What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, remains one of the major non-communicable diseases in Malaysia, affecting up to 3.9 million of the Malaysian population with a prevalence of 18.3% (as of November 2020).  “According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 (NHMS 2019), one in five adults or about 3.9 million residents aged above 18 years were suffering from diabetes. Nearly all the patients enrolled in the National Diabetes Registry were diagnosed with T2DM.

Source: National Diabetes Registry Report 2013-2019. MOH

Without ongoing, careful management, diabetes can lead to a buildup of sugars in the blood, which can increase the risk of dangerous complications, including stroke and heart disease.

Different kinds of diabetes can occur, and managing the condition depends on the type. Not all forms of diabetes stem from a person being overweight or leading an inactive lifestyle. In fact, some are present from childhood.

One reason that diabetes is affecting more people and becoming more widespread is because it is a disease that it partly caused by consuming high levels of sugar. When you consider the fact that sugar is now in much of what we eat, this shouldn’t be hard to understand.

Diabetes is a quiet disease. There is no pain associated with it, and the symptoms may not be all that serious at the start. This leads people to often conclude that it is not so bad. The end result from this assumption is that more often than not, nothing is done to prevent it even when people have been warned in advance by their doctor. Diabetes is very serious because it creates long term problems that are very detrimental if left unmanaged and the same bad habits are continued.

Basically, diabetes is the result of insulin problems and is caused by the body’s inability to either develop enough insulin, or to be able to use the insulin that it does produce. Insulin is a natural hormone produced by your body and it is given the task of taking the sugars you consume and turning it into energy that the body can use.

Normally, insulin enables the sugars to go from your bloodstream into the various tissues surrounding your blood vessels. This gives those tissues energy to be able to adequately carry out their normal functions when needed. When insulin is not properly handling the sugar in the blood, two things occur:

– The sugar remains in the bloodstream.

– The energy does not get to the needed cells.

A lack of energy being transferred to those tissues results in general tiredness.

Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves blood vessels, eyes and kidneys.

The different types of diabetes

There are three distinct forms of diabetes. Each one has its own share of symptoms, problems, and treatment. Each of these 3 forms of diabetes presents a different problem associated with how the body uses or produces insulin.

Diabetes is primarily a problem with the insulin in the body that normally helps to change the sugar that you consume into useable energy for your body’s cells.

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes is a problem that is believed to be caused by the body attacking itself.  When this occurs the autoimmune system somehow comes to interpret that the insulin producing glands in your body are actually some kind of disease, so they attack those cells and destroy many of them.

This attack often leaves the body without enough insulin producing cells to be able to handle the amount of sugar regularly consumed. It is even possible that no insulin may be produced at all. Type I diabetes is often diagnosed in children and requires daily injections of insulin just to survive. It is usually diagnosed early because it creates emergency situations where immediate medical attention is needed.

Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is attained slowly, by creating a situation where the sugar is not properly processed by the body’s insulin. Not enough insulin is produced to be able to handle the sugar and so it leaves a lot of sugar in the bloodstream.

This form of diabetes is usually developed much later in life, unless the person is overweight. This extra fat seems to help create the condition where diabetes can develop much faster which is why younger people are now developing the disease. Even though enough insulin is often being produced, it seems

to become ineffective because of what is referred to as an insulin resistance developed by the cells to the insulin.

Oftentimes, someone with diabetes 2 may not even know that he or she has it. There may not be any noticeable symptoms for a long time.

Gestational Diabetes

The third form of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. This occurs in some pregnant women who are further along in their term. Symptoms may suddenly appear, or they may not be there at all. This type of diabetes can remain during the rest of the pregnancy, and then disappear afterwards.  

A doctor will be needed to help the mother maintain her sugar levels, as well as to make sure that the baby is not having problems with sugar as well. It is also possible that the mother may develop diabetes within 5 to 10 years later. Only about 5 to 8% of pregnant women develop this form of diabetes during their pregnancy.

There are several other symptoms that your body will experience when you have diabetes, including excessive urination, poor wound healing, infections, ulcers and other damaging in effects that can even lead to loss of limbs.

Health Compilations

Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death.

Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, damage to the nerves, damage to the eyes and cognitive impairment.

  • High Blood Pressure – due to hardening and narrowing of the arteries, the heart has to pump harder and this builds up pressure against the artery walls. Usually symptomless but watch out for these signs:- Frequent headaches, especially at the back of the head, blurring vision, shortness of breath on exertion.
  • Adults with diabetes have a two- to three-fold increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Diabetes speeds up narrowing of the arteries due to cholesterol and triglycerides as well as hardening of the arteries which slows down the flow of blood. Diabetic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked as a result of hardening and narrowing of the arteries in the brain.
  • Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Diabetes is the cause of 2.6% of global blindness.
  • Diabetic nephropathy is a type of progressive kidney disease. Over 40% of cases of kidney failure are caused by diabetes, and it’s estimated that approximately 180,000 people are living with kidney failure caused by complications of diabetes. Among the leading causes of kidney failure, water retention when the body does not dispose of water correctly, and a person experiencing difficulties with bladder control.
  • Skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Dental and gum diseases.

We shall learn more on the signs and symptoms, risks and prevention of diabetes in the next blog.

Learn more how Hi-Bliss Hydrogen Therapy can help with Metabolic Syndrome diseases such as Diabetes here: https://hi-bliss.com/treatment-services-detox-wellness/

References:-

  • Molecular Hydrogen Improves Obesity and Diabetes by Inducing Hepatic FGF21 and Stimulating Energy Metabolism in db/db Mice ~ Naomi Kamimura, Ikuroh Ohsawa, Shigeo Ohta et.al. www.obesityjournal.org. doi:10.1038/oby.2011.6
  • Molecular Hydrogen Improves Obesity and Diabetes by Inducing Hepatic FGF21 and Stimulating Energy Metabolism in db/db Mice ~ Naomi Kamimura, Ikuroh Ohsawa, Shigeo Ohta et.al. www.obesityjournal.org. doi:10.1038/oby.2011.6
  • Molecular Hydrogen Improves Obesity and Diabetes by Inducing Hepatic FGF21 and Stimulating Energy Metabolism in db/db Mice ~ Naomi Kamimura, Ikuroh Ohsawa, Shigeo Ohta et.al. www.obesityjournal.org. doi:10.1038/oby.2011.6