Blood sugar is actually a glucose that is created in process of food digestion and as such directly enters in the blood. Blood sugar is used as a primary source of energy in the body. The excess is stored in the liver and adipose tissue to be used in energy requirement.
Normal level change in the blood sugar may be:
Hypoglycemia – reduced level of blood sugar.
Hyperglycemia – increased level of blood sugar.
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted from the pancreas and is responsible for maintaining normal levels of blood sugar, i.e. conveys glucose into cells to satisfy the energy needs or stored in the liver and adipose tissue when there is excess in the blood.
Blood disease (Diabetes) –
Diabetes is a disease of elevated levels of glucose in the blood over a long period of time. It occurs due to insufficient or inappropriate action of the insulin hormone in the body. The disease is associated with serious disorder of metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins and is followed by a number of acute and chronic complications. There are two types of diabetes, type 1, which occurs at a younger age and type 2, which occurs in the adult population.
Warning signs –
Type 1 diabetes: If you have these symptoms more often you should seek consultation with a doctor:
- Often and massively urination;
- Expressed sense of thirst;
- Expressed hunger;
- Rapid weight loss;
- A feeling of tiredness and weakness;
- Hypersensitivity and mood swings;
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain;
Type 2 Diabetes: These symptoms occur gradually and they are not with less significance of the previous mentioned (type 1diabetes) and they seek medical consultation also:
- Blurred vision;
- Feeling of burning and burning sensation in the legs, feet and toes;
- Common skin infections;
- Infections of the urinary tracts;
- Itching of the skin and genitals;
- Difficulty healing wounds and minor injuries;
- Any of the symptoms listed in Type 1 Diabetes;
Risk factors –
The risk of getting diabetes is much higher if you have any of the following:
- Family history of diabetes in the family;
- Low physical activity;
- Increased body weight (especially waist);
- Age over 45 years;
- High blood pressure;
- Elevated levels of blood cholesterol;
- Diabetes during pregnancy or birth of a baby weighing over 4 kg;
Anyone over the age of 45 years should at least once a year check their blood sugar.
Diabetes affects almost every part of the human body, which reduces the ability of normal life.
- High blood pressure: 60-70% of diabetics over the age of 20 years have a blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg, or treatment with antihypertensive therapy;
- Heart and blood vessels diseases: It is recognized that in 60-70% of diabetics over the age of 65 years, the cause of death is complicated by the cardiovascular system. Patients with diabetes have a 2-4 times greater risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Stroke risk is 2-4 times higher among people with diabetes;
- Kidney disease: Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal failure and chronic dialysis;
- Blindness and weakened eyesight: Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults with age of 20-74 years. 30% of worldwide patients with diabetes over 40 years suffer from diabetic retinopathy that in 5% of them leads to blindness;
- The nerve diseases: Elevated blood glucose is a stress for the nervous system as well as the blood vessels. Almost 30% of diabetics over age 40 have a reduced sense of pain. Severe diabetic neuropathy is one of the leading causes of amputation of extremities. Many studies have shown a link between diabetes and the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease;
- Amputations: More than 60% of non-traumatic under-knee amputations are from people suffering diabetes. Gum disease and tooth decay. Gingiva diseases are two times more common among people with diabetes than in the general population. Smokers’ diabetics with poor control of diabetes have 5 times greater chance of getting paradontosis and tooth loss;
Complications during pregnancy –
Badly controlled diabetes before conception and during the first 3 months of pregnancy in women who suffer from Type 1 diabetes is the cause in 15-20% of cases the cause of miscarriage. Badly controlled diabetes, during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, can lead to the birth of many coarse babies with big birth risk for the mother and the fetus.
Other complications –
- Electrolyte imbalance, ketoacidosis and coma;
- People with diabetes more easily get sick from other diseases;
- Chronic diseases have a much worse prognosis in diabetics;
- People with diabetes more often suffer from depression unlike the rest;
Glycated hemoglobin HbA1c –
World recommendations in the treatment of diabetes include examination of glycated HbA1c as a full diagnostic test in patients with diabetes and in those at high risk of getting diabetes. This test shows the average blood sugar levels over the previous 2 to 3 months and is an indicator of how well or bad is regulated the blood sugar. The higher the level of HbA1c is the greater risk complications by other organs in the body. It is especially important if the level of HbA1c is elevated for a longer time. This test is recommended every 3-4 months for people with diabetes. International Diabetes Federation recommends HbA1c value of 6.5% to be the goal of every patient with diabetes.
Cholesterol and diabetes –
Cholesterol is a substance found in the human blood and cells. It generates 75% of the total cholesterol in the liver and other body cells. The remaining 25% come from the food. Cholesterol is an integral part of several hormones, vitamin D and cell membrane in the body. In bad controlled diabetes, the cholesterol levels in the blood is elevated, thus the risk of getting cardiovascular disease is much higher. People with diabetes should be made to check their blood cholesterol twice a year, especially if they have elevated levels for a long period of time or if they have cardiovascular disease.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes and its complications. At this rate the number would be doubled by 2030. Diabetes and its complications are the cause of nearly 80% of all deaths in developing countries.
Steps to prevent diabetes –
- Follow the plan by your doctor to monitor the level of glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure;
- Eat healthy, eat fruits and vegetables, food grains, milk and dairy products with low fat;
- Exercise 30 minutes 3-4 times a week;
- Take the therapy prescribed by your doctor every day;