About diabetes: why it occurs, symptoms, treatment methods

About diabetes

What is diabetes and its types

According to Diabet Atlas, International Diabetes Federation, in 2021, Ukraine reported 2,000,325 people suffering from diabetes. In 2017, this number was twice as low - 1,270,929 people. The statistics includes only those who apply for medication, but a lot of people do not even know that they are in the risk group and require treatment.

What is diabetes and its types

According to Diabet Atlas, International Diabetes Federation, in 2021, Ukraine reported 2,000,325 people suffering from diabetes. In 2017, this number was twice as low - 1,270,929 people. The statistics includes only those who apply for medication, but a lot of people do not even know that they are in the risk group and require treatment.

According to the data of the World Health Organization, 50% of patients die from cardiovascular deficiencies, 10% - suffer severe visual impairment, 2% - total blindness, 10% to 20% - suffer from chronic deficiencies. Also among the most widespread consequences of diabetes: diabetic foot syndrome, the development of neuropathies, micro- and macroangiopathies.

Medical practice distinguishes two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes This type of disease is called insulin-dependent because the body cannot produce insulin on its own and the patient requires daily doses of drugs to prolong life. Type 1 diabetes is most common among children and adolescents. But in medical practice, there were isolated cases of the disease among adults under 30 years old. Approximately 10% of those patients who contacted a doctor with typical symptoms suffer from type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 Diabetes Approximately 90% of patients are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is also called insulin-independent because the hormone is produced in the body, but blood cells do not respond to it. Insulin injections as a treatment are given only in extreme cases. When the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, the patient can be effectively influenced by lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments. Type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed among women over 30 years old.
Diabetes symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes

In the initial stages, type 1 and type 2 diabetes appear more or less identically. In both cases, the symptoms are as follows:

  • severe hunger and constant thirst;
  • frequent and excessive urination;
  • sleep disturbances and increased fatigability;
  • blurred vision;
  • rapid weight gain or loss;
  • slow healing of wounds;
  • skin dryness and coarsening;
  • itching;
  • swelling.

If three or more of these symptoms are present, a blood glucose test should be performed. If the result of the test is more than 99 mg/dl on an empty stomach or more than 140 mg/dl two hours after eating, you should immediately contact a physician.

Disease-causing factors

It is still not clear why the pancreas stops producing insulin, and no preventive measures have been developed. In 50% of cases, diabetes of the first type is inherited, in some cases it occurs after infections and viruses. Scientists around the world continue to investigate the causes of the disease, its course and prevention methods, but certain patterns have already been identified.

Medical practice distinguishes several main reasons for the onset of diabetes:
  • Inheritance People whose parents have been diagnosed with the disease are at risk. From an early age, they should follow a healthy lifestyle and watch their food intake.
  • Endocrine disorders Diabetes, especially type 2, can develop as a result of malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, pancreatic tumors.
  • Infectious diseases People with hereditary diabetes mellitus often develop their first symptoms after infectious viruses or inflammatory processes.
  • Obesity A large amount of adipose tissue negatively affects the receptivity of cells to insulin that enters the blood. 80% of patients with diagnosed disease have low blood pressure.
  • Improper nutrition A large amount of sugar in the diet leads to strikes of insulin, which contributes to the development of the disease. Overdosing is the main cause of obesity.
  • Hypodynamia A low-volume way of life improves metabolic processes in the body. The muscles consume less glucose and it accumulates in the blood.

Evolution of the disease

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreatic gland and permanently destroys their ability to produce insulin. When the body produces enough insulin, glucose from the blood enters the cells of various organs and its residues are stored in the tissues of the liver and the muscles. If a person requires additional energy between meals, for example, during sleep or physical activities, the body uses these reserves.

With type 1 diabetes, glucose does not enter the cells due to insulin deficiency and its level rises rapidly, which is why the symptoms of the disease appear very quickly. Patients immediately feel a strong thirst and dryness in the mouth, they rush several times in the night to go to the toilet, and the volume of the urine significantly increases.

In the case of the second type of diabetes, the tissues of the body consume and utilize significantly less glucose. Blood sugar level can grow for years without causing any symptoms of the disease. Then the body starts to produce borrowed glucose through the nerves. Together with the urine, salts and liquid are released from the body, which causes dehydration and imbalance of electrolytes. People experience the first symptoms of the disease.

If diabetes is not treated, the elevated level of sugar causes problems in all core systems of the body:
  • Heart and vessels Fats on the walls of the vessels cause poor blood circulation, leading to hypertension, atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks.
  • Kidneys Due to the increased pressure, they gradually stop filtering blood - renal failure develops
  • Eyes Due to the damage to the small vessels, the lens becomes swollen and the vision deteriorates, increasing the risk of cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Nervous system Numbness of arms and legs, problems with traumas and the genitourinary system, decreased libido.
  • Skin Wounds and bruises heal badly and for a long time, the risk of fungal and bacterial diseases increases.

In advanced cases of diabetes, the feet suffer, and in most cases they cannot be treated and have to be amputated.

Modern methods of treatment

Treatment of diabetes is a way of life. To keep the disease under control, the following methods are used:

  • Insulin therapy People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day, and the necessary amount of insulin may vary throughout the day. Therefore, patients regularly check their blood glucose levels to see what dose of drugs is needed at the time. Diet and physical activities can influence the sugar level.
    Insulin for type 2 diabetes is taken in several cases: when the disease has progressed to a severe form, during surgical or non-surgical conditions, during pregnancy. The indication for the prescription of insulin injections is most often the ineffectiveness of pills.
  • Blood sugar monitoring Regular control of glucose level allows increasing the efficacy of treatment and preventing disease progression. Measurements are taken by the patient several times a day. The patient's rate is set by the doctor on a case-by-case basis.
  • POCTech continuous blood glucose monitoring systems The device has a small size, so it is convenient to place it on the stomach or hands of the patient. All data from it is transmitted to a smartphone and is updated in real time.
  • Insulin pumps A small device in which there is a reservoir of insulin. The pump transports insulin into the body continuously according to the mode programmed by the doctor.
  • Curasonix This system was developed to solve problems with the wound healing problem. It cleans wounds quickly and effectively due to three mechanisms of action: macroabrasion, microabrasion and ultrasound. Use of the Curasonix system significantly reduces the risk of infection and the number of amputation cases.
  • Diet and exercise ПIn diabetics, the amount of fast carbohydrates in the patient's diet is severely limited, because their intake provokes a spike in blood sugar and contributes to weight gain. Physical exercises help to speed up the metabolism and reduce body weight, if there is such a need. You can find a lot of different diets for diabetes on the Internet, but a physician is responsible for prescribing therapeutic nutrition. The physician selects the diet and the level of activity after reading the patient's analyses.
  • Drugs that reduce sugar Antidiabetic pills help regulate the activity of insulin and the absorption of tissues of the body to it. They are prescribed to people to maintain the correct blood sugar level. Medications are always taken in combination with diet and physical activity, and are prescribed by an endocrinologist.

Prevention of diabetes

In most cases it is possible to prevent the development of diabetes. This requires:

  1. Follow the rules of healthy eating.
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Maintain normal body weight.
  4. Monitor the metabolism.
  5. Give up smoking and alcohol.

The risk of the disease is that it does not reveal itself in any way at the initial stages, so it is necessary to take a glucose test on an empty stomach on a regular basis. If the most abnormal findings occur, the physician will refer the patient for a full examination to find out the cause of the high blood glucose concentration and to recommend further treatment. Blood samples can be taken free of charge upon referral from the family physician.

How to lead a full life with diabetes?

How to lead a full life with diabetes?

The main factor of success in controlling diabetes is the strict fulfillment of all the doctor's recommendations. First of all, it is necessary to change your lifestyle:

  • Switch to medical nutrition Physicians state that the diet must be free of sugar, corn, potatoes, grapes, figs, dates, raisins, strawberries and bananas, white rice, muesli and cornflakes, fatty dairy products, bakery products of leafy and soft dough, because they quickly increase the level of glucose in the blood. If you really want to eat something delicious, it is better to give preference to sweets for diabetics. It is very important for people with diabetes to eat according to the schedule and to consume the amount of calories prescribed by the nutritionist.
  • Add physical activity Exercise, such as yoga, tennis, swimming, dancing, soccer or pilates, helps maintain normal blood pressure. However, it is necessary to coordinate the physical activity with the doctor and avoid exercising when you do not feel well. It is better to limit the time of exercise to one hour per day and tell the trainer about your health status. It is also necessary to measure the level of sugar before and after training in order to secure yourself.
  • Reduce your body weight and give up any risky habits Alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar and raise the level of sugar in your blood. Smoking has a negative effect on the whole body, especially on the cardiovascular system. Being overweight is stressed on the heart and other organs. The healthier the patient's body, the lower the risk of disease-related complications.
  • Take the drugs in the prescribed dosages Insulin injections are necessary to maintain a normal blood glucose level. Decrease of glucose to critically low levels threatens with weakness and fainting, and in severe cases - loss of consciousness, brain damage and coma.

Diabetes requires constant attention and monitoring of the body's condition: measuring blood sugar level, arterial blood pressure, metabolism processes. Regular examinations and immediate treatment correction allow to prevent the development of the disease and lead a full life of a healthy person.