Diabetes—A Health Care Threat
August 19, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Diabetes—A Health Care Threat

اردو میں  پڑھیں 

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus refers to a metabolic disease that results in high sugar levels in the blood. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, moves sugar from the blood to the cells to be stored and used for energy when required. With diabetes, your body is either not able to make enough insulin or is unable to use the insulin it does make effectively.

Different types of diabetes

1. Type 1 diabetes—this is more common in young people. It's an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the pancreatic cells, which leads to high blood sugar levels in the body.

2. Type 2 diabetes—this occurs most commonly in the elderly. In Type 2 diabetes, the patient's body becomes resistant to insulin, and sugar levels in the blood rise.

3. Prediabetes—it occurs when your blood sugar level is higher than average, but not large enough for it to be diagnosed as diabetes.

4. Gestational diabetes—this occurs when there is a high blood sugar level in pregnancy. It goes away after giving birth. During pregnancy, your placenta makes hormones that cause glucose to build up in your blood. Usually, the pancreas can send out enough insulin to handle this, but in some cases, it might not, leading to high glucose levels in the body.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus

Persistent thirst even after drinking water

When the blood sugar levels rise, the body tries to pull fluids from other tissues to dilute the high sugar level. This leads to dehydration. 

Frequent urination, particularly at night

This occurs because of excessive water intake due to dehydration and extreme thirst.

Unexplained weight loss

If the body is not able to convert sugar into energy from the food you eat, it will break down other energy sources, such as fat and protein stores, available within the body, leading to weight loss.

Increased appetite

Due to the lack of conversion of food you eat into energy, excess hunger is felt.


People with diabetes face extreme fatigue because the body is not able to convert sugar into energy.

Altered vision 

This occurs because fluid with high glucose levels makes it to the eye duct, leading to blurry vision.

Tingling and numbness in hands or feet

This is because of peripheral neuropathy, which is discussed later.

Delayed wound healing 

This is mainly because bacteria can grow vigorously when your blood sugar levels are too high, making it hard to fight off an infection.

If sugar levels in your body stay uncontrolled for a long time, it can lead to complications like:

Diabetic nephropathy

It is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney damage globally. One way to diagnose this is to check for proteins in the urine, which are usually absorbed by the body, but in this condition, they get excreted out.


Diabetic neuropathy

It refers to nerve damage associated with diabetes. It can result in pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and extreme weakness. This can be diagnosed with a detailed history and physical examination. Ulceration and reduced ankle reflexes are common manifestations.

Diabetic retinopathy

High blood glucose levels can impair the blood vessels in the retina. Any alteration in the blood vessel, such as swelling, obstruction, or abnormal regrowth, can steal your vision. It can be diagnosed with a comprehensive dilated eye exam where your doctor puts drops in your eye to widen the pupil and examine your eyes.

When to see a doctor

If you're facing any of the symptoms stated above, you should make an appointment with your doctor. 

Companies like Shifa4U provide excellent services. You can consult your doctor online from your home by simply providing some information.

Recommended Packages

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.