Diabetes - After Hours Doctors

Understand Diabetes: Part 2 (Symptoms, Risks, Treatment & Prevention)

People with diabetes have two major issues, either insulin is not produced by the pancreas or the body does not properly respond to insulin. Both conditions result in a high sugar or glucose level in the blood. When the glucose stored in our body is not processed in the cells it leads to Type 1 diabetes. The problem associated with insulin resistance diabetes occurs due to heredity factors, fatty body, improper exercise, and smoking. 

When type 1 diabetes develops in the body it has sudden and life-threatening symptoms and can also be treated quite quickly. In type 2 diabetes there may be no symptoms for which it might go unnoticed for some time or even for years. But when the symptoms are noticed, complications related to diabetes may already be present.

 The following are some common symptoms of diabetes. 

  • Being more thirsty than usual
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss (type 1)
  • Gradually putting on weight (type 2)
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy

If you or your family members are experiencing above symptoms in combination, seek medical attention and assessment of your symptoms. After Hours Doctor team can assist you when your regular GP is not available, and your medical need is urgent. Call 1300 Dr To Me – After Hours Home Doctor for an after hours doctor visit at your home.

Identification of risk factors for diabetes is important to assure its prevention. The risk factor for Type 1 and Type 1 diabetes are discussed below:

Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

Family history: children are at risk of developing type 1 diabetes if their parents or siblings experience this problem. 

Geographic factors: Although the reason is unknown but in some geographic locations such as Sweden and Finland, the rate of type 1 diabetes is the highest. 

Environmental: Sometimes exposure to viral illnesses can become a predisposing factor for Type 1 diabetes. It happens because of damaged immune system leading to autoantibodies production.

Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:

Although the cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood. Certain factors clearly play their role by increasing the risk. These factors include: 

Weight gain: Weight gain often results in increased fatty tissues that make cells resistant to insulin. 

Family history: A person with a parent or siblings with type 2 diabetes is more at the risk of this disease

Activity level: Physical activity helps keep blood glucose level in control because energy makes cells insulin sensitive. Reduced activity level puts a person at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes 

Age: Elderly people can develop type 2 diabetes because of reducing level of physical activity and muscle loss. 

Race: Again the reason is not known but people belonging to certain races show more cases of diabetes these include Hispanics, black Americans, and Asians.

Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes

In type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the patient is treated to normalize the insulin level in the body and control excessive storage of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is treated with regular exercise, intake of insulin and special diet. Type 2 diabetes is treated by losing weight, taking special diet and the intake of medication. The medicine can be injected and may be taken orally depending upon patient’s needs. Medication is also used for type 2 diabetes but is prohibited for female with pregnancy and breastfeeding babies. In case of pregnancy or breastfeeding diabetes could be controlled by diet, physical exercise, and insulin therapy. Medication used in the type 2 diabetes is aimed to: “increase insulin output by the pancreas, decrease the amount of glucose released from the liver, increase the sensitivity response of cells to insulin, decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine, and slowing down emptying of the stomach, thereby delaying nutrient digestion and absorption in the small intestine”. 

There are general directives and advice for the diabetics that help patient maintain a balanced diet. Along with this regular exercise is also needed to be assured. Obesity is considered to be the main reason for type 2 diabetes, so obesity should be controlled with a healthy dietary regime. Fats should be less than 10% in the diet. For patients with type 2 diabetes regular exercise is highly beneficial as it decreases hyperglycemia by increasing sensitivity to insulin, weight loss is obtained and improves lipid profile is also achieved. An active and healthy lifestyle makes the patient stay healthier for a long time. 

The good news of diabetes is that it is not an infectious disease. The disease can be prevented by adopting a healthier routine. The main tasks include exercise, diet, termination of smoking, and weight loss. Exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes by 6%. It also helps in burning excessive fats in the human body. According to reports exercise is one of the major reasons for the development of insulin sensitivity in the muscles of a diabetic patient. A diabetic patient can prevent disease risk by maintaining their sugar levels with diet. Quality and quantity modifications of food is a plausible reason for diabetes prevention. 

There are some guidelines for dietary changes that can reduce the impact of your diabetic illness:

  • The carbohydrates taken up by a diabetic patient should be in the form of starch like maize, rice, beans, and potatoes. 
  • All refined sugar diets should be avoided like honey, glucose, soft drinks and sweets.
  • Animal fats such as cheese, butter, milk and other food rich with saturated fat should be replaced with vegetables and fruits.
  • Smoking should be avoided by diabetic patient and alcohol should be used in a moderate quantity.
  • The patients should take small meals more in number rather than two big meals in a day. 

Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting millions of people across the globe. This disease can be treated through medication and prevented by changing lifestyles. Uncontrolled or unmanaged diabetes has led to the death of many patients. Effective management and control is possible through regular medication, exercise, and dietary changes. It is emphasized that patients should remain healthy and active and avoid food rich in fats and glucose.  Call 1300 Dr To Me After Hours Home Doctor if you or your family members are experiencing symptoms and are in need of an urgent medical review during the after-hours period.

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Disclaimer: 1300 Dr To Me provides free health information blogs for the community to increase awareness on health & medical topics. The information in this article is educative and does not constitute diagnosis. Please consult a doctor, or request an urgent after-hours home doctor visit should you or your family members need medical assistance. If you or your family member are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 000.

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