What is Diabetes?
Also known as a silent killer, Diabetes is a disorder that can lead to several life-threatening complications. Here is a side of India which we must acquaint ourselves with India is among the top three countries in the world with the highest diabetic population. At Apollo Clinic Barrackpore, we repeatedly reinforce that Diabetes is a disorder and not a disease. It is a condition that is very much in our control to manage. It is the core belief that drives our team of highly skilled and experienced diabetologists.
What is Diabetology?
Diabetology is the specialty branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Diabetes is a condition wherein glucose does not reach the cells, thus making them starve for energy. It could be due to very low levels of insulin in the blood or reduced ability of the body to use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas, which in turn, helps our cells absorb glucose. Consistent high levels of blood sugar could lead to serious complications such as heart, eye, foot, or kidney diseases.
At Apollo Clinic Barrackpore, we aim to make diabetes ‘disease-free' by delivering the best outcomes through a patient-centric care model that combines comprehensive clinical care with sustained lifestyle management and some behavioral changes in the individual.
What is the first step?
At our Diabetology Department, the first step is to understand the type of diabetes that has affected the individual. There are four types of diabetes, each having their course of management. The symptoms and treatment measures of each type of diabetes are detailed below:
Type 1 Diabetes or Insulin-dependent Diabetes –Also known as Juvenile Diabetes, this type of diabetes develops in children or young adults and is less prevalent. It is an auto-immune condition, wherein the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thus creating a lack of insulin in the body. Type 1 Diabetes can be managed by lifelong insulin supplementation, diet control, and exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes or Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes –This type is the most prevalent and mostly affects middle-aged and older adults. In this condition, insulin is produced in insufficient amounts. Hereditary and lifestyle factors such as low physical activity, being overweight or obese, a sedentary lifestyle, and more contribute to the development of Type 2 Diabetes
A common symptom of Type 2 diabetes - is the presence of dark velvety skin on the neck and armpits. Treatment and prevention strategies for this kind of diabetes focus on medication and lifestyle interventions such as regular physical activity and a balanced diet. Another critical component of managing this condition is self-monitoring of blood glucose.
Gestational Diabetes – This type of diabetes is a temporary condition that arises during the second trimester of pregnancy and then disappears. Gestation Diabetes Management (GDM) is a team effort of intensive monitoring and insulin. Typically, a GDM team at Apollo Clinic Barrackpore comprises an obstetrician, a diabetes physician, a diabetes educator, a dietician, a midwife, and a pediatrician.
Pre-diabetes – Though technically not a type of Diabetes, Pre-diabetes is a condition that needs careful monitoring. It is a state where an individual’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. It indicates a high risk of diabetes and also the onset of heart or blood vessel diseases. Pre-diabetes can be managed by following a balanced diet, appropriate physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight to delay or prevent the progression.