Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar) level either due to inadequate insulin production or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin or both. It describes a metabolic disorder of multiple etiology characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat (dyslipidaemia) and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.
The main symptoms are: - Polyuria (frequent urination), Polydipsia (increased thirst), Polyphagia (increased hunger) Blood glucose is the main type of sugar found in your blood and your main source of energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries glucose to all of your body’s cells to use for energy.
Your pancreas—an organ, located between your stomach and spine, that helps with digestion—releases a hormone it makes, called insulin, into your blood. Insulin helps your blood carry glucose to all your body’s cells. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work the way it should. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. Your blood glucose levels get too high and can cause diabetes or prediabetes. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems.
The clinical diagnosis of diabetics is often prompted by symptoms such as increased thirst and urination and recurrent infections.
Blood Tests - Fasting plasma glucose, two-hour postprandial test and oral glucose tolerance test are done to know blood glucose levels.
Glycated Haemoglobin (hba1c) may be used to diagnose diabetes (if facilities are easily available).
Diabetes can be diagnosed by blood glucose and HBA1c levels:
1. A glycated hemoglobin test, which is commonly referred to as an hba1c, or simply a1c, test. This test measures the body’s average blood sugar levels from the past 3 months. An A1c of 6.5% or higher is considered a diagnosis of diabetes, 5.7% to 6.4% is considered prediabetes, and an A1c of under 5.7% is considered normal.
2. A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, which measures the body's glucose level after fasting (no caloric intake) for eight hours. An FPG result of 126 mg/dl or greater indicates a positive diagnosis of diabetes.
3. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), which measures the body's blood glucose level two hours after the intake of 75-grams of glucose. An OGTT result of 200 mg/dl or greater indicates a positive diagnosis of diabetes.
4. In someone with classic symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), a random plasma glucose test with a result of 200 mg/dl or greater indicates a positive diagnosis of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, meaning that the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar gets worse over time, despite careful management. Over time, the body’s cells become increasingly less responsive to insulin (increased insulin resistance) and beta cells in the pancreas produce less and less insulin (called beta-cell burnout). In fact, when people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they usually have already lost up to 50% or more of their beta cell function.
As type 2 diabetes progresses, people typically need to add one or more different types of medications. The good news is that there are many more choices available for treatments, and a number of these medications don’t cause as much hypoglycemia, hunger and/or weight gain. Diligent management early on can help preserve remaining beta cell function and sometimes slow progression of the disease, although the need to use more and different types of medications does not mean that you have failed.
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
- Polyuria: urinating frequently (particularly at night)
- Polydipsia: feeling very thirsty
- Polyphagia: feeling hungry frequently
- Weakness, feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk without trying
- Frequent episodes of thrush, dry, itchy skin
- Cuts, sores or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision
- Feelings of pins and needles and/or losing feeling in your feet
Some people with diabetes don’t have any of these signs or symptoms.
The only way to confirm if you have diabetes is to have your doctor do a blood test.
High blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing several medical complications. These can include:
- Heart and blood vessel problems
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Kidney damage (nephropathy)
- Eye damage (retinopathy)
- Foot damage and amputation
- Pregnancy complications
- Depression or diabetes distress
Maintaining an HbA1c of 6.5% or lower, with the elimination of glycemic control (diabetic) medications. To achieve reversal, users have to adhere fully to Holy Basil's programme recommendations for over a period of 12 months or more (depending upon the existing condition).
“Their entire process was excellent because everyday I used to have a call with my dietician. The main thing my dietician was concerned about was how I am feeling that day. For a person taking five tablets, coming down to half a tablet was a major shift. It was like a dream come true. I feel energetic. I feel good.”