What is Diabetes?
Image PlaceholderDiabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus is a condition characterized with high levels of blood sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream over a prolonged period of time.

Diabetes is a serious condition. It affects the whole body and lowers the quality of life of the person suffering from it. Although no cure has been established yet for diabetes but if a diabetic learns to manage the sugar levels well, the quality of life can be significantly improved and the person can lead a healthy lifestyle.
What exactly leads to high blood sugar levels in the bloodstream?
Image Placeholder We know that our body is made of cells and for each cell to function, it needs energy. This energy is derived from the food we eat. Once the food is consumed, our body breaks down the sugars in our food and converts it to glucose which is then released into the bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas. It travels through the bloodstream and reaches the body’s cells and regulates the entry of glucose from the bloodstream into the body cells.

If now there is a malfunction the glucose continues to remain in the bloodstream thereby leading to high blood sugar levels. This malfunction is attributed to either deficiency of the hormone insulin or a combination of insulin deficiency and resistance of the body tissues to insulin.
Why is diabetes on the rise?
Image PlaceholderThe global burden of Type 2 Diabetes is more pronounced in India than any other country in the world. An estimated 57 million adult Indians will be affected with diabetes by 2025.

Indians seem to have a genetic predisposition towards insulin resistance. This susceptibility may be enhanced by environmental triggers such as physical inactivity, high calorie, fat and sugar intake, and obesity as individuals migrate from rural areas to urban areas.
What is the normal and diabetic range of blood sugar?
Category Fasting Range (mg/dl) Post-Prandial value – 2 hours
after consuming glucose (mg/dl)
NORMAL 70-130 mg/dl <180 mg/dl
ESTABLISHED DIABETES ≥ 126 mg/dl ≥ 200 mg/dl
What are the signs of Diabetes?
Image PlaceholderDiabetes has plenty of subtle signs which may be easily missed by you. The most common early signs of Diabetes include
 
  • Frequent bathroom breaks for urination.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Feeling hungry more frequently.
  • Slow healing of wounds, cuts and infections.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Tingling or numbness in your feet.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion .
  • Weight loss even when you are not aiming for it .
  • Mood swings and depression .
Who should get tested?
Image PlaceholderDiabetes has plenty of subtle signs which may be easily missed by you. The most common early signs of Diabetes include
 
  • Genetically predisposed individuals – Having a family member with diabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing the disease.
  • Over-weight individuals with BMI > 25 kg/m2
  • People leading sedentary lifestyle.
  • Women who were diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) or women who delivered a baby weighing > 4kgs.
  • Individuals with history of heart diseases.