Diabetes: Symptoms, causes and effects

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high.

By   |  Published: 19th Nov 2020  5:08 pm

The global diabetes prevalence in 2019 is estimated to be 9.3% (463 million people).Just under half a billion people are living with diabetes worldwide and the number is projected to increase by 25% in 2030 and 51% in 2045. Let’s read in detail the symptoms, causes and effects of this chronic disease.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.

Types of diabetes

The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes : If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people.

Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.


Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may sometimes not experience symptoms. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.
Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are:
• Increased thirst
• Frequent urination
• Extreme hunger
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fatigue
• Irritability
• Blurred vision
• Slow-healing sores
• Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, though it often appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40.

People with diabetes can develop

Over time, high blood glucose leads to problems such as
• heart disease
• stroke
• kidney disease
• eye problems
• dental disease
• nerve damage
• foot problems

Diet for diabetes : Living with diabetes does not have to mean feeling deprived. People can learn to balance meals and make healthful food choices while still including the foods they enjoy.
• Include fruits and vegetables.
• Eat lean protein.
• Choose foods with less added sugar.
• Avoid trans fats.

Chronic disease

Diabetes is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood, affects some 422 million people around the world, up from 108 million in 1980. It occurs when pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when body cannot effectively use the insulin produced

Insulin: Hormone that helps to remove glucose from the bloodstream and deliver to muscle, fat and liver cells

Treatment and control:
Lowering blood glucose levels through diet and exercise
Insulin injections

Uncontrolled diabetes
-Can cause blindness
-50 percent of deaths are from cardiovascular damage
-Kidney failure
-Damage to nerves and blood vessels
-Nerve damage can lead to ulcers, limb amputations

Type 1: Deficient insulin production, requires daily administration of insulin

Type 2: Ineffective use of insulin. This accounts for 90 percent of diabetes around world. Largely result of being overweight, inactive

Gestational: A small percentage of women are diagnosed with high blood sugar during pregnancy

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