What is Diabetes?
A person with diabetes doesn't produce enough of the hormone insulin or is unable to use it effectively, which causes high blood sugar (glucose) levels.People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes), or both.
In diabetes, glucose in the blood cannot move into cells, and it stays in the blood. This not only harms the cells that need the glucose for fuel, but also harms certain organs and tissues exposed to the high glucose levels.
What are the causes, incidence and risk factors of Diabetes?
The causes of diabetes are:
High blood pressure
High blood triglyceride (fat) levels
Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
High alcohol intake
Obesity or being overweight
Aging: Increasing age is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Risk begins to rise significantly at about age 45 years, and rises considerably after age 65 years.
What are the symptoms of Diabetes-Disease?
Symptoms of diabetes may include:
Unexplained weight loss
Blurry vision that changes from day to day
Unusual tiredness or drowsiness
Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Frequent or recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
Diagnosis & Tests
A urine analysis may be used to look for glucose and ketones from the breakdown of fat. However, a urine test alone does not diagnose diabetes. The following blood glucose tests are used to diagnose diabetes:
Fasting blood glucose level -- diabetes is diagnosed if higher than 126 mg/dL on two occasions. Levels between 100 and 126 mg/referred to as impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes. These levels are considered to be risk factors for type 2 diabetes and its complications.
Random (non-fasting) blood glucose level -- diabetes is suspected if higher than 200 mg/dL and accompanied by the classic symptoms of increased thirst, urination, and fatigue. (This test must be confirmed with a fasting blood glucose test.)
Oral glucose tolerance test -- diabetes is diagnosed if glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL after 2 hours (This test is used more for type 2 diabetes.)