What is diabetes ?
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by excessive glucose levels in the blood. It is caused by the lack or lack of use of a hormone: insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas. It works as a key by allowing glucose to enter the cells of the body namely: muscles, adipose tissue and liver where it will be processed and stored. In cells, glucose is used as a source of energy for the body. The level of glucose in the blood then decreases.
The pancreas also secretes another hormone: glucagon. Glucagon has a hormonal function opposite to that of insulin, since it causes a rise in blood sugar. It allows you to release the glucose stored in the liver, outside meals, during a drop in energy or a drop in blood sugar. The regulation of the action of insulin and glucagon makes it possible to maintain a glycemia correct and appropriate to the effort provided by the body.
However, in people with diabetes, this regulation system no longer works properly. When an individual lacks insulin or can not perform his function, glucose can not be used as a fuel for cells. It then accumulates in the blood and causes an increase in sugar level (hyperglycemia). In the long run, high blood sugar causes certain complications, especially in the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels. There is a direct link between the level of glycemic control and the risk of complications.
Types of diabetes
There are at least 4 types of diabetes. But we will talk about the most common, namely: type 1 diabetes that affects about 6% of diabetics and type 2 diabetes that affects 92%.
What type of diabetes develops in people who are overweight?
In the overweight or obese person, it is often type 2 diabetes.
The causes of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune origin. The immune system will attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and destroy. This is due to genetic factors and / or a viral infection (eg rubella). To date, There is no way to guard against the onset of type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes (90% of cases). It is characterized by a decrease in insulin secretion causing hyperglycemia. Since the body can not use insulin as it should, or because the pancreas does not produce enough, glucose can not be transported inside the cells from the blood. The causes of type 2 diabetes are many. Usually the onset of diabetes that arises from a combination of factors that triggers the disease onset. It is :
-L’obésité: An obese person has 3 times more likely to be diabetic than non-obese person and about 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
-The eating: Those who consume a lot of sugary drinks or sugary foods (cakes, pastries, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, brown sugar, honey, molasses, syrups, jams, etc …) are most at risk.
-A sedentary lifestyle: Physical inactivity is a major public health problem. In recent years, our lifestyle has changed dramatically. We spend more time in front of television or computer, can go out and practice little or no sport. This significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes Go out and play sports. Sport that’s life.
-L’hérédité: The hereditary nature of the disease is indisputable. The risk for a person with a diabetic relative of developing type 2 diabetes by 40%, if both parents are diabetic risk is 70%. However, rest assured, owning a diabetic type 2 parent does not automatically make you a diabetic or diabetic future. You just have more risk of developing the disease than others.
-The gender: men are more likely to have diabetes than women
– Age: The older you get, the more we risk to have diabetes.
-L’origine ethnicity: indigenous Africans seem to have a higher genetic risk of diabetes, while Asians appear to be protected.
Symptoms of diabetes
It is said that diabetes is a silent disease. True, some of the type of diabetes. Some patients may have symptoms caused by hyperglycemia, namely:
-A frequent urination, especially at night. The kidneys produce more urine to try to eliminate the excess glucose in the blood
-Troubles of sight, especially at night when driving.
-The erectile difficulties
-A slow wound healing
-Picotements fingers or feet
-An excessive sleepiness, especially after meals
You must consult your doctor at the onset of one or more of the symptoms. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can appear gradually or suddenly. Meanwhile, the type 2 diabetes is particularly quiet. He can play for 10 years without the patient noticing. When the diagnosis is late, he has time to settle and gradually attack a number of target organs (eyes, kidneys, arteries). This sometimes leads to irreversible complications.
The causes of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes has an autoimmune origin. The immune system will attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and destroy them. This is done because of genetic factors and / or a viral infection (rubella for example). To date, there is no way to guard against the onset of type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes (90% of cases). It is characterized by a decrease in insulin secretion leading to hyperglycemia. Since the body can not use insulin as it should, or because the pancreas does not produce enough, glucose can not be transported inside the cells from the blood. The causes of type 2 diabetes are numerous. Generally, the onset of diabetes stems from a combination of several factors that triggers the onset of the disease. It is :
– Obesity: An obese person is 3 times more likely to be diabetic than a non-obese person and about 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
-Food habits: Those who consume a lot of sweet foods or sweet drinks (cakes, pastries, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, brown sugar, honey, molasses, syrups, jams, etc …) are more at risk.
– A sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle is a real public health problem. In recent years, our lifestyle has changed dramatically. We spend more time in front of the television or the computer, go out can and practice little or no sport. This significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Go out and play sports. Sport is life.
-Heredity: The hereditary nature of the disease is indisputable. The risk for a person who has a diabetic parent to develop type 2 diabetes is 40%, if both parents are diabetic the risk is 70%. However, rest assured, having a type 2 diabetic parent does not automatically make you a diabetic or future diabetic. You are just more likely to develop the disease than others.
-Men: Men are more likely to be diabetic than women
– Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to have diabetes.
Ethnic Origin: Indigenous Africans seem to have a higher genetic risk of diabetes, whereas Asians seem to be protected.
The symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes is said to be a silent disease. That’s right, whatever the type of diabetes. Some people, however, may experience symptoms caused by hyperglycemia, namely:
-A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night. Kidneys produce more urine to try to eliminate excess glucose in the blood
-Troubles of sight, especially at night when driving.
-Slow healing of wounds
-Sticks on fingers or feet
-Excessive drowsiness, especially after meals
You must consult your doctor as soon as one or more of these symptoms appear. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may appear gradually or suddenly. As for him, type 2 diabetes is particularly silent. It can evolve for 10 years without the patient noticing it. When the diagnosis is late, it has time to settle and it attacks gradually a number of target organs (eyes, kidneys, arteries). This sometimes leads to irreversible complications
How do you know if you have diabetes?
You must first go to your doctor to perform the tests. A blood glucose test will be performed in the laboratory of medical analyzes.
The diagnosis is based on a fasting blood glucose level of 1.26 g / l, checked twice or more than 2 g / l at any time of the day.
What is the link between diabetes and obesity?
There is an inescapable link between type 2 diabetes and obesity. An obese person is 3 times more likely to be diabetic than a non-obese person. There is even one word for the very close connection between diabetes and obesity: Diabetes. Despite the fact that obesity is partly influenced by heredity, the most important factors leading to overweight and obesity are higher caloric intake than daily energy requirements (overeating) and physical inactivity. Recent studies have shown that the vertiginous increase in obesity worldwide is associated with a parallel increase in the development of type 2 diabetes. The greater the amount of fat in your body, the more your body needs. insulin. If your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to meet that need, then you develop diabetes. In obese people, diabetes is therefore the consequence of being overweight.
How many obese diabetics are there?
An obese person is 3 times more likely to be diabetic than a non-obese person.
Diabetes and pregnancy
You are diabetic, and you want to have a child. Whatever the type of diabetes, it is possible, but it can not be improvised! The pregnancy of the diabetic woman is considered a risky pregnancy. Fortunately, a woman with diabetes is as likely to have a healthy baby as someone without diabetes as long as she controls her blood sugar well before and during pregnancy.
I am diabetic, can I have children?
Except in rare cases, there is no contraindication today for diabetic women to have children. But be careful, wanting a child when you are diabetic (type 1 or 2) involves programming your pregnancy. It will therefore require a rigorous monitoring of blood glucose, and regular medical monitoring. The control of blood sugar is a daily issue in the lives of people with diabetes. It becomes even more so during pregnancy because of hormonal changes.
It will not only influence your health, but your baby’s health as well. Indeed, the baby’s organs are trained in the first eight weeks and it takes four weeks before you know if you are pregnant. So if you do not plan exactly when you want to get pregnant and you still get pregnant at a time when your blood sugar is too high, there is a lot of risk that your child will have certain abnormalities at birth, often in the brain, to the kidneys or the heart.
Even before conception, it is therefore necessary to find the best conditions to reduce the risks and achieve optimal safety conditions, for you and your unborn child, 3 months before conception, during pregnancy and until childbirth . This is why a diabetic pregnancy is said to last 12 months.
What are the risks of transmitting my diabetes to my child?
The risk of hereditary transmission is very low for type 1 diabetes: 1 to 3% if the mother is diabetic. It is stronger for type 2 diabetes: around 35%. That’s why it’s important to give your child good dietary habits from an early age.
What should I do to reduce the risks?
If you have type 1 diabetes, there is no reason to worry. However, if you have type 2 diabetes and are afraid for your children, you need to change your lifestyle, especially your diet. You must avoid gaining weight. The risks associated with diabetes are greater in obese people.
What are the risks and complications of pregnancy with diabetes?
When the diabetic woman does not change her lifestyle, she risks all disorders related to poorly balanced diabetes, even more serious, it makes take significant risks to her baby. Indeed, women with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage or have a baby with malformations (brain, heart, kidney). Malformations, including heart defects, are more common in babies with mums whose diabetes is not balanced during pregnancy. This risk increases considerably especially at the time of conception and during the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the baby’s organs are formed. If you can not control your blood sugar, just one tip: delay your pregnancy. Poorly controlled and elevated glucose levels pose many risks to you and your baby.
The risks for the mother are: miscarriage, cesarean delivery, renal failure, hypertension. The risks for the baby are: premature birth, malformation, perinatal death, overweight. It is therefore essential to achieve an optimal balance of diabetes before your pregnancy.
Link between diabetes and kidney failure
Today, one in 20 people in the world suffers from kidney failure. The number of people with kidney failure is increasing year by year. This is due to the increase in some chronic diseases that cause kidney failure. Among these diseases, we have diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. Indeed, in diabetic patients, the filters contained in the kidneys can be damaged. Due to diabetes, the kidney filter gets dirty.
Each kidney is made up of over a million very small filters that clean the blood and produce urine. At the beginning of the disease, it is the presence of large amounts of protein in the urine that can detect kidney damage. Later, the damage to these filters and other parts of the kidney can get worse and the kidneys can not play their role properly. At least half of people with diabetes may have signs of onset of kidney failure. If left untreated, this could lead to more kidney damage or end-stage kidney failure. Your kidneys could be seriously damaged without your knowledge. Kidney failure usually does not give symptoms until there is severe damage. If you have diabetes, you should be tested once a year to see if diabetes affects your kidneys. Your doctor may request a urine test to measure the amount of protein (urinary albumin / creatinine ratio on a random sample) and a blood test to check the effectiveness of your kidneys (serum creatinine).
It also happens, especially in people with diabetes and hypertension, that there is kidney damage and significant deterioration of kidney function without the presence of increased amounts of protein in the urine.
The link between diabetes and eye disorders
As for the eye, we note that diabetes is the main cause of acquired blindness in all Western countries. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are much more likely to have seen problems than someone who is not diabetic. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Indeed, when uncontrolled, excess sugar in the blood thickens and harden the blood vessels that supply the eye. They can not do their job properly. This can lead to a disease: diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can also lead to cataracts and glaucoma. These diseases tend to appear early in people with diabetes.
Generally, symptoms appear only late, at an advanced stage of the disease. After a while, the view is cloudy or disappears. This is why diabetics should undergo regular eye examination. Approximately 2% of all people with diabetes 15 years ago are now blind, while 10% of them suffer from severe visual impairment. Diseases of the eye are diabetic, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema and cataract.
Diabetic retinopathy: Approximately nearly 1 in 3 people with diabetes present retinopathy, damage to blood vessels in the retina. In fact, type 1 and 2 diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that carry blood to the retina. The non-proliferative retinopathy, which generally do not threaten your view, is the most common. However, if you continue to have high blood sugar levels over several years, you risk having a much more serious disease: proliferative diabetic retinopathy. To replace damaged vessels in the retina manufactures new, which however are more fragile and can bleed into that part of the eye. In this case, the sight has deteriorated. The permanent blindness is even possible.
Macular edema: The macula is the central area of the retina, it allows to distinguish details. When there is damage to the vessels, fluid can accumulate in this region and make it inactive. Sometimes the swelling shape without eye but most of the time, the patient suffers from eye disorders, deformation or decreased night vision. This can lead to blindness.
Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the lens, which disturbs the view and can lead to blindness. It affects people over 50 years. Cataracts can occur earlier and progress more rapidly in diabetics.
All diabetics should undergo at least one eye examination every year. This screening can provide early treatment and thus limit the more serious stages.
The effects of diabetes on sexuality
Diabetes can have many adverse effects on your sexuality, especially through its impact on:
-The hormone system that controls production of testosterone, the hormone of desire, the rate may drop sharply
-The nervous system, which can hinder the erection if the person suffers from neuropathy, a complication of diabetes
-The cardiovascular system, are likely to clog the arteries of the penis
-The immune system, making the person with diabetes more at risk of infections, such fungus foreskin
Link between diabetes and erectile dysfunction:
Diabetes is a “silent killer” of this century. It can be responsible for many complications, including erectile dysfunction. In fact, diabetes affects erectile function in 50 to 60% of men at one time or another in the course of the disease. Many diabetic patients have erection problems, but they often do not dare talk to their doctor. If you’re in that case, do please do. There is no shame in being sick. This erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sexual problems in men with diabetes. Moreover, the faster your doctor is informed, the more likely you are to get away.
Indeed, diabetes damages the arteries, including sexual arteries. Like diabetes promotes the process of atherosclerosis (fat deposition and hardening of the arteries), that reduce the quality of blood flow in the arteries. Since the penis is irrigated by very small blood vessels, it is common that these are the first affected. The erectile bodies of the penis less innervated, more difficult to come to relax and let the blood causing an erection. So during penile erection, blood comes less, hence erection problems.
Diabetes is one of the great leaders of sexual dysfunctions. It is the first organic cause of erectile dysfunction. An estimated 50% of men suffering from diabetes type 1 or 2 are affected. But this varies with age. Between 20 and 30, they are 10%. When diabetes has more than ten years, the figure can reach 50%.