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Everything About Diabetes

Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know About This Disease

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    Being diagnosed with Diabetes is a moment that brings mixed feelings – that of surprise, disbelief, and worry. Living with Diabetes comes with many challenges. It involves a lot of dietary restrictions, strict calorie count and constant monitoring of blood sugar levels.

    Complications from diabetes may arise and thus sufficient care must be taken to prevent them. Investing in Health Insurance for Diabetes is a sensible solution for managing the cost burden of medical treatments.

    Sometimes, people may be clueless about the early signs of Diabetes which they may be exhibiting, particularly those who do not have a family history of the disease. Also, terms like pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes may be confusing initially.

    So, here is a complete guide on Diabetes and its management.

    Types of Diabetes

    Commonly, the disease is classified under the following categories:

    • Type-1 Diabetes: Usually seen in children and young adults, this condition occurs when the body does not produce insulin. The immune system turns against the body and destroys the cells in the pancreas – the organ responsible for producing the hormone known as insulin.
    • Type-2 Diabetes: Often seen in older people, this is the most common type of diabetes where the body does not respond to insulin properly.
    • Gestational diabetes: This is a medical condition seen in pregnant women when the blood sugar levels in the body rise and come back to normal after delivery.

    Pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes is a medical condition where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal limits but not that high to be classified into Diabetes.

    Symptoms of Diabetes

    Diabetes is a chronic health condition associated with a high level of glucose in the blood and urine. You must see a doctor if your body shows the following symptoms:

    • Frequent urination
    • Excess thirst or Dehydration
    • Hunger
    • Loss of weight
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Slow wound healing
    • Infections or skin problem
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Blurred vision

    In the long run, the condition of high glucose levels leads to form complications related to vital organs of the body such as the heart, kidney, eye, nervous system, etc. Some of the problems include:

    • Cardiovascular problems like coronary artery disease, narrowing of arteries, heart attack and stroke
    • High sugar in the body can damage the walls of the capillaries that nourish the nerve leading to numbness, burning sensation or pain
    • Diabetes also results in injury to the blood vessels of the retina causing blurred vision or blindness
    • Bacterial and fungal infections also occur when the glucose levels are higher in the blood
    • Diabetes also hamper the kidney function leading to kidney failure in severe cases which might require dialysis or kidney transplant
    • Diabetes increases the risks of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease

    Causes or Risk Factors for Diabetes

    In type 1 diabetes, the immune system works against the body, attacking the insulin-generating cells in the pancreas. The cause of this type of diabetes could be genetic or environmental factors.

    Type-2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance where the body is unable to utilize it effectively. This condition is caused by a number of factors such as:

    • Aging
    • Family medical history of diabetes
    • Lack of physical activity
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol or triglycerides
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome
    • Stress or depression
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Lifestyle habits like smoking

    Treatment for Diabetes

    Firstly, a blood test is required to identify if you have diabetes and to know the levels of blood sugar in the body. The treatment would depend on the extent of your condition involving a mix of lifestyle modifications and medication.

    Diabetes affects not just your physical health but your mental health as well. Hence, a holistic approach to managing diabetes is vital. It begins with a set of changes in one’s attitude and habits including:

    • Maintaining the right body weight through exercises and healthy, low-fat and low-calorie diet
    • Refraining from consuming high-sugar or fried foods
    • Eating nutritious food with ample vegetables and fruits and more fiber
    • Staying physically active through regular walking, swimming, yoga, strength training, etc.
    • Managing stress and anxiety through relaxation techniques and good sleep
    • Controlling the intake of alcohol and caffeine as well as quitting smoking
    • Monitoring the level of blood sugar in the body

    As far as medication is concerned, Metformin is the first-line medicine prescribed for diabetic patients that significantly helps in lowering the blood sugar levels. In severe cases of diabetes, patients may require insulin injections. Inhaled-insulin drugs are also available and have become convenient for patients. Care must be taken to ensure that the sugar levels do not become extremely low - a condition called Hypoglycaemia – with symptoms like sweating, hands trembling, fatigue or fainting. In such a case, the patient must have some fast-acting sugary substances such as to control these effects.

    Thanks to the technological advancement and availability of glucose monitoring devices, monitoring the rise or drop in one’s blood sugar levels have become easy.

    Take Away

    While researchers are figuring out the cure for Diabetes, there is a lot of responsibility on the part of the person dealing with this chronic disease. It is amazing to see the determination that many people with Diabetes show when it comes to leading a disciplined lifestyle.

    With self-care and constant monitoring combined with medication, one can lead a normal life. Engaging in frank conversations with your doctor, understanding how your body responds to treatment and creating a strategy for effectively managing your condition is of the utmost importance when dealing with diabetes.

    When complications arise, it demands dedicated medical attention requiring medication or surgery. With rising costs of medical treatment, buying a diabetes insurance plan becomes necessary.

    The burden of medical expenses becomes lighter if you pick customized health insurance plans such as Care Freedom by Care Health Insurance which provides health cover for diabetes.

    Disclaimer: The above information is only for reference purposes. Underwriting of claims for Diabetes is subject to policy terms and conditions.

    ^^Number of Cashless Healthcare Providers till 31st Dec 2022.

    #Source: IBAI Claims Handbook for FY 19-20

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