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Diabetes: Causes, Signs, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment

Medical Content Writer
Arzu Cetinkaya Medical Content Writer
Diabetes: Causes, Signs, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes means that the blood sugar level is too high. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. Insulin is needed to transport blood sugar into cells and store it to be used to produce energy. In people with diabetes, the body either does not produce insulin or cannot use it effectively. When diabetes progresses, it may start to damage other organs.

What Causes Diabetes?

The biggest cause of diabetes is the current eating habits. The fact that the foods we eat are processed foods and the foods we consume are not satiating causes the onset of diabetes. The cause of diabetes is the insufficiency of the hormone insulin in the body or the insensitivity of the tissues in the body to insulin.  The causes of diabetes include genetic and environmental factors. Having a sedentary lifestyle and not being able to manage stress in daily life can cause diabetes.

What Are The Symptoms of Diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes can be seen in many different ways. We can list them as follows.

  • Numbness and burning, especially in the feet,
  • Frequent urination,
  • Slow healing of skin wounds,
  • Increased appetite,
  • Dryness and itching on the skin,
  • Eye diseases,
  • Extreme fatigue and weakness,
  • Excessive thirst.

In case of these symptoms, you should consult a specialist. You should also make sure that you have regular medical check-ups.

What Are The Types Of Diabetes?

Types of diabetes can be listed as follows. The most common types are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes: It is a type of diabetes that usually occurs in childhood and adolescence. The immune system destroys insulin-producing cells and the body is unable to produce insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes: It is a type of diabetes that usually occurs in the elderly. Insulin in the body is insufficient or not available at all.

Pregnancy Diabetes: It is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs when hormones increase insulin resistance during pregnancy.

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of diabetes, blood sugar should be measured more than once and at different times. Diabetes should be suspected if blood sugar levels measured during fasting and satiety are high.  Diabetes is not diagnosed when the blood sugar measured once is high. If you get the same result more than once in different situations, we can say that there is a definite situation.

The most commonly used method for the diagnosis of diabetes is the fasting blood sugar test. This test measures the blood sugar level after an 8-hour fasting period. Fasting blood sugar level should normally be below 100 mg/dl. If the fasting blood sugar level is 126 mg/dl or higher, the person can be diagnosed with diabetes.  Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) can also be used to diagnose diabetes. In this test, fasting blood sugar is measured, then a glucose drink is consumed. After 2 hours, the blood sugar level is measured and if the blood sugar level is 200 mg/dl or higher, the person can be diagnosed with diabetes.

What Are The Treatment Methods For Diabetes?

Managing diabetes involves adopting a healthy lifestyle. These include a balanced diet, exercise, weight control and stress management.

Treatment of type 1 diabetes requires lifelong insulin therapy.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves lifestyle changes, but sometimes oral medication or insulin may also be needed. Metabolic surgery is an effective treatment method especially for obese patients when type 2 diabetes cannot be controlled with lifestyle changes, medications and insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled significantly with gastric bypass surgery.

Pregnancy diabetes is usually controlled with diet and exercise. However, in some cases, the use of insulin may also be necessary.