Diabetes Complications and control measures
Md Billal Hossen :
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and serious non-communicable diseases all over the world. It is the leading cause of death, disability, and economic loss, and it is identified as a major threat to global development. Among the adults (age 20-79 years) with diabetes in the top five South East Asian countries, Bangladesh is in the second position. The number of people with diabetes in Bangladesh was 5.10 million in 2013, which is expected to increase to 8.20 million by 2035. Diabetes can be defined disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood is called Diabetes Mellitus. It is commonly known as diabetes. Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time.
What complications may arise from diabetes?
Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It is possible for your blood glucose to drop, especially if you're taking insulin or a sulfonylurea drug (those make your body produce insulin throughout the day). With these medications, if you eat less than usual or were more active, your blood glucose may dip too much. If you have type 2 diabetes and you take insulin, you should always carry glucagon with you-should you become unresponsive or unconscious because of hypoglycemia, you will need a quick injection of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that starts a process in your body that raises your blood glucose level.
Neuropathy: Neuropathy is another term for nerve damage, and it occurs in more than 50 percent of people with diabetes. Neuropathy can have a variety of symptoms; these symptoms often occur in your feet or legs - and sometimes your hands and arms - when you have diabetes. The symptoms include tingling, increased sensitivity to touch, pain, numbness and weakness. In its most extreme form, amputation of a limb may occur because of poor circulation or infections occurring when you have neuropathy, says Dr. Gregory Dodell, an assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, who is also in private practice at Central Park Endocrinology in New York.
Although there are several causes for neuropathy, longer exposure to high blood glucose levels plays a key role.
Kidney disease: Kidney disease is a common complication because high levels of glucose cause the kidneys to filter too much blood, making them work extra hard, according to the American Diabetes Association. Waste products can build up and make the kidneys stop working. The effects of severe kidney disease are often devastating.
Vision problems: A condition called diabetic retinopathy can affect your vision over time when you have uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The excess glucose causes damage to the vessels in your retina, which is part of the back of the eye. Symptoms include blurry vision and poorer daytime and nighttime vision. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy causes vision loss.
Heart disease: "Diabetes kills from the heart. The majority of patients will end up having some atherosclerosis-related event," Lewy-Alterbaum says. (Atherosclerosis is a hardening and thickening of the arteries.) .High blood glucose over time damages the heart - and those with diabetes are already more likely to have heart-related problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Stroke: You're two to four times more likely to have a stroke when you have diabetes, the American Stroke Association reports. This is because excess glucose in the body can lead to more fatty deposits or clots in the walls of the blood vessels. The clots can cause narrowing or blockages in your blood vessels, which could eventually stop the flow of oxygen to the brain and cause a stroke.
Gastroparesis:Gastroparesis is a condition where your stomach slows or stops the movement of food to the small intestine. Diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis.
Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common problem among patients with Type 2 diabetes; those who are overweight or obese are already more prone to sleep apnea.
How can we prevent diabetes?
The principle of controlling diabetes is to maintain proper dietary habit and regular exercise along with lifestyle modification.
o Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body's resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
o Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
o Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt.
o Limit takeaway and processed foods. 'Convenience meals' are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It's best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
o Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks a day and women should have no more than one.
o Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
o Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
Dietary modification and life style changes can improve diabetes which will lead to a diabetes free nation. So more emphasize should be given to control diabetes rather than treatment as it will reduce economic burden of mass people. Let's change our dietary habit, be diabetes free.
(Md Billal Hossen is a student of Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology, Faculty of Biological Science, Islamic niversity, of Bangladeshh)