Diabetes – a silent killer


What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by increased level of blood sugar in which] the body either not capable of producing sufficient insulin or not able to utilize the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone necessary to controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. If it is not managed, it leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.

There are mainly two types of diabetes

Type 1 or IDDM

Type 1 diabetes generally occurs in childhood or adolescence, but can develop in adulthood and always requires insulin. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas and as a result no insulin is released into the body. In the absence of insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy.

Type 2 or NIDDM

Type 2 diabetes generally occurs in adults after 30 years of age and is characterized by either incapability of body to properly use the insulin that is released, called insulin resistance or does not produce enough insulin.90 per cent of diabetic population have type 2 diabetes. The initial stages of type 2 diabetes may be managed through physical activity and meal planning. However when fully developed, medications and/or insulin is required to control blood sugar more effectively.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.

Who are at Risk

Family history of a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes;

Having health complications that are associated with diabetes;

Having given birth to a baby that weighed more than four kilograms (nine pounds) at birth or history of gestational diabetes

History of pre diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose);

History of high blood pressure;

History of high cholesterol or other fats in the blood;

Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the tummy;

Having been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome;

Having been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression

Signs and symptoms  

Unusual thirst

Frequent urination

Weight change (gain or loss)

Extreme fatigue or lack of energy

Blurred vision


Key elements in diabetes management is Diabetes education. All people with diabetes need to be informed about their condition. First step is to change your eating and physical activity habits and/or take

Physical activity: Regular physical activity helps your body lower blood glucose levels, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness.

Nutrition: What, when and how much you eat all play an important role in regulating blood glucose levels.

Weight management: Maintaining a normal weight is very important in the management of type 2 diabetes. Medication: Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is managed through physical activity and meal planning and may require medications and/or insulin to assist your body in controlling blood glucose more effectively.

Lifestyle management: Learning to reduce stress levels in day-to-day life

Blood pressure: High blood leads to eye disease, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, so people with diabetes should try to maintain a normal blood pressure level.


OHA – Oral Hypoglycemic agents