Diabetes Not So Sweet
If you are obese you will surely get Diabetes! Diabetes running in your family? You too will suffer from it Eating more sweets leads you to Diabetes A diabetic patient has to compulsory take insulin injections People with diabetes cannot donate blood
Don't we often hear these social misconception about Diabetes? It is a disorder in which the response to insulin is impaired. High levels of blood sugar is associated with deficiency and inactivity of insulin which includes disturbed metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat. Insulin allows glucose to enter into the cells from blood, except the cells of the brain and central nervous system which use glucose in the absence of insulin.
Diabetic individuals may develop diabetic retinopathy (diabetes complication that affects eyes), nephropathy (kidney disease that can affect diabetic people), neuropathy (nerve damage due to diabetes), cardiovascular disease, amputations, premature death and pregnancy-related complications in females during their reproductive age.
The life of a normal women often seems to have similar complaints. Do you relate to them? Are these significantly considerable issues upsetting your apparently normal life? Well, the statements mentioned above might exhibit four different health-related situations but, all these are the symptoms of only one common condition - Diabetes.
Glucose stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin prompts the muscles and fat cells to take up glucose from the blood for utilization and stimulates the liver to store excess of glucose. As a result of this, the level of sugar (glucose) in blood is balanced. Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by high level of sugar (hyperglycemia) in the blood. The condition can result from the defects in insulin secretion or action or both. Long-term elevated sugar levels in blood can cause damage to other organs predominantly, the kidneys, liver, eyes, etc.
The very common signs and symptoms of diabetes include the following:
Tiredness/Fatigue Elevated blood sugar levels, either due to lack of insulin hormone or insulin resistance, can affect the body's ability to get glucose from the blood into cells to meet energy needs. People on stronger diabetes medication such as insulin therapy may also experience fatigue as a symptom of low blood glucose levels.
Blurred Vision Long-term uncontrolled diabetes leads to damage of small blood vessels. This damage might affect the retina of eye which in turn leads to blurred vision. The fluid shifts into and out of the eye in diabetics causing the lens of eye to swell. This changes the shape of lens and causes blurriness Delayed Wound Healing High blood glucose level causes inhibition of reabsorption of water and sodium, inadequate passage of fluid through the circulatory system into the tissue and oxygenation, thus leading to delayed wound healing in diabetic patients.
Frequent Urination and Thirst In diabetics, the kidneys are forced to work overtime to filter and absorb the excess sugar. If kidneys are not able to keep up the excess sugar is excreted with urine, dragging along fluids from tissues. This triggers more frequent urination and as you drink more fluids to quench your thirst, you will urinate even more.
There are many other similar signs and symptoms that might not look indicative but can be menacing in Diabetes. Therefore, anything unusual and deviating from normal healthy habit and body routine warrants for immediate attention.
Diabetes in Women Diabetes is not gender biased, but the risk of complications arising due to diabetes in women is higher. Complications such as cardiovascular diseases, ischemic heart disease, blindness are more frequent in women with diabetes than men. Diabetes also afflicts pregnant women thus posing a risk to both mother and baby. Also, the risk factors of diabetes including weight gain, obesity, and lack of physical activity are more common in women as compared to men.
This condition of diabetes in women stands distinctive because it can affect them in every stage of their life-at adolescence, in adulthood as well as during pregnancy. Lifestyle, mental stress such as hypertension and depression, disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and several others elevate the risk of diabetes in women. Some of the risk factors of diabetes in women are explained below.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) PCOS is a condition which is more common in women in their reproductive age. It is associated with insulin resistance and poses a risk for long-term diabetes. PCOS is a disorder characterized by enlarged ovaries with small cysts on their edges. Most likely to affect the level of female hormone. Overweight and obese women with PCOS are highly prone to diabetes (type 2) as they express insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia.
Stress is one of the major risk factors for diabetes. Studies associate stress with diabetes as a neuroendocrine effect, which means neurological stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) are directly linked with endocrine hormones (insulin). Stress hormones oppose the action of insulin, thus increasing the risk of diabetes.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Consuming alcohol above moderate level affects insulin sensitivity. Also, with the increasing amount of alcohol metabolites in the body, the concentration of high density cholesterol also rises, thereby elevating the risk of diabetes.
Early diagnosis of diabetes is very important as it helps to prevent the complications which are associated with it such as kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Implications of Diabetes on Fertility
Infertility and Its Prevalence Infertility is defined as failure to achieve pregnancy in spite of continuous attempts for over a period of 1 year Infertility can be very demoralising and bring in a sense of failure and loss among couples. Due to childlessness, the relationship between couples gets strained; and the blame game on who is defective begins. Not only personal, infertile couples face social consequences as well such as couples with no children are excluded from important family functions and auspicious events.
There are no barriers or boundaries for infertility. It can affect anyone from any socioeconomic levels, ethnic, race or religious group. As estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 60 to 80 million i.e. 8 - 12 % couples are affected by infertility problems worldwide. As per the report published by The New Indian Express in 2014, around 15% of the Indian populations, both male and female are infertile. In majority of infertility cases, there is a specific underlying cause that can be resolved and only about 10% cases of infertility go unexplained. In most of the instances, the effects of infertility can be reversed by simple lifestyle modifications or certain medications.
Pertaining to infertility fueled by diabetes, reports suggest nearly 40% of men affected by erectile dysfunction are diabetic.
The pervasiveness of diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions in developing countries and India is also rising to become a major healthcare burden. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to secondary complications and many individuals fall prey to this menace. However, this condition does not even spare the sexual prowess of both men and women. When it comes to diabetes and infertility, there is a link between them. Both men and women with diabetes do face fertility issues.
Diabetes is a condition usually caused due to insulin resistance or insulin imbalance. One hormonal imbalance can trigger imbalance among others including progesterone, estrogen and testosterone levels. Abnormal levels of these hormones in the body can cause a wide variety of side effects such as erectile dysfunction, cyst formation culminating into infertility issues.
Diabetes and infertility - Female
Type 1 and 2 diabetes has a strong association with female infertility. In case of type 1 being an autoimmune mediated factor, affected women also develop eventually autoimmune premature ovarian failure or thyroid disease. Diabetes has been shown to alter the period of reproductive phase in woman (delayed menarche or early postmenopause). Also, woman with type 1 diabetes suffer from high glucose levels which prevent implantation of embryo in the uterus, thus increasing risk of miscarriage. Thus, the problem may not lie in fertilisation but implantation. In case successful implantation does occur, the risk of birth defects are high, and also the baby generally tends to be large, forcing a C-section on the mother, increasing risk of infection.
However, other factors that can lead to infertility are insulin resistance and overweight. Increased prevalence of obese individuals spikes up the risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and Dysmetabolic syndrome X are the two common medical cause of infertility in affected women. PCOS is associated with oligomenorrhea (irregular periods) and secondary amenorrhea (absent periods) during the reproductive years. In PCOS, cysts or lumps are formed on the ovaries which trap eggs and prevent ovulation and it is strongly correlated with insulinresistance, diabetes and especially obesity.
Diabetes and infertility - Male
Infertility in males is characterised by an inability to produce enough quantity of sperm, immobility or misshapen sperm, erectile dysfunction, presence of blockage preventing delivery of sperm, retrograde ejaculation, etc. High blood glucose levels have been shown to contribute to infertility in males. In diabetes, complication like vasoconstriction can slow down blood circulation by narrowing blood vessels, Poor supply of blood further leads to nerve damage (neuropathy) resulting in retrograde ejaculation, in which semen is redirected into urinary bladder, instead of being ejaculated via the penis. Erectile dysfunction is also one of the common complication caused by diabetes as well as medications used to control diabetic condition. Males with type 1 diabetes have lower fertility quotient because of diabetes induced mitochondrial DNA damage in the sperms. All of these together cause significant reduction in chances of insemination, also reducing the chances of live birth of a healthy and normal child.
Pertaining to infertility fueled by diabetes, reports suggest nearly 40% of men affected by erectile dysfunction are diabetic.
How to Manage Diabetes ?
Diabetes is a condition with no cure but can also be fortunately managed with proper medications and diet. Every year, the prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes is increasing and as it can be silent and is associated with many complications, timely diagnosis is recommended. Avoidance of alcohol consumption or smoking has been recommended to manage erectile dysfunction in men.
The most potent complication of diabetes is its negative effect on multiple organ systems and fertility is no independent protected factor there. It's time to avoid/control the causative factors from a very young age to retain the well-being of the nature's given trait!
Negative impact of Diabetes on Family
Diabetes running in family has a psychological impact on person's life, well before the signs are seen.
Communications and attitudes of family members have a significant impact on the psychological behavior and clinical outcome of the patient. Sometimes, a nonsupportive behavior of family members, some personal arguments and limited health literacy can be associated with depressive symptoms. Lifestyle change of the patient, change in the type of foods consumed, time interval of food intake, caring about regular medicines, exercise, medical visits with the patient, regular blood glucose monitoring test all of which may affect family routine schedules, behavior of family members as well as family finances towards the diabetic.
Family Support-A Mandate
Family support depends on many parameters. Availability of emotional support of family members, flexibility with the daily schedule, communication patterns, response to symptoms of medical conditions.
Good communications and positive attitudes of family members always motivate their loved ones to cope up with diabetes. Educating family about diabetes-care help to manage the diseases and related symptoms like stress, anxiety, shaking, sweating, hunger, etc. better and improve quality of life. Also, it helps in reducing the chance of developing diabetes in other family members.Awareness about the signs and symptoms helps in early diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes produces extreme thirst (polydipsia) to compensate for the presence of a high level of sugar in the blood. A diabetic person may wake up during the middle of the night to drink water. People with diabetes have increased urination (polyuria) as often as once every hour. People with diabetes feel extremely hungry (polyphagia), sluggish, tired and suffer from unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and are more susceptible to infections.
In a medical condition of type 2 diabetes, family, friends, and social support to follow a specific diet and physical activities, reduced rate of smoking in adult thus play important role in the control of blood glucose. The key strategies associated with the educating patients and their family with chronic health conditions, encourage and support in timely, complete, and accurate care and decision making. Training family members in managing psychological and clinical symptoms related to diabetes include how to solve problems, to address and manage the behaviors and emotions. The involvement of the family members associated with improvements in patient's clinical and psychosocial outcomes, patient knowledge on diabetes, dietary habits, self-care.
Managing Diabetes Well
The treatment and management of diabetes depends on the type of diabetes a person has and individual efforts towards lifestyle to reduce blood glucose and normalize Diabetes.
Diabetes Self-Management Education is the first step for the care of all individuals with diabetes. Health care education to the patient reduces its impact on health. Family Approach to Diabetes Management (FADM) mainly focuses to develop healthy family behaviors and diabetes self-management." Family members can actively support diabetes-management in many ways such as social, economic, emotional support, compliance with recommended regular medication, diet and exercise.
Making a Proper Eating Plan A diabetes-fighting diet is calorieconscious, high in fiber, adequateprotein, rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, omega3 fatty acids other important nutrients, and low in fats and sweets.
Following Healthy Eating Habits Eat only when you are hungry. Eat slowly. Stop eating before you are full. Begin meals with a large glass of water. Fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables. Eat only at certain times of the day. Avoid eating outside. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Physical activity to prevent or delay the development of diabetes Physical activities make cells more active which induced utilization of circulating blood sugar for energy production making the cells more sensitive to the hormone insulin.Diabetes Checkup Profile
Stress management Any exposure to stressful situations can affect blood sugar levels. Do deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation.
Medical treatment of diabetes primarily aims to maintain normal blood glucose levels and avoid change, which may lead to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia condition. Most physicians preferred glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1 or HbA1c values, which provides information about the average state of the metabolism history for 2-3 months. If a person is diagnosed with diabetes firstly doctor tries to control blood sugar with diet, exercise, and weight management if still there are no improvements in blood glucose levels than the doctor prescribes sugar lowering medicine.Diagnostic Tests for diabetes check
Is a preventive strategy which helps to measure and determine diabetes even in its early stages.
Any symptom of diabetes prompts for an immediate diabetic screen testing.
Lipid Profile In type 2 diabetic patients, abnormality of lipid levels are seen. High levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) promote cholesterol deposition in the arterial wall increasing the risk of heart diseases. Whereas decrease in HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels as seen in diabetes can also increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
Kidney Profile The health of kidney is at peril in diabetes. Kidney contributes to maintaining glucose homeostasis such as release and uptake of glucose from the blood circulation. Thus, comprehensive testing for kidney health plays a major role in diagnosing diabetes.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Evaluate Body mass index
Treatment success depends on how well the patient and their family have been instructed about care regimes and understood about treatment. Adhering to diet and checking blood and urine glucose levels regularly.