technique provides the blood glucose levels for the preceding 3 months. The normal level is < 8%. The probability of suffering from diabetes is greater in over weights, people more than 45 years, people with family history, gestational diabetics, hypertensives and hypercholesterolemic patients.

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