What is Diabetes?
An average built young man of about twenty eight years with his lovely wife and cute one year old baby tip toed in to my consulting room. As always the young lady was smiling and the bay too. I asked them to be seated. It went fine till then. Then there was hushed up silence. A few minutes went by. He took out a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and placed it on my table. It was a lab report. Neatly printed test values and normal values. While I was gazing through the report sheet something happened. When I looked up the two faces found a little gloomy.
Without me a telling anything he shot a question at me. Doctor, do I have to take tablets lifelong. What tablets? I asked. Yes I know I have Diabetes. I tested for blood sugar since I am having excess thirst and passes urine very frequently; I lost four-five kilos. Lab people told me that I have Diabetes. The dialogues went on. I spent some time with them and finally gave prescriptions for diet, exercise and medicines.
This is the latest scenario. More young people are becoming diabetic. Even school going children have the so called adult type of diabetes. There are more undiagnosed Diabetics than diagnosed. Diabetics live longer and have more diabetes related complications. Diabetes has become a house hold disease and house hold name. You just touch a person, he also is a diabetic. That is the prevalence. The prevalence is worldwide and alarming. India was heading towards becoming the diabetic capital of the world. However China took over and they lead.
As such Diabetes is not a disease. . It is a constellation health issues resulting from increased level of blood sugar due to the deficiency of insulin or defective insulin action. . It is a body disorder. The health issues related to diabetes can be acute and life threatening. Can be chorionic and debilitating. It is progressive and silent. Diabetes, to be exact Diabetes Mellitus, is also having bad name Silent Killer. Diabetes creeps in to all organs in your body and spares none. That is why we have retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and so on.
Essentially the problem is related to food. The handling of the major item of food, carbohydrate by our body is at stake. The metabolism of other food components also affected. Our food has 5 major components. 1. Carbohydrate, I would like put it as carb for short. 2. Proteins 3.Fats 4.Vitamins 5. Minerals. By digestion the Carb is finally converted to glucose; protein to amino acids and fat to fatty acids. Vitamins and minerals used up at different levels. Glucose is the major source of energy to our body. That we get mainly from food items, such as rice, chapathi,iddali, dosa,uppuma,oats, and the like. Other food items also contain cab,only at lesser proportion. Certain organs in our body such as brain cannot go without glucose. Insulin is essential for the transport of glucose in to each cell of our body. If there is absence or deficiency of insulin action there will be chaos. That chaos is Diabetes.
As already said Insulin facilitate entry of glucose in to cells. If there is deficiency of insulin or inefficient insulin action glucose will start accumulating in blood. There it starts the evils of diabetes. Kidneys filter out the excess sugar and there appears sugar in urine. Along with sugar more water also come out through urinecausing excess urination. The more one urinate the thirstier he becomes. Body cells are not getting glucose and one feels hungry. More hungry,more thirsty, frequent urinationexcessiveweakness. Losing weight. All the symptoms of diabetes are set in. Like it or not you become a member inthe diabetic community.
Insulin is produced by beta cells that are grouped in theIslets of Langerhans in the pancreas inside the belly. These insulin producing cells were discovered by the scientist Langerhans and is named after him. Pancreas produces insulin in response to rise in blood sugar following food intake, Insulin effectively controls blood sugar. If the pancreas is not able to produce sufficient insulin or there is defective insulin action Diabetes develops.
Not necessarily one has to have all symptoms or any symptom at all. It may be just an itching in the ear or itching at the private parts that lead to the diagnosis of Diabetes. You went to do a charity by donating blood. The lab people tell that your blood sugar is slightly high. To your surprise you become a diabetic. Being the parents diabetic youmay go for a blood test for sugar.You may test positive for Diabetes. The situation is such that every Indian is a diabetic unless proved otherwise.Thereare more undiagnosed diabetics than those diagnosed.