What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a fairly common health condition. It is a public health epidemic that heightens the risk of cardiac diseases, stroke, and if not controlled, it may possibly lead to blindness, chronic kidney diseases, recurrent foot ulcerations and amputations. It is a disease of the metabolism levels that limits the body's capability to manage the glucose or sugar in the bloodstream. This condition is popularly referred to as blood sugar too.

While it is a chronic condition that requires lifestyle changes and strict discipline to manage, the best diabetes doctors along with a network of physicians and support staff work towards ensuring that those diagnosed with diabetes are able to lead a healthy life.

What causes Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus or commonly known as just diabetes is a combination of several conditions that primarily focus on the problems with insulin, a hormone, that is released by the pancreas, to help the body store and utilize the glucose and fat that one gets from food that is consumed. The management of diabetes is done by some of the best endocrinologists in Fortis Hospital, Kolkata.

The following conditions lead to the development of diabetes:

  • If the pancreas stops producing any insulin
  • If the pancreas produces insulin is very limited quantities
  • If the body is not able to follow the required response mechanisms to insulin which is a condition known as 'insulin resistance'

Understanding Diabetes

Insulin is an important hormone and has a critical role to play in diabetes. The leading endocrinologist in Kolkata can gauge the fluctuations in hormones. The human body comprises of millions of cells that generate energy. In order to produce energy, the cells require food in a simple form. The food and drink consumed by the body are processed and broken down into sugar or glucose. The sugar is then transported to the cells via the bloodstream which in turn is utilized to produce the energy that the body requires to be able to perform daily activities.

The quantity of sugar in the blood is precisely regulated by insulin which is the hormone released from the pancreas in limited amounts all the time. At the time that the amount of sugar in the bloodstream increases to a specific level, more and more insulin is released by the pancreas that then pushes the sugar into the cells. This results in the blood glucose levels experiencing a drop.

If the sugar levels in the blood are really on the lower end, the body automatically signals to eat. This ensures that some glucose is released and subsequently stored in the liver. The body of those individuals diagnosed with diabetes either do not produce insulin or are insulin resistant. This eventually leads to increased levels of glucose circulating in the bloodstream. The condition is also known as high blood sugar.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes may be categorized into different types including:

Type 1 diabetes is a form of autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and kills cells in the pancreas, where insulin is manufactured. The majority of individuals with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and thus revert to insulin injections in order to regulate the blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is common in people less than 20 years of age. However, it may develop at any age.

Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes as the body does not stop producing insulin. However, the insulin secreted by the pancreas is either not adequate or the body becomes insulin resistant and the glucose levels begin to build in the bloodstream. This is the most common form of diabetes affecting adults across the world.

Prediabetes develops when the glucose in the bloodstream is higher than the normal quantities. However, the range is not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that occurs during pregnancy. This form of diabetes is caused by insulin-blocking hormones that are generated by the placenta.

Diabetes insipidus is a rare disease where the kidneys tend to remove large amounts of fluid from the body. The condition is not related to diabetes mellitus.