Diabetes |Type 1 diabetes|Type 2 Diabetes | Symptoms
What is Diabetes?
Before trying to understand the disease of diabetes, it is essential to have a basic idea about an important internal organ of human body called “Pancreas”. Pancreas is more or less an elongated tapering triangular shaped organ, vaguely resembling a thick mango leaf, found deeply nestled beneath liver, sandwiched between abdominal cavity (above the duodenal curve) and spine. Like liver, pancreas too is a glandular organ which functions as both exocrine (secreting through ducts) and endocrine (ductless) gland. As an exocrine gland, pancreas secrets enzymes to break down proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids into easily absorbable food by the internal system, through narrow ducts. Pancreas, as an endocrine gland, generates the hormone insulin from its special cells called “beta cells” and directly (without ducts) releases the hormones into blood stream to control blood sugar levels throughout the day.
One of the most critical parts of pancreas, called the islets of Langerhans is a region consisting of different types of cells categorized as alpha, beta, PP cells, delta and epsilon cells. Let us see the functions of these cells individually:
- Alpha cells- secret glucagon
- Beta cells- secret insulin (in which we are more interested presently)
- PP cells- secret pancreatic polypeptides
- Delta cells- secret stoma statin
- Epsilon cells- secret ghrelin.
The beta cells that produce insulin are of much relevance to the present discussion. The role of beta cells is a major factor that determines blood sugar levels in human body by producing, storing and releasing insulin at a time when it is required by the system.
When blood glucose levels begin to escalate (during digestion), beta respond quickly by releasing some of the stored insulin while simultaneously producing the hormone to compensate the depletion.
In addition to insulin, beta cells also produce the hormone amylin and C-peptide which are equally important in preventing ill-effects of the fluctuating blood glucose levels. Amylin retards the rate of glucose entering the blood stream, playing the role of a short–term regulator of blood glucose levels.
C-peptide is a molecule that helps to stem the complications related to neuropathy and vascular disorders by supporting the repair of muscular layers of arteries. It is secreted and released into blood stream in equal quantities to insulin (measured in moles).
What is Type-I Diabetes?
There is an anomalous change in the functioning of immune system which mysteriously kills beta cells of the same human body, resulting in Type I diabetes. Though the root cause of attack by immune system has not been precisely determined, the research studies in 2011 indicate that when pancreatic cells undergo extreme stress at the onset of Type I diabetes.
Incidence of Type I diabetes is more common in people below the age of 40 years, more particularly in adolescents. Type I diabetes can also be found but rarely in people aged above 40.The hereditary pass-on of Type I diabetes is less noticed than Type II diabetes. Children of fathers with Type I diabetes are more likely to inherit the disease than children of mothers with Type I diabetes.
The main symptoms of Type I disease are
- Increased thirst
- Need for frequent urination
- Irregular pangs of hunger
- Belated healing of injuries
- Tickling sensation in feet
- Increased bouts of sweating
- Intolerance to small dips in atmospheric temperature
Although medicines are prescribed to patients of Type I diabetes to prevent from further aggravation, the inevitable method of tackling with the disease is following strict diet regimen with intake of low-calorie food and comestibles that are digested slowly in human system.
Incidence of Type II Diabetes:
When the insulin produced by beta cells is either insufficient or not recognized by the system or when there is no production of insulin at all, type II diabetes sets in. Production in higher quantities of insulin prompted by the insensitivity of the body to insulin wears down beta cells which are forced to secret beyond their normal capacity. This wearing down of beta cells eventually leads to their death in perpetuation. Once the Type II diabetes makes its presence felt in human body, it stays forever till death of the victim.
The exact cause of type II diabetes still remains obscure to scientists and the research has been going on incessantly in the matter for several centuries. Sedentary life style/confined to chair while performing official duties for several hours in a day restricting active physical movements and high intake of alcoholic drinks are found to be the probable indirect causes of incidence of diabetes II.
The symptoms of type II diabetes are enumerated below:
- Dry mouth
- Increased hunger ( especially after eating)
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Unexplained weight loss (in spite of eating sufficiently)
- Obscure vision
- Fainting (in rare cases).
Since the malady of type II diabetes pervades the system slowly and gradually, it is not detected in the early stages by many victims. Until the repercussions get strong enough to cause havoc in the system, the disease continues to go unnoticed for quite a considerable length of time.
Its other symptoms may include:
- Delayed healing of injuries or sores
- Itching in the groins or vaginal area (in females)
- Accumulated of ants in the unflushed urinated areas
- Numbness/Pricking sensation in feet
- Frequent fungal infections
- Unexplained high palpitation even for minor physical stress
- Profuse sweating without any obvious reason
- Gradual blockage of eyesight due to growth of cataract
- Erectile dysfunction (in males)
- Poor immunity with ever-increasing inability to fight against the advent of new diseases, with the progress of age.
Remedial Measures For Diabetes:
While there is no remedy to eradicate diabetes II permanently, the only way left for the victims is to stop further aggravating. The best method to tackle the ailment is to minimise the bad effects caused by it through maintenance of glucose levels in the body by frequent medical check-up, diet control and proper physical exercises. Regular physical workouts, healthy eating, maintenance of body weight as per BMI (Body Mass Index) standards, intake of food less in sugars easily imbibed by the body etc., are some of the tips one can follow to prevent from further worsening. These remedial steps should accompany the regular intake of medicines in appropriate dosages as prescribed by personal doctor/ physician.