Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus is a disease consisting of high sugar or glucose levels in blood. The organ pancreas produces the hormone insulin that regulates metabolism and blood sugar levels. Insulin breaks down the carbohydrates consumed by us, supplying the body cells with metabolized glucose, energizing the cells and facilitating day to day tasks by the body. Sometimes insufficient insulin is secreted by beta-cells of the pancreas, and thus fails to meet the body's requirement. This leads to surplus sugar in blood and Type 1 diabetes. Often when too much of carbohydrates are taken in, it urges the pancreas to secrete more insulin.
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Excess production of insulin may render the body cells non-reactive to insulin. This leads to Type 2 diabetes. Another type, Gestational diabetes occurs in women during pregnancy. Heredity, obesity, stress and tension, lack of physical activity, over-consumption of carbohydrates, some disease of pancreas are factors that may lead to diabetes. Diabetes for a prolonged period can be life-threatening, for it may cause cardiovascular disorders, renal failures, damage of retina and neuropathy.
Symptoms of Diabetes
1. Increased urination
2. Increased hunger
3. Increased thirst
7. Blurred vision
8. Exceptional loss of weight
9. Slow wound healing
11. Itching around genitals.
Normal Levels of Fasting Sugar
Blood sugar levels depend on the amount of food we consume, and the time when the assay takes place. In a normal person, blood sugar is regulated by the hormone insulin secreted by our pancreas. Insulin burns down glucose and supplies energy to the body cells in the process. Twelve hours generally pass between our dinner and the next day's first meal or breakfast. Our body fasts when we sleep. Four hours after dinner and the eight hours of sleep comprises of the twelve hours when our body is fasting. We break the fast when we consume our breakfast or the first meal of the day. Our blood glucose level is lowest of the day before breakfast, that is, when our body is on fast. The readings indicate the quantity of glucose or sugar circulating in blood when the person is in empty stomach. Thus it is the appropriate time to measure the fasting blood sugar level. Normal fasting blood sugar should be less than 100 mg/L in males and 83 mg/L in females.
In other words, the normal blood sugar should range between 70 to 100 mg/L (milligrams per deciliter). In case of pre-diabetes, the fasting sugar readings are between 100 mg/L to 125 mg/L. It indicates an impaired insulin mechanism within the body, and the patient really needs to worry, and take steps for putting a check on blood sugar in its incipient stage. If the readings are above 125 mg/L, the patient is a full fledged diabetic, and immediately needs to see a doctor.
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