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Your Diabetologist can help you Stay Healthy
Literally, the meaning of ‘diabetes mellitus’ is sugar in the urine. Generally, characterised by high sugar levels in the blood, it is a disease that cannot be cured but can be controlled. If not successfully managed, diabetes can lead to serious medical complications, including heart diseases, strokes, eye and kidney disorders, and problems involving the blood vessels, nerves, and feet.
Heredity and lifestyle are the major factors contributing to diabetes. Individuals who are above the age of 45, overweight, have close relatives with diabetes, and are physically unfit are more prone to the disease.
There are two types of diabetes:
1. In this form of diabetes, the person produces very little or no insulin. Onset is sudden and often with serious symptoms. Generally, occurs before 30 years of age and rarely in childhood.
2. This form of diabetes is much more common, accounting for over 80% of cases. In such patients, the body’s insulin production may or may not be inadequate — the main problem appears to be that the body’s cells resist insulin’s sugar-regulating effects. Onset is more gradual and usually occurs in older adults.
Sudden weight loss, increased urination, increased thirst, increase hunger, tiredness, frequent infections, non-healing wounds, and blurry vision are some of the common symptoms.
Besides the patient’s primary doctor, diabetes care is usually managed by a team of healthcare professionals that may include alongside a doctor specialising in diabetes (endocrinologist), one or more nurses, and a dietician.
Diabetes can be controlled through:
- Education or awareness
- Meal planning
- Diabetes tests or monitoring tools
A person with diabetes is more likely to have the following complications:
- A heart attack
- A stroke
- Eye problems leading to blindness
- Kidney diseases that may lead to dialysis or transplantation
- A foot or leg amputated
- Frequent infection (urinary tract infection in women)
- Sexual problems
When the blood sugar falls below the normal range, the body does not work like it normally should. Most people with diabetes may experience some unpleasant symptoms when the blood sugar falls below about 70 mg/dl. This is called a low sugar reaction or hypoglycaemia. This can happen anywhere, any time of the day. Thus, a diabetic must be aware of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hypoglycaemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include, a shaky feeling, sweating, tiredness, intense hunger, a feeling of confusion, light-headedness, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision or headaches, a feel numbness or tingling in mouth or lips, seizure and, in some cases, a loss of consciousness.
Hypoglycaemia may be caused by an overdose of diabetes medication, skipping a meal, eating inadequately, or exercising more than normal.
A hypoglycemic attack needs to be addressed immediately by eating something that will raise the blood sugar quickly, like two or three spoons of sugar or 1/2 cup of fruit juice, a cup of milk, or 1/2 cup of any soft drink.
Medica’s department of Diebetology has a comprehensive diabetes clinic with all facilities under one roof including, full biochemistry, eye check-up, foot check-up (foot sensation, foot pressure, and arterial doppler), body fat estimation, cardiac autonomic neuropathy testing, counselling by diabetes educators, counseling by dieticians, and endocrinologists.
Other special clinics run by the department include the following:
- Thyroid clinic
- Obesity clinic
- Growth clinic
Diseases that can be treated at Medica Superspecialty Hospital’s Department of Diabetology and endocrinology include:
- Thyroid disorders
- Short stature
- Lipid disorders
- Adrenal gland disorders
- Parathyroid gland disorders
- Puberty-related hormonal disorders
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Hirsutism (unwanted male-pattern hair growth in ladies)