Diabetes or blood sugar is a condition that occurs when the body is not able to absorb sugar from the food consumed and use it effectively for energy. This results in an accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream. Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to serious complications such as damage to the organs and tissues of the body including the heart, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Type 1 and type 2 are the two common types of diabetes.
Some people also have gestational diabetes. The main cause of the condition is based on the type of diabetes.
Causes of blood sugar
Some of the causes of diabetes are as follows:
- If the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, it causes diabetes.
- When the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, it may lead to diabetes.
- With time, insulin becomes less effective, and this causes blood sugar levels to rise.
- Certain lifestyle choices can also cause diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes is caused due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Symptoms of blood sugar
Some of the common symptoms of diabetes are as follows:
- Weakness and tiredness
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Blurred vision
- Unexpected weight loss
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the hands or feet
- Healing of the cuts becomes slow
- Dry and itchy skin
- Yeast infections
- Increased hunger caused by lack of energy
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fast heartbeat
- Moist skin or sweating
- Pale skin
- Headache and seizures
Treatment for blood sugar
Doctors recommend different treatments for blood sugar depending upon the type of the condition. Some of the medicines need to be taken orally while others are administered through injections. Here are some of the treatments for blood sugar that may be recommended by doctors.
Insulin is one of the main methods to treat type 1 diabetes. In case one’s body is unable to produce enough insulin, then injected insulin would help control blood sugar levels. There are different types of insulin. Rapid-acting insulin should be taken 15 minutes before meals while short-acting insulin takes 30 minutes to reach one’s bloodstream.
Medicines also help control diabetes. Some medicines that help lower the blood sugar are Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which slow down your body’s ability to breakdown sugars and starchy foods. Another medicine is biguanides, which helps reduce the amount of glucose made by the liver. Furthermore, sulfonylureas help to stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin. Oral medicines and insulin slow down the release of glucose from one’s liver, help to get rid of glucose from the body, and also block the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Pancreatic islet transplant
Another treatment method is a pancreatic islet transplant. Here, clusters of islet cells are collected and planted from a donor into the patient’s pancreas.
Immunotherapy is another treatment option for diabetes. It prevents the immune system from destroying insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Bariatric surgery is an indirect treatment for diabetes. This is an option in case the patient has unmanageable type 2 diabetes .
Although some of the risk factors associated with blood sugar such as family history and race cannot be changed, there are others that can be controlled. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as walking for a minimum of 30 minutes, reducing stress levels, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and taking medicines on time.
One should also be aware that sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes. But it is advisable to limit the intake of sugary foods. If one is at risk of developing diabetes, they must consult a doctor. There is no permanent cure for this condition but it can be controlled and managed effectively with lifestyle changes and medication.