Often times, the diabetes symptoms are ignored because they can be quite mild at the very beginning, even though diabetes can then affect several body organs in the end. This (the mild symptoms) explains why close to 20% of the population gets type 2 diabetes sooner or later, without even knowing about it.
But how does diabetes creep in? Your body produces insulin, which is supposed to turn sugar into energy. Still, if your body cells grow resistant to insulin, your body develops insulin resistance, also known as type 2 diabetes.
What is actually causing diabetes? Even though the medical community is actively looking for answers, researchers didn’t come to a firm, unanimous conclusion yet. Still, many specialists agree on the most important risk factors; here they are:
1. People carrying excess weight have a greater risk of getting diabetes. The reason for this is simple: the fattened tissues are much more resistant to insulin in comparison with the normal, less fatty tissues.
2. According to Louis Kraml, people living sedentary lives are prone to getting type 2 diabetes because their blood isn’t circulating as it should; in addition to this, a less active life leads to obesity most of the time.
3. Alcohol consumption is another big risk factor; the quality of the food that you are ingesting plays a very important part as well. Try to stay away from junk food, the one that is usually sold in fast foods. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, because the antioxidants within them will boost your body’s immunity.
If you notice unusual symptoms, you should get in touch with your doctor right away. Pre-diabetes can often be reversed, and if you learn to eat right and exercise you will dramatically increase your chances of living a normal life.
A1C is already considered to be a common blood test that helps both doctors and patients see how well diabetes is being managed. The test is also known as the glycohemoglobin or glycated hemoglobin test and it is used to screen for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This test shows the levels of blood sugar in the past two or three months; basically, it shows the quantity of hemoglobin coated in sugar.
Two useful A1C charts can be found here:
Hemoglobin is a protein present in the red blood cells which is responsible for bringing oxygen from the lungs to the entire body. Glucose has the property of linking to the hemoglobin molecules. The higher glucose in the blood, the bigger the quantity of hemoglobin which is gyrated. About 90 percent of the hemoglobin in our blood is hemoglobin A. Among the components of the hemoglobin cell, there is a minor one to which glucose can bind.
When the A1C test shows high levels, it simply means that there is poor blood sugar control, which is connected to diabetes complications in the near future. Among the most common diabetes complications there are heart disease, eye disease, stroke, kidney disease and nerve damage.
How can be the test levels interpreted? If the reading is between 4 and 5.6 percent, the tested person is considered healthy and has a lower risk of developing diabetes. If the values are between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, it means that there is high risk of diabetes and if the values are beyond 6.5 percent, the person already has diabetes.
The values of the test are somehow modified when the patient has also anemia, takes some vitamin supplements or has high blood cholesterol levels. Thus it is important that these aspects are discussed with the doctor before the A1C test is performed. For persons that already have diabetes, the test should be done once every three or four months, in order to determine how well their bodies cope with the disease.
Screening for prediabetes is also very important. The A1C test is among the tools used to see if there are any signs of prediabetes. The most important aspect that this test is showing is the way that the body dealt with sugar in the blood for several months prior the testing. When a patient is scheduled for this testing, he doesn’t need to fast overnight, as the results of the test are not influenced by eating.
Losing weight due to a healthy change in diet, as well as doing half an hour of physical exercises each day are responsible for slowing the development of diabetes, while the blood glucose levels can even return to normal and healthy levels. Persons that are overweighed don’t necessarily need to reach a healthy weight in order to control blood sugar. Even a r reduction of 5 percent up to 10 percent in body weight can have positive impact on blood glucose levels.
The A1C test cannot be used to measure the daily blood glucose fluctuations. In the same way, it cannot be used to adjust the insulin intake of patients with diabetes. The test is perfect for showing the way in which the body controlled the sugar levels in the prior six up to eight weeks. But the test is not a good indicator of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, so it shouldn’t be used for that.
Once diabetes has been diagnosed by the specialists, it is crucial that you take the medicines and follow the diet rules that you are given; the quality of your future life with diabetes will depend on these aspects.
However, a recent study has proved that retired persons do not take the medicines if they have been diagnosed with hypertension or even diabetes. Although some of them have been taking them correctly before retirement, once they stop working, many of them stop taking the treatment on a regular basis. And when the treatment is not done correctly and daily, health is going to suffer and the medical problems can quickly aggravate.
Medication adherence has been studied by several researchers and there have been identified several connections between it and patient demographics, the actual physician and the pharmacist.
Close to twenty thousand retired citizens in Finland have been involved in a recent study; they have been studied three to four years after retirement. The average age of the group was 62 and about three quarters of the subjects were women. The results clearly showed that people with diabetes and hypertension were prone to poor medication adherence.
There have also been offered several explanations for this behavior, among them being the belief that some people have that once they retire, their health related problems will somehow diminish and even go away. Other explanations included the change in the daily routine of the retired persons.
Scientists have identified the genes that are directly connected to obesity and diabetes. During the annual meeting of the European association for the study of diabetes specialists have clearly demonstrated that exercises can chemically alter these genes, which are present in the fat tissues on our bodies.
It is known that obesity is an important factor that can cause diabetes. The studies have demonstrated the very important changes that take place at the DNA level once a person is involved in a six month length exercise program. In one of the recent studies, the subjects were overweighed men aged 37. Subcutaneous fat biopsies were taken before and after the six months program.
What happened after the six months period? First of all, a significant decrease in waist circumference and in the waist per hip ratio, a decrease on diastolic blood pressure and heart rate, as well as a significant increase in the values of the HDL cholesterol. The exercises are also found responsible for changes in DNA methylation in genes that are important for fat metabolism. It looks like these genes will be targeted by the future medication as well.
Precursors of diabetes and atherosclerosis are present in obese kids. These kids have blood vessel damage and insulin resistance, and these are considered by the specialists as the precursors to these two severe medical conditions. Parents that understand this aspect, change the routine and diet of their kids in order to preserve their health as long as possible. In the US one in ten kids is overweight, and this means that correct diets and physical exercises are much needed.
Another recent study has demonstrated that people consider they need to reach the age of 30 in order to begin thinking about and making healthy changes in their lives, in order to prevent serious diseases. The reality is that it is a lifetime fight against all things that could aggravate or determine heart diseases and diabetes. Young kids that are already obese have signs of atherosclerosis, which is directly connected to developing heart illness in the later life. These kids also show signs of diabetes and this requires a rapid and visible change in their life routines and way of eating.