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What is Diabetes?: Role, Symptoms, Types, Pre-Diabetes, HbA1C test

by icontrolmyhealth
What is Diabetes?: Role, Symptoms, Types, Pre-Diabetes or More

Diabetes is a disorder in which the body is unable to break down glucose (sugar) into energy that is required by your body cells for survival. The food you eat is converted into glucose, which is further converted into energy by a hormone known as “insulin.” It means if a person has it there is some problem with insulin production or its utilization.

In This, whether your body is not making enough insulin or not able to use it properly, glucose levels are going to increase in your blood. This leads to a condition known as hyperglycemia(hyper ~ high, glycemia ~ glucose).

What is the Role of Insulin Diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas (a leaf-shaped organ located behind the stomach). When you eat food, it is converted into glucose, which travels in your bloodstream (to gain entry into cells and to produce energy).

Sufficient amounts of insulin are required for the glucose to enter your body cells. Without an adequate amount of insulin, glucose levels increase in the bloodstream, leading to a condition known as diabetes.

What is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition that comes before type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal but aren’t high enough to be called it.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

A large majority of people with it remain undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness and recognition of the symptoms.

Many of these symptoms appear during the later stages of the disease. Therefore, if you feel any of the following symptoms, consult your physician immediately.

1. Increased thirst and frequent urination:

  •  As excess glucose builds up in your bloodstream, water is pulled out from the tissues. This may make you unusually thirsty. As a result, you may drink and urinate more than usual

2. Increased hunger: 

  • Without enough insulin to move glucose into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers hunger and increased cravings or hunger can be a sign of type 2 diabetes

3. Weight loss:

  •  The cells in your body are deprived of energy. Due to the lack of glucose in the body cells, other body fuels such as fat are used to produce energy, and this results in loss of weight

4. Fatigue: 

  • If your body cells are not getting enough glucose, they are deprived of energy, which results in fatigue

5. Blurred vision: 

  • High blood glucose leads to swelling of eye lenses and this may affect your vision

6. Slow-healing sores or frequent infections:

  • It affects your ability to heal and resist infections

What is the HbA1C test?

The hemoglobin (Hb)A1C test determines how your metabolism is working. A1C levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate that you have pre-diabetes.

What are the Different Types of Diabetes?

Defect in insulin leads to either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

  • If your body is not making enough insulin, it leads to a condition called type 1 diabetes
  • If your body is making insulin but is not able to use it correctly, it leads to a condition called type 2 diabetes
  • Many women develop high blood glucose levels during their pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes

Last Reviewed on: July 26, 2014

Reviewed By: Dr. Kanchan Anand, MD (Nephrology and Internal Medicine)

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